The Oscars bring back red carpet glam in whites, reds, gold

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Maria Bakalova arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

NEW YORK – Red carpet glam was back Sunday at the Oscars with Andra Day and Carey Mulligan shimmering in award-worthy gold and Maria Bakalova among several stars in bright white princess gowns during the pandemic era's first big parade of fashion.

There was a strong showing of reds as well, along with belly-baring midriffs, the latter including Zendaya in standout yellow by Valentino and more than 183 carats of Bulgari diamonds from ears and neck to her fingers at the Los Angeles ceremony.

“Andra Day and Zendaya have set the tone for spring and we are showing midriff all season,” said Nandi Howard, associate fashion editor for Essence. “Both ladies arrived in beautiful gowns on the carpet with cutouts and slits that were a breath of fresh air for red-carpet attire.”

Day dressed all the way up in a sexy look cut to the thigh on one side with a cutout at the waist. It was custom Vera Wang made of actual metal, paired with a dainty pair of drop earrings tipped with yellow diamonds from Tiffany & Co. Mulligan stunned in gold Valentino couture, a midriff look with a tiny metallic top and a huge ball skirt.

With nominees scattered around the world, the red carpet was far less hectic.

“Calm. If people were here they would know how absolutely groundbreaking calm is,” said Viola Davis, dressed in a stunning white custom look with intricate cutouts in a snug bodice that fell to a princess skirt.

The designer? “Alexander McQueen, baby,” Davis told E!.

Bakalova, the breakout star of “Borat: Subsequent Movie Film,” also brought princess, also in white, with a bit of subdued sparkle and a plunging neckline that fell to a tulle skirt, thanks to Louis Vuitton. She snagged a pair of stunning chandelier diamond earrings for the evening.