Subtle but sexy – and it even matched the carpet…Why champagne chic was the toast of the Oscars

Jamie Lee Curtis may have worked in Hollywood for over 45 years, but last night’s Oscars was surely the biggest night of her life.

It was the first time the 64-year old had been nominated for an Academy Award, for her supporting role in Everything Everywhere All At Once. Knowing the spotlight would be firmly on her, did the star opt for a gown that shouted, ‘Look at me, I’m awesome’?

Not quite. She was happy to blend in. Her crystal-embellished Dolce & Gabbana gown came in the soothing shade of champagne, and was a perfect match to . . . the carpet! It’s the first time the Oscars has opted for a ‘mellow’ champagne shade rather than the usual red.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Dolce & Gabbana and Florence Pugh in Valentino Haute Couture

Naomi Campbell in Schiaparelli and Cara Delevingne in Del Core at the Vanity Fair after-party

The temptation for stars to stand out on such a muted backdrop in bright, garish colours must have been enormous. Thankfully, the biggest stars of the night did no such thing (most of them, at least). Surprisingly, Jamie Lee was far from alone. From Florence Pugh in Valentino to Naomi Watts in Givenchy, the stage was awash with this hue.

While it may look effortless — was anyone dressed more simply or stylishly than actress Rooney Mara in vintage Alexander McQueen? —champagne as a colour is high-maintenance. Think of it as a sartorial humble brag, since the champagne colour literally requires a champagne lifestyle — one devoid of dirt, toddlers and alcohol stains.

It also draws attention to the wearer’s figure. But by adding texture, embellishments like Schiaparelli’s metal sequins worn by Naomi Campbell, or clouds of fabric as seen on Helena Christensen, there’s always a way round that.

Champagne allows the wearer to be sexy without teetering into trashy, providing, as it does, a soft backdrop to body-con dressing with Zoe Saldana and Cara Delevingne all proving that point marvellously.

Olivia Wilde in Gabriela Hearst and Emily Ratajkowski in Feben

Cara Delevingne arrives for the ceremony in Elie Saab and Lady Gaga in Versace

Of course, it’s not a colour that’s going to dazzle a watching photographer, so there’s a risk those wearing this quiet shade might go unnoticed — which may explain why it was the choice for the Oscar’s biggest stars. These were women who understand the power of less-is-more; who can let their talent do the sparkling.

This hue lets the wearer do the talking, too. As Best Actress winner Michelle Yeoh said: ‘Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you you are past your prime.’

Now there’s something we could all raise our glasses to.

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