There are two contests for female actors in the running for the lead actress Academy Award. One is for their acting skills and the other is, unofficially, for how well they convey themselves and their character through multiple red-carpet appearances. The publicity tours offer a priceless opportunity to establish a public image (vital for relative newcomers like Lily Gladstone) or polish an established persona worthy of wearing custom couture.
Dressing celebrities for award shows and galas has become such a valuable piece of high fashion’s marketing machine that some designers are perhaps better known just for their red-carpet fashion (looking at you, Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry).
Yet with the nearly six months of combined actors’ and writers’ strikes, there were scant promotional activities last year, depriving actors of opportunities to build their fashion following and glamour quotient. But the final days before the Oscar nominations saw the front runners back in the public eye, many going for bold statements at other awards shows and in other appearances.
Here’s a look at the Oscar nominees for lead actress and what to expect during the 96th Academy Awards, with its red carpet set for 4 p.m. on March 10 at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood.