Kristen Stewart’s tiny Chanel shorts broke every rule of Oscar fashion

In an era of cropped tops and rampant microlights, showing skin isn’t necessarily that shocking anymore. Zendaya has made gorgeous red carpet looks a signature in recent years, so when she wore a Valentino outfit with a cropped blouse and long skirt at tonight’s Oscars she looked almost underrated.

But when Best Actress nominee Kristen Stewart appeared at the event in a Chanel dress with shorts, she raised the Dolby Theater’s thermometer several degrees. In fact, this appeared to be the first pair of hot pants in Oscar red carpet history.

The custom look, a black satin jacket and shorts worn with an unbuttoned white chiffon blouse and a million dollar Chanel Fine Jewelry lariat necklace, was a collaboration between Ms. Stewart, her 17-year-old stylist Tara Swennen and Chanel creative director Virginie Viard. Ms. Stewart, Chanel’s ambassador, faithfully donned the brand’s looks, many of them couture, as she promoted her role as Princess Diana in “Spencer”. In September 2021, she wore another minishort look, in real black tweed, at the Venice Film Festival. But with the endless events, the options were running out, so creating something custom made sense. Ms. Swennen explained: “We knew she would wear Chanel, we just thought we’d get creative this time.”

Kristen Stewart at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.


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So she, Ms Stewart, and Ms Viard started creating the look this January. It took a cue from the spirit of Claudia Schiffer in the St. Tropez spirit of the spring 2022 fashion show, in which Ms. Stewart slipped instead of her trendy halfway. That collection, which is now in stores, featured several pairs of shorts, including 90s-style bike shorts and sequined hot pants. Ms. Swennen was also inspired by the irreverent tuxedo dresses Princess Diana wore in the 1980s. And the chiffon blouse was a reinvention of the one she had seen in the Chanel archives.

The outfit just arrived in Los Angeles from Paris this Wednesday. “They kept me on tiptoe until the last minute,” admitted Ms. Swennen, saying that she normally planned a red carpet look for her clients three to four weeks in advance. But when she arrived, she said, “in true shape Chanel was perfect. We haven’t changed a point about it. “

They were aware of the novelty of the look.

“We liked that it was something innovative,” Ms. Swennen said. “Obviously Kristen is someone who loves to push boundaries and try new things.”

They investigated who had worn shorts to the Oscars in the past, finding only Pharrell Williams in Bermuda in 2019 and Demi Moore in a ballet skirt suit in 1989. Shorts are the final frontier for the red carpet.

Demi Moore modeled her bike shorts / prom dress hybrid look for the 1989 Oscars.


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Although Chanel is often associated with her lady’s quilted bags, tweed suits and pumps, she has a history of decency. In 1995, his former creative director, the late Karl Lagerfeld, sent a thong bikini so tiny it made headlines well outside of fashion. The vintage piece has become a fashion legend, with Kim Kardashian flaunting her on Instagram.

Ms. Stewart’s appearance proved divisive. Some of her praised her individualistic and rule-breaking sentiment. “That’s all I wanted from her, someone who remakes high fashion in her own image,” said Esther Zuckerman, author of this year’s book “Beyond the Best Dressed: A Cultural History of the Most Glamorous, Radical and Scandalous. Fashion Oscar “. But on social media many have denounced the brevity of the short films. Mrs. Swennen was prepared for dissent.

A runway look from Chanel’s spring 2022 incorporated sequined hot pants.



“We knew it was going to be risky, that’s how it’s always her fashion,” she said. “But … she has this inherent security and that’s what makes it look like her.”

Ms. Swennen sees this look as the pinnacle of the bolder spirit she has seen on the red carpet following Covid’s disruption of awards shows, which she calls “a change of course … where everyone is without apology” . She continued: “Before the pandemic everyone was so worried about what the media would say and what people would think, and after the last two years of trials and turmoil, everyone just wants to live in their happiness.”

Which explains a red carpet full of exuberance, including a pair of ultra-short shorts destined to have an oversized impact in the fashion world.

Write to Rory Satran and

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