Trousers walk it on Bafta's red-carpet style parade

From Emma Stone to Meryl Streep, conventional dresses were out, with a ‘drouser’ the garment of choice for the politically and fashion conscious

Red-carpet fashion is traditionally a safe seat for the play-it-safe-glamour party, but in the turbulent times of 2017, even the frocks look different.

The fashion news of the night at the Baftas was the appearance of matching trousers under Emma Stone’s Chanel dress. The look – complete with shoes and one pearl anklet – was taken directly from Chanel’s most recent haute couture show. The only detail changed from the catwalk was that Stone, perhaps following Coco Chanel’s own style directive that before leaving the house the chic woman should try to edit one accessory, wore the outfit without its wide silver belt.

A “drouser” is an unusual choice, in direct contrast to the simple, nostalgic sundress styles that the public adored Stone in, on screen in La La Land. In the current highly charged climate, every act can seem political, and it is tempting to see the drouser as a riposte to President Trump’s supposed diktat that his female staff should “dress like women”.

Women who have made headlines for speaking their minds brought the same punchy attitude to the red carpet. Meryl Streep wore a trouser suit of sorts, with a fringed black satin coat over tailored trousers.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling in Roland Mouret arriving at the Baftas, held at the Royal Albert Hall. Photograph: SilverHub/Rex/Shutterstock

National treasure of the hour JK Rowling wore a Roland Mouret dress, but teamed it with an extraordinary diamond-clawed knuckleduster, presumably in case Piers Morgan showed up.

This was a spirited red carpet with refreshingly few actors falling back on the blush-or-gold, hourglass-curved feminine gowns that have become red-carpet 101.

Jessica Brown Findlay’s apron-fronted Bottega Veneta orange dress and ombre hair had a carefree joie de vivre that was more festival than black tie, while Naomi Harris went all-out fashion in Gucci ruffles. Isabelle Huppert’s dress was pale but interesting, the whip-thin necktie and rows of intricate buttons accentuating the actor’s naturally haughty air.

Tom Ford dressed himself in rich burgundy velvet and his leading lady Amy Adams in a dramatically loose, strapless, emerald-green gown with a draped back. Emily Blunt chose a fabulous, butterfly-wing coloured Alexander McQueen.

Tom Ford
Tom Ford in his burgundy velvet. Photograph: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Even the Duchess of Cambridge pitched her look at the dramatic end of her admittedly not-very-edgy sartorial range, in another dark embroidered dress from McQueen.

Amanda Berry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Amanda Berry with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images


Jess Cartner-Morley Fashion editor

The GuardianTramp

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