Academy Award-winning actress Frances McDormand certainly walks to her own drum when it comes to her movie roles — and fashion choices.
While many of Hollywood’s elite were painfully making their way down the red carpet at last night’s Oscars in sky-high stilettos, McDormand decided to play it safe and take the comfort route with a pair of limited-edition Birkenstock Arizona sandals designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli, the creative director for Maison Valentino, and McDormand herself.
The sandals were an unexpected color and style choice for her dress — a gown from Valentino’s spring ’19 couture collection — which the actress wore to present the Best Actress award. However, McDormand’s sandals were not the first time comfort shoes have grabbed the spotlight at the ceremony.
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At the Academy Awards last year, Tiffany Haddish stepped into a pair of Ugg slippers, and Whoopi Goldberg wore a pair of combat boots under her Christian Siriano gown.
Said McDormand, “Last year, while swanning on the grand staircase at the Met Gala, by invitation of Pierpaolo Piccioli of the house of Valentino, a spark ignited me. I have always followed fashion and had a secret desire to find a way to express my knowledge and appreciation for it. When given the chance to lend my enthusiasm and experience to the collaboration of a particular item of fashion, there was only one answer for me: Birkenstock’s Arizona two-strap sandal. I have worn these sandals for most of my adult life. They have literally formed me physically and philosophically. All that I desired was to have a pair in my favorite color: acid yellow. And now they exist. They spark caught fire, and there’s no going back.”
Added Piccioli, “My aesthetic perception has always allowed gentle contrasts, as the one between a haute couture gown and a casual sandal my appear to be. I see no contradiction in this, no contrast nor oxymoron. Beauty reflects the complexity of life, and what makes it interesting is its ability to mix comedy and drama, night and day, silk and leather. I see no better muse than Frances to interpret this idea. She is intelligent and brave, her image is gull of substance. Birkenstock, with whom I share this experience, is a synonym for universality, a symbol of freedom and an unrivaled inclusivity testimonial. I could not be luckier to have such great traveling companions with me.”
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