Oscars Red Carpet Fashion: Ethics à la Mode

Well the 94th Academy Awards has come and gone, and not without some drama, but hey, it’s Hollywood, right?  All about the headlines.  Here at My Soho Times we couldn’t let the occasion pass without a brief inspection of one of the key elements of any Oscars night – the outfits. Contributing editor Gillian Smith shares more…

Hard as it must be once you have your golden ticket to resist the temptation to gussy up like a wannabe Marie Antoinette, keeping down the conspicuous consumption in the world we currently find ourselves in is definitely a thing. And luckily sustainability at the glamorous end of the fashion world is making huge strides.

Just to digress and chuck a bit of A-List into the mix though, I shall lay my cards on the table re the night’s red carpet(s). Have to say kudos to the boys for keeping it colourful in a sea of muted pastels and reliable little black numbers; my faves were Daniel Kaluuya and Kodi Smit-McFee in emerald green and powder blue respectively. You will never lose those lads in a crowd and that’s how it should be. Girl-wise it’s gotta be Zendaya’s teeny tiny satin shirt and sparkly skirt (never knowingly not utterly gorgeous) and – I know not everyone will agree here – Kirsten Dunst, hiding inside a bright red frou-frou frock that made me cast aside all previous deeply-held convictions on the undesirability of an 80s style ruffle. Brave choices all round.

RCGD Global x TENCEL™ on the red carpet

While green is obviously good, for the kind of event where the eyeballs of the whole world are swivelling in your direction, you’ve got to be able to compete with the best. With this in mind we were much impressed by the work of RCGD Global, conceived by actress, author and environmental advocate Suzy Amis Cameron.  She had been struck by the lack of ethical fashion choices whilst attending various world premieres of her husband James Cameron’s blockbuster movie, Avatar. 

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: Paloma Garcia-Lee attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

‘I’m so excited to be dressing Paloma Garcia Lee for the Oscars this year. To do this with the backing of RCGD Global is incredible. Sustainability with beautiful design is at the heart of everything that we do and I’m so thrilled to be able to showcase this on the global stage together.’

– Patrick McDowell

The organisation is dedicated to collaborating with global and small independent brands and has developed from a design contest to a movement for change, embracing partnerships that deliver sustainable design solutions using regenerative materials. 

To qualify as a RCGD eco-conscious garment, each piece should be made from sustainable materials – including organic, recycled or repurposed fibres. Other features include using hand-made craftsmanship details or small local production with a dedicated focus on minimal negative impact on the environment and people. 

2022 is the third consecutive year the Academy Awards ® has partnered with RCGD Global and TENCEL™ using renewable cellulose-based sources of 100% botanic origin. Which, while for sure a force for good, needs to translate into the sort of spectacular that stands up on a night when the world’s press wants to know who, not what, you are wearing.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: Tati Gabrielle attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

“It’s been a dream working with Tati. It’s an honor to have her in a custom HELLESSY gown for an event of such global importance. This occasion in partnership with RCGD Global and TENCEL™ holds significance beyond the red carpet in supporting the message of sustainable fashion around the world.”

– Sylvie Millstein, Founder and Creative Director

This year’s sustainability champions did remarkably well. Best Picture nominated West Side Story’s Paloma Garcia Lee nailed her colours firmly to the mast with a green strapless Patrick McDowell gown, while Uncharted actress Tati Gabrielle admirably fulfilled her glamour remit in an ivory concoction from Hellessy.

For me though, it was the ocean-inspired blue and black Benedetti Life creation worn by Maggie Baird, environmental activist and mother of singer songwriters Billie Eilish and Finneas, that stole the show. Paying homage to the sea and the waters that sustain all life seems to be a pretty effective way to attract the sort of attention you need to the environmental cause.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: Maggie Baird attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

“I tried to catch a feeling of the sea light, water movement, and hardness of rocks… The eco couture dress is homage to the sea, to the oceans, to the waters that makes life possible.”

– Matea Benedetti, Founder and Creative Director – BENEDETTI LIFE

Just goes to show you can be serious about sustainability but still strut your stuff safe in the knowledge you look stunning at the same time as doing your bit to save the planet.  Fashion forward takes on a new meaning!

Tati Gabrielle in Hellessy x RCGD Global x TENCEL™

Paloma Garcia Lee in Patrick McDowell x RCGD Global x TENCEL™

Maggie Baird in Benedetti Life x RCGD Global x TENCEL™

The sustainable luxury range of textiles from RCGD Global will be available for retail this year.

Written by Gillian Smith

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