All The Best Red Carpet Trends From Awards Season 2016

Red carpet trends

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

That's a wrap! Awards season has been and gone for 2016, bringing with it a much-anticipated Oscar win for a certain The Revenant star, a brand new girl of the moment in the form of Brie Larson and - most importantly - plenty of wonderful red carpet fashion moments.

While us mere mortals may not possess a couture budget or a sponsorship deal with a major fashion house (still waiting on that call from Tom Ford...), these are the take-away trends from 2016's awards circuit...

Streamlined Silhouettes

red carpet trends body con
Red Carpet Trends: Streamlined Silhouette ©Rex / Getty

While a handful of stars may have channelled their favourite Disney princesses on the red carpet, one of the biggest trends has been a shift away from the full-skirted ball gowns that stole the show at the Oscars ceremony last year. J. Law has clearly learned from past calamities (remember that Oscars fall?), opting for a streamlined red style at the Golden Globes, while Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan also chose sleek, form-fitting styles for the BAFTAs. We’re also big fans of Rachel McAdams’ minimal emerald Oscars dress – a neat departure from the ball gowns she has chosen in the past.

The Deep V Neckline

red carpet trends plunging neckline
Red Carpet Trends: The Deep v ©Rex / Getty

The ‘V’-shaped neckline is always a staple come awards season, but this year saw red carpet styles plunge even lower, often stopping just above the navel. The mini-trend started at the Golden Globes with Kirsten Dunst’s black velvet number, before cropping up at the Grammys (see Bella Hadid’s marvel of engineering), the BAFTAs and the Oscars, when Olivia Wilde took the ‘V’ to new depths. It seems that in this case, ‘V’ is very much for Valentino – the Italian fashion house designed both Kirsten and Olivia’s gowns.

Going For Gold

red carpet trends gold dresses rosie huntington whiteley
Red Carpet Trends: Gold

The easiest route to bagging a coveted Best Actress award? Dressing like a statuette! OK, maybe this isn’t exactly a hard and fast rule, but it certainly worked for Brie Larson, who kicked off her triumphant awards season campaign in shimmering Calvin Klein at the Golden Globes. Fellow golden girls Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Margot Robbie and Lily Collins may not have been up for gongs, but their dresses proved to be talking points all the same.

Pale And Interesting

red carpet trends white dresses pastels
Red Carpet Trends: Pale And Interesting ©Rex / Getty

Pale hues have a habit of looking a little too bridal on the red carpet, but this season they’ve been expertly reimagined – and when fashion rule-breaker Rihanna is wearing lilac, it’s a sure sign that pastels have got their edge back. Alicia Vikander looked positively angelic at the Golden Globes in white Louis Vuitton, while War and Peace’s Lily James’ Marchesa style was worthy of a Greek goddess – and neither looked like they were heading down the aisle…

Coloured Sequins

red carpet trends 2016 coloured sequins
Red Carpet Trends: Coloured Sequins ©Rex Features / Getty Images

Sequins appeared on the red carpet in almost every colour of the rainbow. This amount of sparkle definitely speaks for itself, calling for a clean silhouette: Olivia Wilde’s Michael Kors gown and Julianne Moore’s resplendent ocean-blue Tom Ford style are both pretty simple in shape. The winner in the shimmering stakes, though, has to be Saoirse Ronan, whose mermaid Calvin Klein Collection dress was the best thing about the Oscars (bar Leo’s win, of course…)

Dramatic Embellishment

red carpet trends embellishment cate blanchett
Red Carpet Trends: Dramatic Embellishment ©Rex / Getty

We’re talking more than just a handful of sequins or spangles here: this season, the stars brought their embellishment ‘A’ game, offering up everything from dramatically layered lace skirts a la Jennifer Lawrence in Dior to the painstakingly stitched beading of Daisy Ridley’s Chanel couture. Naturally, the reigning queen of this trend was Cate Blanchett, whose style choices stole the show twice: first in breathtakingly feathered McQueen at the BAFTAs, then in three-dimensional florals by Armani Privé at the Oscars.

READ MORE: Oscars 2016: The Best Dressed List

READ MORE: BAFTAs 2016: The Best Dressed Stars

READ MORE: Golden Globes 2016: The Best Dressed Stars

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us