Carey Mulligan Wore A Recreated Balenciaga Gown From 1951 To The Oscars

It deserved its own award.

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Carey Mulligan Balenciaga custom trumpet gown oscars

While the 96th Annual Academy Awards technically kicked off at 7 p.m. ET last night, for hardcore fashion enthusiasts, the glitz and glamour began a few hours before, when Hollywood’s biggest celebs walked the red carpet into the iconic Dolby Theater in LA. Whether you tuned into a pre-Oscars livestream or constantly refreshed your Instagram timeline this year, you know there wasn’t a dull moment on the red carpet, so you might’ve missed a stellar look or two while refilling your snack bowl. For example, make sure you give Carey Mulligan’s custom Balenciaga trumpet gown a proper moment of appreciation because, along with giving a subtle nod to her Maestro role, the look was also a top-notch recreation of a 72-year-old design. Talk about award-worthy.

Since the Oscars are considered the pièce de résistance of a jam-packed award season, it comes as no surprise that Mulligan, along with her stylist Andrew Mukamal, pulled out all the sartorial stops to curate her final red carpet outfit of the season. The actor, who was nominated for Best Actress in Maestro, made her grand entrance in the aforementioned strapless mermaid number, which cinched at the waist and flared into an eye-catching white tulle train toward the hem. Upping the Old Hollywood glamour ante of the full ensemble, Mulligan opted for sleek opera-length black gloves and striking diamond stud earrings from Fred Leighton instead of lots of bling.

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While the gown seemed like it was crafted with Mulligan’s signature luxe aesthetic in mind, it was actually a recreation of an archival Balenciaga gown from 1951. Mulligan shared with Vogue ahead of the Oscars that she and Mukamal were drawn to the design because it was created in the same year that her Maestro character, Felicia, and Leonard Bernstein (played by Bradley Cooper) got married. “Mukamal, my stylist, found this reference and showed it to [Balenciaga],” Mulligan told Vogue. “We were just so thrilled they wanted to do it.”

“I think it’s my favorite dress I’ve ever worn,” Mulligan revealed about the Balenciaga beauty in her Vogue interview. However, there are a few more archival recreations from her recent award show rotation that deserve a round of applause. First, there was the custom Schiaparelli gown that Mulligan chose for the 2024 Golden Globe Awards, which drew inspiration from an original Elsa Schiaparelli design in the Fall 1949/1950 collection. Similar to her Balenciaga number, the Schiaparelli dress highlighted a mermaid silhouette, however, this time the bodice was adorned with asymmetrical drop jewels. A month later at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), Mulligan looked timeless in a velvet and silk Dior Haute Couture gown, an adaptation of the ‘Autriche’ gown originally seen in the Fall 1951 couture line. Breaking up her no-necklace streak, the fashion muse styled an eye-catching Bvlgari collar necklace and her go-to diamond stud earrings.