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Lupita’s Night Lupita Nyong’o

and 12 Years a Slave win big at the 86th annual Academy Awards

Let’s just get it out of the way:Jennifer Lawrence, America’s sassy gal pal and best-supporting-actress nominee, fell at the Oscars. Again. This time, it was a cone on the red carpet that tripped her up. “If you win tonight, I think we should bring you the Oscar. Can we do that?” teased the awards’ Saint Laurent-clad host, Ellen DeGeneres, in her opening monologue (side note: She’s apparently on a first-name basis with Hedi Slimane). Per usual, Lawrence laughed it off with panache—something we’d imagine is easy to do when you’re dressed in a red-hot Dior gown.

But Lawrence’s tumble wasn’t the only repeat showing. Pharrell Williams continued his spectacular sartorial antics, donning a Lanvin tux with tailored shorts on the red carpet, and a black version of his infamous Vivienne Westwood hat during a performance of his song for Despicable Me 2, “Happy.”

Yet again, 12 Years a Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o wowed in a diamond headband and custom Prada gown. She seemed a modern-day Cinderella while giving her tearful best-supporting-actress acceptance speech. The deep-V frock’s sparkling, pleated skirt was inspired by champagne, while its serene blue hue was a nod to her native Nairobi, Kenya. “I feel very at home in this gown,” she said. It was a big evening for the entire 12 Years a Slave camp: The film took the Best Picture prize—but from the moment she stepped onto the red carpet, it was plain to see that tonight was Nyong’o’s night.

Speaking of Nyong’o, Jared Leto, who won best supporting actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, endeavored to quash those rumors that he and the starlet are an item. How? By announcing that he was having a fling with 84-year-old Nebraska actress June Squibb. “We are indeed dating,” he quipped. Leto, whose actual date was his mother, Constance, channeled old Hollywood in a slick white Saint Laurent tux. His costar and best-actor winner, Matthew McConaughey, also went white in Dolce & Gabbana.

Save Liza Minnelli, who turned up in a cobalt silk pajama ensemble and matching azure-streaked hair, Hollywood’s leading ladies didn’t take a lot of (or any, really) risks this year. However, that’s not to say they didn’t look lovely. Countless shades of blue (Amy Adams was in navy Gucci), mermaid gowns (like the radiant Kate Hudson‘s Atelier Versace number), peplums (Julia Roberts‘ black lace Givenchy gown had one), and sleek silhouettes were trending, as were embellished white or metallic frocks. Best-actress winner Cate Blanchett shimmered in one by Armani Privé. Her Blue Jasmine costar Sally Hawkins chose Valentino’s take on the style, and Naomi Watts worked an iteration from Calvin Klein.

Sometimes, though, as Charlize Theron proved, black is best. She was simply stunning in Dior. Also in black? Anne Hathaway. The actress wore a Gucci number with a strategic smattering of jewels across the chest. Clearly, after last year’s revealing pink Prada, she wasn’t chancing any déjà vu.

— Katharine K. Zarrella

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