This Week, the Best Dressed Stars Embraced Fantastical Futurism

Conventional wisdom says your fashion can either look to the future or reference the past, but this week, celebrities chose to do both. Whether pulling out the next generation of designer fare—just take the scintillating crimson two piece from Jamaican-Caymanian designer Jawara Alleyne‘s Oracle series that Anok Yai wore to preview The Matrix—or embracing the classics—like Penelope Cruz showcasing the timelessness of Chanel tweed on The Tonight Show—stars created a week filled with dramatic pieces and unexpected moments. 

The return of The Matrix, for one, prompted a renewed exploration of high-tech style. The franchise’s latest installment premiered this weekend in San Francisco, and its stars tailored their outfits to the themes explored on screen—namely, freedom, fantasy, and the intersection of organic life and technology. Fittingly, the charge was led by Carrie-Anne Moss, whose iconic heroine Trinity served as the inspiration for a custom Oscar de la Renta look detailed with green and silver sequins in the style of the series’ “digital rain” motif. The threadwork and sparkles perfectly drew the eye upward towards Moss’s pleated black silk chiffon gown and matching cape. 

The always irreverent Jada Pinkett Smith took a similar tack, opting for a sweeping red tulle mini-dress with a flowing train from Giambattista Valli’s fall 2021 couture collection. With her shaved head, crystal ear cuff, and chrome manicure, Pinkett Smith—who was joined on the red carpet by her equally stylish son Jaden—was a futuristic muse. 

Elsewhere, stars played to their strengths in looks that reflected their current projects. Ariana Grande dipped into the archives and pulled out a sweeping marigold gown from Valentino’s spring 2019 couture collection for the season finale of The Voice. A lesser performer might get lost in the sumptuousness of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s layers of poussin yellow faille, but the petite powerhouse more than carried it off. 

In Los Angeles, meanwhile, Zendaya wrapped up Spider-Man: No Way Home’s international press tour by wearing yet another arachnid-themed masterpiece. After dazzling in Alexander McQueen’s crystal boots in London and paying homage to supervillain Doctor Octopus in vintage Roberto Cavalli, she went all out in custom Valentino for her hometown premiere. Appropriately high concept while maintaining a sense of fun, her delicately embroidered slip dress featured a web motif and matching mask—giving the red carpet’s current MVP a thrilling finale moment.

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