10+ Times When Stars Sent a Secret Message to the World Through Their Outfits
Every time a star appears on the red carpet, it’s a big event. Usually, they need weeks or even months to prepare. Stylists plan every single detail and often, they don’t just make good outfits, but also send a message through their clothes and accessories.
We at CHEERY wanted to decipher some of the messages encrypted in their outfits. And at the end of the article, there’s an interesting bonus that might change your opinion on the color black.
1. Zoë Kravitz
In the most recent Batman movie, Zoë Kravitz portrayed Catwoman. Apparently, she liked the part so much that she decided to stay in character even in her everyday life. So, during one of the preview shows, she appeared in a dress with cat faces.
2. Riz Ahmed
Oscar winner Riz Ahmed visited one of the Met Gala events wearing a 19th-century worker suit. The theme of the evening was Gilded Glamour, and he also showed respect to ordinary people and immigrant workers. When he appeared on the red carpet in boots and a shirt, he wanted to draw attention to the class inequalities that existed at the time.
At the 2018 Grammy Awards, Kesha wore a vintage suit. According to her stylist, her outfit was supposed to give her confidence and show that she can overcome difficulties. “I wanted her to feel beautiful, empowered, and strong, as well as sophisticated and glamorous.”
Another message is that women don’t need to show that much of themselves and wear dresses all the time. It’s important to wear clothes they feel comfortable with and can help them express themselves.
By the way, the suit itself belonged to designer Nudie Cohn, who’s famous for creating unique clothes for stars: from Elvis Presley to Elton John. What’s interesting is that Nudie wore this outfit to his granddaughter’s wedding.
4. Blake Lively
Blake Lively’s dress for the 2022 Met Gala was designed by Donatella Versace. The idea was to show respect to New York. The first secret message was that it changed color. Originally, it was orange, but when the bow on the skirt was untied, it revealed a cascading blue train. It was a reference to the classic architecture of New York, such as the Statue of Liberty, which was originally bronze but was later covered with blue patina.
If you look closely, you will see drawings that many people thought were flowers. In fact, they were the 12 zodiac signs that were on the ceiling of the Grand Central Station. There were also geometric drawings as a homage to the Empire State Building.
Finally, Blake wore a tiara on her head with 7 spikes that symbolized the 7 continents, inclusivity, hospitality, and freedom.
5. Lady Gaga
During the 2019 Oscar ceremony, Lady Gaga wore a priceless diamond from Tiffany & Co. that weighed over 128 K. It was first discovered in South Africa over 140 years ago by Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co. Audrey Hepburn wore it in 1961 for the publicity photos of her famous 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
According to Lady Gaga’s stylists, she’s always worshiped Audrey and had incredible respect for her, so this connection seemed perfect.
6. Sarah Jessica Parker
The amazing dress Sarah Jessica Parker wore at the 2022 Met Ball was a homage to dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley. She was enslaved and later bought freedom for herself and her son. She moved to Washington in 1860 and started her own business. She made clothes for a lot of noble women, like Mary Todd Lincoln.
7. Tiffany Haddish
The actress appeared on the 2018 Oscar red carpet wearing a creamy satin dress with golden embroidery. The outfit was perfect, and it had a special meaning for Tiffany. It was a tribute to her late dad. He was from Eritrea. Tiffany revealed, “He said one day I would end up here, and if I ever ended up at the Oscars to honor my people, so I’m honoring my fellow Eritreans”.
8. Emma Corrin
Before appearing at the Met Gala, the actress had read some history books. She wore the clothes of a well-known New York and Paris person from the 19th century, Evander Berry Wall, also known as “King of the Dudes”. At the time, he was a true dandy and was famous for his extravagant clothes in the 1880s. According to some information, Evander loved fashion and changed his clothes around 40 times a day.
Corrin and her stylist really liked one of his many outfits. They were inspired by a famous photo where Berry Wall was wearing a big plaid coat and a top hat. Miu Miu designers helped them to create the clothes.
9. Saoirse Ronan
To push the idea of sustainability, during the 2020 Oscar ceremony, Saoirse Ronan wore a dress that was partially made from recycled satin. This material had previously been used for a dress she wore at the BAFTA Awards.
10. Dove Cameron
Actress and singer Dove Cameron amazed the public with her stunning outfit called “Spiral nebula” when she appeared at the 2022 Met Gala. In fact, it was a symbol of a 19th-century dress—a tight corset and crinoline for the skirt. The dress took 600 hours to make.
11. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman made a powerful feminist statement at the 2020 Oscar ceremony. Her dress had the names of female directors embroidered on it. The actress thought that some directors deserved Oscars but hadn’t even got nominated. Somehow, all the nominees that year were male. The list included Greta Gerwig, Lorene Scafaria, and Lulu Wang.
12. Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union put special meaning into her 2022 Met Gala dress, which was inspired by actress Diahann Carroll. She was a prominent fighter for women’s rights, and the first African American woman to get the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. To top that, Gabrielle’s hair had red beads reaching her neck.
The actress says they symbolized the blood of black people and people of color that worked in the fields. She said, “This country is built off of our backs, our blood, sweat, and tears.”
13. Sam Rockwell
For an Oscar ceremony, Sam Rockwell wore cufflinks with a secret—they were specially made to honor his dog, Sadie. Jeweler David Yurman engraved the name of the pet on one side and the image on the other.
Sam decided to honor his dog whom he considers his loyal friend and companion.
14. Cynthia Erivo
At the 2022 Met Gala, the singer wore a beautiful dress with a feather train from Louis Vuitton. But her headwrap was far more important. It was emblematic of the tignon law of 1786 when Black women were forced to cover their hair with special headwraps: tignons. Many people didn’t like Black women having braids and jewelry in their hair or for them to even show their beautiful hair.
15. Elisabeth Moss
At the 69th Emmy Awards, the actress looked wonderful in her delicate pale-pink dress and matching shoes that had a secret message. Her stylist published a photo of the shoe sole that said “off.” It was only one sole, and the stylist asked people to guess what word was on the other sole.
Some people think the other sole said “red” which would be a homage to the last name of Moss’ character in The Handmaid’s Tale. But a more believable version is that it was the actress’ statement against patriarchy.
Bonus: Black color on the 2018 Golden Globes
During the 2018 Golden Globes, many stars appeared in black clothes on the red carpet. This was their way of showing support for the Time’s Up movement, combatting inequality and harassment of women in the workplace.
Which of these outfits impressed you the most?