Though the casual looks of 2021’s awards show season were a fun and welcome change to the usual over-the-top glamour, there’s still nothing like a red carpet full of elaborate gowns and bold makeup looks. Thankfully, as this year’s event circuit is coming to an end, the world is getting to see stars dress up once again — and most of them didn’t hold back. Gracing the red carpet was a bevy of trends, including minimal white dresses and glittering gold fabrics. But perhaps the biggest sign of the return of statement-making looks were the cutouts at the 2021 Oscars, a repeat detail that took many already-gorgeous ‘fits up yet another notch.
The trend harkens back to the aughts, a time when it experienced a heyday in many forms. It’s obvious from the red carpet of the 93rd Annual Academy Awards, however, that it’s received a major update (or many) from its earlier days. Because while there’s little from the early 2000s that’s not at least slightly cringe-worthy, this look and all its variations at the Oscars was downright sophisticated.
From Vanessa Kirby’s elegant column gown to Zendaya’s bright citrus ensemble, the red carpet saw plenty of proof that this trend is back and worth adopting on any occasion. Here, the best Oscars cutout dresses in all their glory.
Oscars 2021 Cutout Trend: Vanessa Kirby
Kirby, nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Pieces of a Woman, wears a light pink satin Gucci gown on the red carpet featuring a subtle cutout at the base of the bodice.
Oscars 2021 Cutout Trend: Andra Day
Day took a more daring route with her dress, opting for a gold gown that featured an asymmetric neckline and a large cutout at the waist. The singer and actor, nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The United States vs. Billie Holiday, chose a piece designed by Vera Wang for the evening and opted for an entirely gold color scheme.
Oscars 2021 Cutout Trend: Jena Friedman
Friedman, a writer for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, donned two trends for the night: a sleek cutout dress in a stark white shade.
Oscars 2021 Cutout Trend: Zendaya
The Euphoria actor’s cutout yellow Valentino gown, chosen with the help of stylist Law Roach, stood out on the red carpet.
Oscars 2021 Cutout Trend: Ariana DeBose
DeBose, one of the hosts for a red carpet pre-show for the Oscars, wore an orange Atelier Versace Haute Couture dress complete with a high leg slit and triangle-shaped cutouts at the side.
Oscars 2021 Cutout Trend: Viola Davis
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom actor, Davis, went with a faux version of this trend in a white Alexander McQueen cutout corset and chiffon skirt. Her Forevermark jewelry finished the icy look.