Yesterday, the 2023 Oscar nominations were announced, and red carpet outfit predictions quickly followed. It's fun to consider what the nominees will wear, but maybe even more fun to think about how those who were snubbed could make a dramatic entrance. Surely they're all enlightened souls who aren't thinking about anything as petty as a revenge dress—but what if they are? A suggestion: Consider turning heads in the phenomenal Stéphane Rolland gold dress that debuted on the couture runway yesterday in Paris.
It was the finale look, appearing like liquid gold frozen mid-pour, gushing out from the model's shoulders and creating a glistening cloqué lamé tent to shield her from the mortals in the front row. A teardrop cut was carved out at the center for her face and a sliver of torso, reminding everyone she was ethereal but still earthly. Gold bangles twisted around her arms like wire. She was the heavenly sculpture of a god come to life. The Oscar statuette could, quite frankly, never, ever.
This particular look was inspired by Brazil's patron saint, Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida, whose original image is enshrined in the central high altar in Aparecida, Brazil. In the show notes, Rolland wrote that the look was meant to represent the conquistadors’ gold bursting in the rising sun's light. He wanted to represent spiritual women, “dressed from the Bahia churches’ baroque.” And it appears that perhaps Rolland did have his mind on the Oscars after all, since he said that the entire collection was inspired by Marcel Camus's Oscar-winning Orfeu Negro, a 1960 adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in a favela in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval.
While Schiaparelli's lion head dress divided the internet after setting it on fire, Rolland's gold gown appeared the very next day and seemed to unify every online person around the idea that the look was divine. It was a representation of what couture should be, the type of ensemble with an unfathomable beauty you couldn't have pictured in your wildest imagination but when you see it, you're so overcome all you can say is “whoa.”
There were plenty of other Stéphane Rolland looks from the collection that are worthy of a “whoa.” Like a long brown jersey crepe dress, with draping reminiscent of the drooping petals of a dying flower held together by lapis at the neck. Or a hooded golden lamé crepe dress with amethysts falling like a lei at the chest. And we can only hope to see any of them at the Oscars, ideally for revenge (Viola Davis, are you reading?)—but we'll gladly take them for victory dressing, too.