Historically, the Critics’ Choice Awards have been a transient stop along the awards season route, a moment when attendees can try out something a bit riskier, sartorially speaking. Maybe the star is looking to try out more adventurous looks but doesn’t want to make that leap at a more high-stakes event, such as the Goldens Globes or — god forbid — the Oscars.
But with that audacity comes eventual missteps, and this year’s Critics’ Choice Awards were full of them. The act of risk taking — however admirable in fashion — does not necessarily guarantee success.
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Those words rang especially true with the male attendees. Lately, men’s fashion on the red carpet has been even more exciting than the women’s looks. With details such as high heels or men’s jewelry — and with the help of trailblazers like Billy Porter — men’s fashion has been turned upside down in This time around, the risks didn’t take. A ruffled shirt collar on Leslie Odom, Jr.’s Celine look had a different overall effect than the lime green turtleneck that was a part of the actor’s Valentino look for the Golden Globes. Dan Levy’s Dior military suit may have been a little too directional for the times we are living in — and had much less impact than his sequined Valentino couture look, also for the Globes.
Still, the evening had its highlights, hitting that crossroads of risk taking and classic glamour Below a look at the best dressed risk-takers who actually made it work at the 2021 Critics’ Choice Awards.
1. Emma Corrin
If you’re going to take a risk, why not go all the way? Emma Corrin’s surrealist Schiaparelli couture mini dress, wherein fake pearl beads were assembled to resemble a ribcage of sorts, was simultaneously intriguing and glamorous.
2. Amanda Seyfried
There were plenty of women’s tuxedo suits during the evening, but only Seyfried’s (a Miu Miu black embellished crystal top with sequin bow tie detail and black cady cropped smoking trousers) achieved the right mix of powerful chicness, authority and a little bit of cheekiness thrown in.
3. Yara Shahidi
Putting a young person in couture doesn’t always stick; after all, it takes a certain gravitas and maturity to wear a couture garment and not let it wear you, as the saying goes. But the 21-year-old Shahidi had no problem fully embodying a Christian Dior couture mini dress.
4. Phoebe Dynevor
After seeing the British actress in empire waist after empire waist in the Regency-era “Bridgerton,” it’s refreshing to see Dynevor in a decidedly more modern look.
5. Andra Day
For many stars, the past year has been a time of retreat, not one of bold risks. But for music artist Day, 2020 and 2021 have been a moment of fully stepping into and embracing fashion, most recently in a Chanel haute couture gown at the Golden Globes to a ruched ombré Prada jumpsuit and Chopard jewels.
6. Cynthia Erivo
The British actress’s elaborate Vera Wang could come off as a bit too “Bridgerton” (though maybe that’s your thing), but with modern jewelry (mostly by Tiffany & Co.) and nails, the look feels way more punk while still totally regal.
7. Lakeith Stanfield
In a sea of menswear mishaps during the evening, Stanfield’s Louis Vuitton suit (fresh off Virgil Abloh’s fall ’21 runway), was both simple and chaotic, with a simple black shirt under an agate-patterned brocade suit.
The music artist made a compelling case for the early spring statement look with another floral brocade suit, this one pastel and double-breasted pantsuit from Miu Miu, which she paired with Chopard jewels.
9. Julia Garner
Normally, this striped sweater dress would seem too casual for the evening. But the actress’s ribbed, technicolor Christopher John Rogers made a symbolic statement of support for a young, diverse designer.
10. Talia Ryder
The young actress’s Saint Laurent look is pajama-chic without a pair of sweatpants, slippers or hoodies in sight.