During a typical awards season, the BAFTA film awards serve as the pre-Oscars appetizer, the only major awards show to occur outside of Los Angeles along the circuit. Nominees, presenters and other industry power players usually make their way from the West Coast to London for one weekend to attend a show revered for its international focus and prestige (though not exactly for its diversity and inclusivity).
This year, the awards show was adjusted to the pandemic — as every show has done. But it wasn’t the lack of the red carpet that made it different. Unlike other awards shows such as this year’s SAG Awards, the BAFTAs had a red carpet, though it was limited.
The red carpet, in all of its glamour and fantasy symbolism, was there. But with most participants halfway across the world — and a nation on lockdown surrounding it — this year’s BAFTA awards were a study in beautiful, austere glamour.
Cynthia Erivo’s Louis Vuitton look seemed to sum things up. Though it was intricately embellished with different types of beading and even a little flirty in its mini dress shape, its metallic sheen suggested solemnity. The actress wasn’t alone: Renée Zellweger and Vanessa Kirby both opted for stunning — but very serious — silver gowns.
The most adventurous look of the night came from Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who chose an embroidered jacket and cream draped trousers from Spanish label Pertegaz, pairing the outfit with a high jewelry Bulgari necklace done in diamonds and amethyst with a turquoise beaded tassel and black pumps from Christian Louboutin (worn with semi-sheer black hosiery).
Elsewhere, Leslie Odom, Jr. donned two colorful looks, both from Versace, in photo opps that continue to push the envelope, giving each star their own editorial lens through which to present themselves. For the Oscars, which will air in two weeks, it’s likely to be a whole new world for the big show.