“It’s My Favorite Dress”: Carey Mulligan’s ’50s Balenciaga Oscars Gown Is A Sweet Nod To Her Maestro Character

“I think it’s my favourite dress I’ve ever worn,” gushes Carey Mulligan over the phone from LA, two days ahead of the Oscars. She’s talking about the archival Balenciaga gown, dating back to 1951, that the French fashion house has recreated for the 96th Academy Awards, where she’s nominated for Best Actress for her powerful performance as Felicia Montealegre Bernstein–actor and wife of conductor Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper)–in Maestro.

The strapless gown, which is cinched in at the waist and features a dramatic white tulle train, is a perfect choice for Mulligan, whose understatedly elegant style has made her one of the best dressed on the red carpet this awards season. “It’s the most incredible shape and so classic, but feels really modern,” she says of the dress. “It just feels amazing to wear, and not constrictive; I’m not going to be sitting there holding my breath for three hours.”

A ’50s sketch and swatch from the Balenciaga archives.

Courtesy of Balenciaga

As well as being aligned with the British actor’s personal style, the original dress also happens to be from the very same year that Felicia and Leonard got married – making it a fitting tribute to the remarkable woman she plays on screen. “Andrew Mukamal, my stylist, found this reference and showed it to [Balenciaga]. We were just so thrilled they wanted to do it,” Mulligan explains, adding that this is the first time that Balenciaga had remade a look from its archives for the red carpet. The actor also wore vintage recreations from Schiaparelli and Dior at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs respectively, describing it as “such a privilege” to work with these brands to bring the designs back to life.

For Oscars night, Mulligan is adding to the sense of Old Hollywood glamour with black opera gloves and Boucheron jewels, while on the beauty front, she is turning to trusted hairstylist Jenny Cho and make-up artist Nina Park, who will create a pared-back look using Lancôme products. “[They make me] feel just so like myself, but the best possible version of myself who has been worked on by professionals for hours,” the actor says of her glam team.

After recently telling British Vogue that going on the red carpet is like entering Doctor Who’s Tardis (“Most days I’m just me… And then every once in a while I step into a magic phone box, and –whoosh–I come out the other side in a designer gown and there are lights flashing everywhere”), the actor finds awards ceremonies “more fun [than] nerve-wracking” nowadays, because “this part of job is such a different world.”

Case in point: Mulligan will be arriving at the Dolby Theatre in a “big party van” with all her friends (“I’m going to be standing so that the dress doesn’t get creased”). On the playlist? “Only the hits, nothing cool,” she says.

A photograph of the original gown taken in 1951.

Courtesy of Balenciaga

It’ll be a very different experience to Mulligan’s last Oscars appearance in 2021, the first one after the Covid-19 pandemic began, when only her husband, Marcus Mumford, was allowed to accompany her on the red carpet. “[He] was in charge of everything: he had to make sure the dress was laid out nicely; he was texting my hair and make-up team. He was incredibly stressed,” she laughs.

After the ceremony, Mulligan will change into a yet-to-be-decided after-party look, so that she can “sit and eat, and not worry about getting ketchup on myself,” and avoid anyone spilling wine on that beautiful white train (“I would murder them!” she jokes.) And after that? “I’m officially unemployed as of 11 March, so I will fly home and go back to the school run for a while,” the actor replies. “It’s going to be really nice to bunker down and enjoy a bit of downtime.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *