The reason the Oscars called Time’s Up on the black dress code
Dressed to protest?
[C]an fashion help to bring about truly impactful change? A big, fat, resounding yes. Just look to designer Katharine Hamnett, whose life’s work has been to promote sustainability, ethical production and environmentally sound apparel. Beyoncé’s Black Power salute at the Super Bowl. A sea of pink hats and protest signs that came with the Women’s March movement. What you wear can send a powerful message.
Now, with the current social climate, “who are you wearing?” questions have been traded for “what cause are you supporting?” Women have been using the red carpet as accessible point of protest, in a post-Weinstein Hollywood. At the Golden Globes, actresses wore black in solidarity with victims of sexual assault and harassment, supporting the Time’s Up movement (an initiative launched by 300 prominent actresses and other female entertainment industry insiders to fight sexual misconduct).
The Oscars was a different colour-drenched story. From rainbow brights, crayola couture and red-hot shades ruling on the night, celebrities moved away from the #Time’sUp all-black dress code in exchange for a prism of colour.
"Who are you wearing?” questions have been traded for “what cause are you supporting?” Women have been using the red carpet as accessible point of protest, in a post-Weinstein Hollywood."
Tonight, our sisters will be wearing a festive array of colors and TimesUp pins, representing this vast movement of women everywhere. . Join us by sharing photos of you & your sisters wherever you may be, in full spirit and color, with the hashtag #TimesUp! ? . In the caption, we’d love to hear what #TimesUp means to you. As this movement was created for ALL OF US. . CONGRATS & good luck to all the nominees tonight! #TimesUp #Oscars #Sisterhood (We ❤️ this #GoldenGlobes art @rachel.jo.)
“Tonight, our sisters will be wearing a festive array of colors and TimesUp pins,” organisers of the Time’s Up movement posted on Instagram. “Representing this vast movement of women everywhere.” Elsewhere, Sandra Bullock and Octavia Spencer carried clutch bags with the Time’s Up stamp fastened onto them, and Emma Watson had “Time’s Up” inked onto her forearm at the Vanity Fair after-party (time will tell if it’s actually a permanent tat).
Days before the event, a handful of Time’s Up members including A Wrinkle In Time director Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes and Laura Dern met with media to discuss what the campaign has achieved so far since launching on January 1st 2018, and said “the initiative was launched on the red carpet but was never intended to live there.”
"From rainbow brights, crayola couture and red-hot shades ruling on the night, celebrities moved away from the #Time’sUp all-black dress code in exchange for a prism of colour."
Between Nicole Kidman’s electric blue Armani Privé gown, Ashley Judd’s statement in purple to Greta Gerwig’s glittering marigold Rodarte dress, the paint palette was a loud, proud and bold display. There’s more work to be done in Hollywood to usher in change now, but the sartorial sentiment is undeniably an empowering one.
On dressing Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan for the night, super-stylist Elizabeth Saltzman told HUNGER: “There is a message [there]. You need to think about your story. Saoirse’s style is classic with a major hit of power. She’s just trying to be individual and not follow the rules.” Dressed to protest or not, this is something we can all takeaway.
You can catch up on the highs and lows from the 2018 Oscars and full winners list on Hunger here.