Free Spirits: What Stars Wore to the Other Awards Show on Oscar Weekend

Tessa Thompson poses in the press room during the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 23, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo: Phillip Faraone (Getty Images)

Ahead of the intense glam of the Academy Awards, there’s a smaller, more spirited annual recognition of Hollywood’s shining lights, known as the Independent Spirit Awards. But this isn’t a warm-up to the big event; as the name suggests, this ceremony doesn’t celebrate the year’s biggest blockbusters. Instead, in an awards season that at times fell flat in awarding incredible black talent onscreen and off, many of our cinematic faves were honored with an Independent Spirit statuette, which were handed out on Saturday.

Equally gratifying to watch were the fun and funky takes on awards show dressing for this afternoon ceremony, which has more of an upscale brunch vibe than red carpet affair. Just check out Best Supporting Actress winner Regina King, who donned a breezy sundress in sharp contrast to the clinging couture she’d wear to the Oscars. Or Tessa Thompson (above), who countered the chic black strapless Chanel she wore to the Academy Awards with a drapey, almost angelic white day dress from Vaquera NYC. Likewise, Kiki Layne prefaced the form-fitting Versace gowns she donned on Oscar night with a flowy white Chloe gown adorned with semiprecious stones and accessorized with Bantu knots.

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In short, it was an afternoon for free spirits, and a celebration of the specialness of independent films like If Beale Street Could Talk and Sorry to Bother You...and unlike Oscar night, something tells us no one’s feet were aching at the end.

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.