The 2015 awards season has been filled with debate regarding gender equality in Hollywood.
The central problem is that, since pretty much forever, Hollywood reporters have asked actresses incredibly stupid questions about how they look, while actors get asked intelligent questions about what they do. As a result of Internet outrage over this, particularly via the Twitter hashtag #askhermore, E! canned their ridiculous mani-cam and Upworthy created a great supercut to reinforce that, even without a tiny diorama with which to present manicured fingernails, Hollywood reporters are incredibly negligent with regards to gender equality.
Unfortunately, the incredible dresses we love to fawn over have been in the firing line too, the argument being that reporters shouldn't be asking actresses what they wear, but who they are and what they do.
As a writer who spends a lot of time interviewing talented women, and who also loves fashion, I'm asking: can't we ask them about what they're wearing and what they do? Do these two things have to be mutually exclusive? No, they totally don't.
Firstly, the dresses these actresses wear are incredible pieces of craftsmanship – cultural artifacts of the highest quality, designed by designers at the peak of their careers. Outside of the haute couture shows, awards' ceremonies like the Oscars are really the only places we get to see these dresses, particularly en masse. Furthermore, some of them are made specifically for the actresses, so they'll actually be the only time we get to glimpse them, and glimpsing things that are this sparkle-y is very important.
It is also incredibly fun (and sometimes revealing) to reflect on why actresses choose the gowns they do. For example, does the silver knot on Dakota Johnson's Saint Laurent dress pay ironic homage to 50 Shades Of Grey? What does the text on Keira Knightley's Valentino dress say, what does it mean and why did she choose to wear it? Rosamund Pike's killer red column dress by Givenchy is totally representative of her finding her feet as a post-Gone Girl A-lister, after a couple of questionable red carpet decisions. Felicity Jones attends this year's Academy Awards as part of the team from The Theory of Everything, and pays homage to another tragic English wunderkind, by wearing an exquisite Alexander McQueen dress.
Dresses created at this level can be as meaningful to culture as the films the actresses are nominated for, and we should be able to talk about both, rather than one or the other. On that note: suits. The difference between choosing single or double breasted is important. Let's ask the guys as much about they wear as what they do, too.
Liked this? Read more articles about fashion and celebrities:
Subscribe to our e-newsletter for news you want, fashion you like and opinions to share.