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Fashion and Beauty

Stars were asked to ‘dress respectably’ in support of Ukraine

ART DE VIVRE - Ricky Toledo, Chito Vijandre - The Philippine Star
Stars were asked to âdress respectablyâ in support of Ukraine
Ariana De Bose in custom Oscar de la Renta and Bulgari (dailymail.co.uk)

BAFTA in London ushers in the awards season, anticipating the Oscars in March in Hollywood, and this year was special because it’s the first fully physical event for the British Film Awards since the pandemic that limited everything to digital since 2020.

Unfortunately, the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine was hovering over the festivities, prompting the organizers to advise attendees to “dress respectably,” which many followed by dressing in solemn black but did not stop others from going in joyous, bright shades and playful silhouettes, with jewels to match.

This did not mean they were insensitive to the present situation, however, with many expressing support for the people of Ukraine as they wore yellow and blue ribbons or pins. The evening opened with BAFTA chairman Krishnendu Majumdar’s message: “We stand in solidarity with people in Ukraine and with the Ukrainian Film Academy, those who are bravely fighting for their country, and we share their hope for a return to peace. We applaud all the journalists and filmmakers that are covering the war.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, best actor nominee for The Power of the Dog, told Sky news: “We all need to more than wear a badge. We need to pressure our politicians to continue to create some kind of refugee safety and haven here for people who are suffering. We all have to continue to put pressure on the Putin regime, to continue to help in any way we can, whether that’s through donations or housing refugees, all of which I’m looking to do and have done.” Rebel Wilson, host for the evening, who lost 77 lbs. to fit perfectly in a tiered tulle gown by Giambattista Valli, used the spotlight to give a middle finger to the Russian president saying, “And this is the gesture for Putin!”  She later turned somber following the In Memoriam segment, saying, “Our thoughts are also at this time with the people affected by the conflict in Ukraine.”

Ariana de Bose and Rachel Zegler, stars of Spielberg’s West Side Story, showed their support by wearing a canary yellow Oscar Dela Renta and a blue Vivienne Westwood, respectively — the colors of the besieged country’s flag.  “The two of us together are standing with Ukraine,” said Ariana, who won for best supporting actress. Her dress also gave a nod to the dress she wore in the movie’s “America” sequence with its Latin flounces.

For Florence Pugh, the flounce came with a huge pink bow trailing behind a black mini by Carolina Herrera, another house founded by a Latin designer. Pink was also Bridgerton star Simone Ashley’s choice for a Valentino caped gown fresh from the all-pink fall ’22-’23 runway.

Rachel Zegler in Vivienne Westwood and Tiffany & Co. (vogue.uk)

For those in dark and neutral shades, jewelry was the way to up the ante. Lady Gaga’s dark emerald fishtail gown by Ralph Lauren that took over 150 hours and 50 meters of velvet and silk taffeta to produce, and was revved up with diamond and emerald jewels from Tiffany & Co.  Salma Hayek was also in velvet, a clear trend for the evening, but hers was in amethyst, accessorized with white bird earrings from Boucheron. Caitríona Balfe, in black velvet by Armani Privé, had all eyes on her coral and diamond drop earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels.  Sienna Miller also turned heads with her tassel lariat by Boucheron paired with her champagne Gucci slip gown.

But don’t rule out the men just yet.  Kelvin Harrison Jr. dazzled with a Tiffany diamond spray brooch on the lapel of his Burberry jacket.  Kodi Smit-McPhee’s diamond brooch, on the other hand, came from Cartier’s Panthère line, which was perfect with his Louis Vuitton suit. And who can blame them for putting on the bling?  It’s been two pandemic years after all and this was a night to celebrate all the achievements in the film industry despite all the hardships and the onslaught of competition from streaming.  Of course, streaming saved us during lockdown, as acknowledged by Kenneth Branagh, director of best British film winner Belfast: “All hail the streaming revolution, but all hail the big screen too — it’s alive!”

Rebel Wilson in Giambattista Valli and Bulgari (vogue.uk)

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Follow the authors on Instagram @rickytchitov; Twitter @RickyToledo23; Facebook - Ricky Toledo Chito Vijandre.

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