Oscar Holland, CNN
The ongoing invasion of Ukraine hung over proceedings at the 75th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday, with organizers offering words of support and host Rebel Wilson using the spotlight to aim a middle finger at Russian president Vladimir Putin.
On the red carpet, however, explicit nods to the crisis were few and far between — though many attendees arrived at London’s Royal Albert Hall in dark-colored and somber outfits that seemed to reflect the mood.
Those stars who directly addressed the invasion mostly did so using blue and yellow ribbons, as worn by British actress Jessica Plummer and 13-year-old Woody Norman, who appeared alongside Joaquin Phoenix in “C’mon C’mon.”
Benedict Cumberbatch, whose movie “The Power of the Dog” was named best picture, meanwhile arrived with a Ukraine flag pin on his lapel before telling the UK’s Sky News that he hopes to help house refugees from the conflict.
Elsewhere, “Star Wars” actor Daisy Ridley and best supporting actress nominee Caitriona Balfe — wearing Vivienne Westwood and Armani Privé, respectively — were among several high-profile guests to wear respectful black gowns. They were joined by the likes of Naomi Campbell, who wore a black Burberry dress with a square neckline and long cape sleeves.
Also impressing in subdued hues were British model Adwoa Aboah in a pared-back strapless gown by Saint Laurent and “Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown, who sported a custom lace and velvet Louis Vuitton gown with a dramatic train.
Lady Gaga wowed in dark shades, too, taking to the red carpet in an elegant emerald Ralph Lauren gown that took over 150 hours (and 50 meters of both velvet and silk taffeta) to produce. The singer and “House of Gucci” actress, who was nominated for the best actress award despite being snubbed in the same category for next month’s Oscars, completed the look with Tiffany & Co. jewels that sparkled above a plunging neckline. (Like several other attendees, Lady Gaga was pictured hours later at the Critics’ Choice Awards, which, though held in LA, staged a separate red carpet event at London’s Savoy Hotel.)
Some celebrities were more playful with their choice of outfits, despite the serious tone. Emma Watson’s Oscar de la Renta halter dress featured a layered tulle skirt; Daniel Kaluuya wore a statement Prada coat with exaggerated teal trim and sleeves; and Florence Pugh arrived with a huge pink bow emerging from the back of her long-sleeved Carolina Herrera mini dress.
The ceremony was loosely themed around James Bond (with 2022 marking 60 years of the movie franchise), and many men opted for straight-forward tuxedos befitting of Britain’s best-known spy, including Tom Hiddleston and “Belfast” director Kenneth Branagh.
But it was Sebastian Stan — one of countless actors subjected to speculation about playing Bond, including Hiddleston — whose tuxedo won the most plaudits, with his Givenchy-designed outfit including a white shirt decorated with small metal rings.
Top image: Lady Gaga attends the BAFTAs at Royal Albert Hall on March 13, 2022 in London, England.
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