The 94th Academy Awards (Oscars 2022): The Style, The Stars, and the Strike!

Lights…Camera…Action… … Drama…Strike!

Academy Award of Merit, better known by its nickname, “The Oscars,” will go down in history for awarding an actor his first Oscar just minutes after he slapped someone on live TV.  Everywhere you turn, television, radio, news, social media, and blogs are all talking about the all-star studded event. The day after the Oscars, we anticipate discussing the hits and misses of everyone’s favorite performances and who took home what award. However, we never expected a literal hit!

This time around, it seemed likely we’d be buzzing about Will Smith and the much-deserved award we hoped he’d receive.. He’s known for being lighthearted, having fun, and maintaining his cool, so it was completely unexpected to see him on a live award show, slapping prominent and respected comedian Chris Rock for what some say was a tasteless joke. 

That’s one take on the incident. Others say Chris Rock is a comedian, and it’s all in good fun! If you’ve been unplugged for the last 48-hours, here’s what happened. 

Veteran comedian Chris Rock took to the stage at the Academy Awards to present the award for Best Documentary Feature. It’s common for comedians, including Chris Rock, to poke fun at Hollywood stars and the audience’s celebrities. Oscar nominee (now winner)  Will Smith is married to the actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was Chris Rock’s comedic target. Rock’s jokes poked fun at Jada Pinkett-Smith’s buzz cut hairstyle, comparing her to Demi Moore’s character in the 1997 action picture GI Jane.

“Jada, I love you – I can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” Rock remarked, provoking a roll of the actress’s eyes. Jada has been open on her Facebook show, Red Table talk, and social media platforms about suffering from alopecia, and she discussed the condition as the reason she shaved her head last year. Alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by the immune system attacking hair follicles, causing hair to fall out, thin, or develop patchy spots. Alopecia patients frequently wear wigs, hairpieces such as scarves, and head wraps, or shave their heads to maintain their self-esteem.

As an Alopecia sufferer myself, I was personally not offended by Chris Rock’s joke. Demi Moore’s character in GI Jane was a badass. Demi Moore looked sexy, rocking her bald look in the movie, as Jada does in real life.a. However, I can understand how a personal joke in a room full of Jada’s peers and live streamed for millions of viewers could hit below the belt. Although Jada looks absolutely stunning in any hairstyle she wears, including her buzz look, sometimes the confidence we exude covers the struggle and pain we’ve endured on our journey or still experience. 

Many condemn Will for losing his cool, while others say Chris’s joke was tasteless. Jada has been the butt of social media jokes for some time now, due to what some call the Smith’s unconventional marriage. The terms of their marriage aren’t always clearly defined to outsiders, and the public likes to whisper about their alleged infidelity. However, the Smiths have both been honest with each other, despite how often Jada is the one villainized in media coverage and gossip.  Let’s not forget that back in 2016, when Chris Rock hosted the 88th Academy Awards, he poked fun at Jada, who was then boycotting the awards over lack of diversity.

Maybe Will’s actions were motivated by social media trolls, celebrities poking fun at his wife, and Chris Rock’s joke as the icing on the cake. We may never know exactly where it all stems from, however his apology he released the next day did inform us that his reaction was on account of Chris Rock’s joke which he took as a jab at Jada’s medical condition.  Will took accountability apologizing to the Academy Awards, the producers, viewers, the Williams family and of course Chris Rock.  Questions still remain…has he reached out to Chris for a direct apology?  Will Chris release a public apology to Jada?  Does he owe Jada an apology for a joke as a comedian?  Will Chris, Will and Jada hash it out on the red table?

One thing is for sure. The Oscars 2022 will go down in history as the gossip and controversy surrounding the Will Smith and Chris Rock altercation dominated the next day’s headlines, overshadowing momentous wins of the evening. 

“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.” –Will Smith (Academy Award Winner for Best Actor In A Leading Role) 

The Style of the Night: Beauty; Hair; and Fashion!

How did you spend your Sunday, March 27th? Here, I had the red-carpet shows playing in the background as I cared for my children and prepared Sunday’s dinner. I decided to make it a festive event at home, with the volume turned up and the kitchen popping, since between my newborn son and my 7-year-old daughter, I don’t go out much these days.

Why not? I got to see celebrities walk the red carpet in designer gowns, some of which I admired, some of which were not to my taste, and others of which were questionable. Legendary tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams ultimately kicked off the evening, and Venus’ film was one of the night’s highlights, presenting Beyonce and Dixson performing the King Richard film’s “Be Alive” from their sister’s birthplace of Compton, California. 

Beyoncé performed via satellite from a tennis court in Compton, where the Williams family practiced and ignited a tennis empire. Beyoncé wore a nod to the tennis ball colors:  an “optic yellow” aka neon yellow dress, with sequins and feathers, for the performance. It was inspired by two costumes from David Koma’s spring 2022 and fall 2022 collections. She was joined on stage by a slew of backup dancers sporting fluorescent yellow outfits and braided hair. 

After her magnificent performance with her oldest daughter, Blue Ivy, she went to the Dolby Theater to watch the Oscars ceremony. She changed into another gown for the show, this time a Valentino custom yellow off-the-shoulder gown. A flowing cape and matching opera gloves completed the look. Although she did not win the Oscar for best original song, “No Time to Die,” (it went to Billie Eilish), Beyoncé left her fans wanting more, as usual.

