Kristen Stewart on her Oscars red carpet look: ‘I wanted to be the most honest I could be’
After two years of dreary pandemic red carpets, we were ready for the A-listers to bring their fashion A-game to the Oscars last Sunday night. The celebs didn’t disappoint. Zendaya reinvented the white button-down with her Valentino ensemble, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sculptural Schiaparelli sparked a thousand memes, and Timothée Chalamet went shirtless in Louis Vuitton womenswear.
But the most exciting look of the night belonged to Kristen Stewart.
The “Spencer” star worked with Chanel creative director Virginie Viard to create a custom suit: a loose-fitting tailored jacket paired with a white shirt unbuttoned to the navel and the shortest of shorts. The result was one of those instantly iconic outfits that guarantees perennial inclusion in all future hall-of-fame red carpet looks.
It wasn’t just the show of skin, the impeccable tailoring or the bold choice of shorts — the first time that item has ever strutted onto an Oscars carpet — that made the look so singular. The outfit became a sensation because it was so Kristen Stewart: fresh, cool and unique — rebel confidence wrought from cloth. It was a rare example of sartorial symbiosis, a star and fashion merging.
How did your Oscars look come together?
I wanted to be the most honest that I possibly could be and not feel that I was telling someone else’s story, but that I was finding my own. It was obviously a little audacious to ask Virginie (Viard), who’s so busy doing beautiful Chanel shows all the time, to step out and spend time on working on something like this. But it was the one opportunity to be me. I didn’t want to feel placed in an outfit, I wanted to feel like it was a second skin. I wanted to feel an elevated elegance. The right way to do this was to lean into “less is more” and allow myself to stand in my own skin rather than put on armour.
What did you ask Virginie to create?
I asked Virginie for simple and, obviously, I got the most polished and inspired version of that! I feel that I pushed her in a direction maybe she would not have immediately gone in and she pushed me, too. We found each other in this particular collaboration. It feels so modern and of the moment but free. When you pick a dress from the runway, you feel like you need to do it justice. This feels the other way around.
You and Virginie are true collaborators. How has your relationship evolved?
Virginie is so close to everything Chanel has made for so many years and she’s now really coming into her own rock star nature! It’s really cool to witness. (With her) I feel so taken care of and so visible. That’s the way a director makes me feel. It’s really fun because I feel that defining myself is a huge opportunity. For Virginie (to design) something original — which never happens — it’s an unbelievable gift that she’s giving me. Actually, it’s literally like if I had an idea for a movie, and I go to my favourite director of all time and ask them to make this for me, and they’re like, “I’m busy, but sure.”
How did it feel to be nominated for your first Best Actress Oscar for “Spencer”?
I feel kind of hysterical. I can’t believe I get to be in these rooms and with people I just have obviously admired my entire life … I presented at the Oscars once, and I looked at everyone and I literally almost swallowed my tongue. I feel completely inhabited and floating through, like “This is not real.” I just didn’t expect it and the gift of that was really nice. It’s nice not to make marginal arts, it’s nice to have everyone go, “This was cool.” I’ve never had that. It’s a really special feeling to be in a huge pool and be together with that many people instead of having like, “Oh, this is our little sideline movie and we really love it.” I’m very proud of that.”