The night was off to a terrific start, and the stage was now graced by the three all-women hosts, with high-energy DJ Khaled joining them. After the three hosts, Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall, and Amy Schumer were announced, DJ Khaled did what he does best. He pumped up these talented women and showered them with praise as only he can! 

Stars That Stood Out

Now, on to the hottest and most unique looks of the night:

Red was the color of the night at the 2022 Oscars! Red instantly grabs people’s attention, as it’s sometimes seen as a warning and can feel bold, courageous, and sexy! Red indeed owned the carpet last night, seen on celebrities such as Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross, Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, Best Supporting Actress nominee Kirsten Dunst, CODA actor Amy Forsyth, Actor and Dancer Rosie Perez, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu, The CODA star and deaf community-advocate, Marlee Matlin, and actress Jennifer Garner.

  • Regina Hall

Regina Hall looked lovely in a handmade chocolate and translucent Vera Wang gown. Pomellato jewels, a Tyler Ellis clutch, and Stuart Weitzman shoes completed her ensemble.

  • Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes wore a Sergio Hudson tuxedo that was crisp, white, and wide-legged.

  • Amy Schumer

The comedian walked the red carpet in an Oscar de la Renta custom navy and black velvet bow gown with shattered crystal embroidery.

  • Zendaya

Zendaya wore a Valentino silk blouse and couture button-up and silver sequined skirt, a fresh, youthful The Gap shirt, and a Vera Wang skirt resembling Sharon Stone’s 1998 Oscar red carpet look.

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  • Jada Pinkett-Smith

Jada strutted in a long green dress with a dramatic train, by Jean Paul Gaultier Couture. Although her hairstyle was the joke that caused controversy, she rocked it, as always, with boldness and confidence.

  • Will Smith

The controversial star of the night stood by his wife’s side, proving he will go hard for her even if it means facing backlash. He took home his first Oscar win wearing a black Dolce & Gabbana tux and matching vest, with jewels on his tie courtesy of Cartier.

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  • Ariana DeBose

She made history with a best supporting actress win, becoming part of an elite club of Oscar-winners who’ve received the accolade for playing the same character, Anita, that Rita Moreno once portrayed in West Side Story. DeBose stepped in front of the cameras wearing the hottest red Valentino look: a Couture pantsuit with a cape.

Ariana gave a beautiful, inspiring speech, with standout quotes such as, “To anybody who has ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: there is, indeed, a place for us.”

  • Megan Thee Stallion

In an azure blue Gaurav Gupta mermaid gown with crystal accents, a stunning ruffled train, and a sultry high split, she blazed the 2022 Oscars.

  • Tiffany Haddish

The charming comedian shone in a strapless Dolce & Gabbana gown with dark green sequins, a sleek cut, and a sharply draped train, rocking her short blonde tresses.

  • Halle and Chloe Bailey

Celebrating her 22nd birthday at the 94th Academy Awards, Halle Bailey graced the red carpet wearing a flowy turquoise Roberto Cavalli design, with a sexy split showcasing her midriff, side and legs.  Much like her sister Halle, Chloe showed off her beautiful shapely legs, wearing a stunning custom LVDF purple dress with a one-shoulder cut and a cold shoulder sleeve on the same arm, creating an asymmetric look. The leg slit on the same side of Chloe’s dress extended up to her rib cage, and she accessorized with Laurel DeWitt’s chandelier diamond earrings and purple platform pumps to complete her look.

With their sultry appearances, these ladies tend to incite quite a stir. Some believe their look was better suited for the Grammys instead of the Oscars, but everyone can agree that they both have the body and confidence to pull it off!

  • Wesley Snipes

Hate or love it, Wesley Snipes wore a Givenchy ensemble made up of burgundy Bermuda shorts with leggings underneath and a matching blazer topped with a bow tie.

  • Jason Momoa

The “Dune” actor looked dapper in a black-and-blue tuxedo by Henry Poole, with his blue-and-yellow pocket square, an homage to the Ukrainian flag’s colors, receiving attention. His gorgeous hair was pulled back into a french braid that only he could pull off.

  • Serena and Venus Williams

Serena looked stunning in a Gucci custom pink pleated gown, with beautiful lace floral woven gloves and a simple bob hairdo.  Venus wore a sexy white maxi gown with a plunging neckline, accented with a silver trim, and massive silver bracelets that matched the garment’s details.

  • Insecure’s Jay Ellis stepped on the red-carpet looking scrumptious in a black & white Dolce & Gabbana suit with David Yurman jewels.
  • Lupita Nyong’o

Always a class act, she wore a Prada-designed gold sequined gown, adorned with a glitter floral design that glowed in the sunlight. According to hairstylist Vernon François, who worked with the actress and presenter, she chose a locks updo with a gentle, elegant, and glamorous feel, partially inspired by African figures in Greek art.

These are just a few of the celebrities who made a splash on Sunday’s glittering night. Personality, glitz, passion, controversy, and drama ruled the evening. It was truly unforgettable, and nights like this one are what make Hollywood….Hollywood!

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