The Critics Have Spoken—Who Were the Best-Dressed Celebs at the 2019 Critics Choice Awards?

Laura Harrier in Louis Vuitton at the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

With the second major awards show in as many weeks, it’s safe to say awards season is officially in full swing. And while the winners of Sunday night’s Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., add even more fuel to the Oscar-buzz fire, as usual, our eyes were turned to the red—well, blue—carpet to see how awards season fashion was ramping up.

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So who’s winning awards season glamour so far? We continue to be impressed by newcomer Kiki Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), who, with only one film under her very stylish belt (and two more on the way), is proving herself more than ready for the spotlight. Last night, Layne continued the blush theme she began at this year’s Golden Globes, this time in a beaded chiffon gown by Atelier Versace.

Kiki Layne in Atelier Versace.
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

Of course it takes a village to serve a stunning look like this. Layne has ample help from stylists Wayman & Micah, who also styled regular client (and Supporting Actress winner) Regina King for the Critics’ Choice Awards, as well as actress Kirby Howell Baptiste (The Good Place). And proving that she’s got winning style on lock, Layne also put her tresses in accomplished hands, once again trusting celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway (Tessa Thompson, Amandla Stenberg, Laura Harrier) to give her a show-stopping style. Graciously, Redway broke down the look on social media:

I wanted to give a modern spin to a classic half-up, half-down hairstyle. Not only did I use these starred Jennifer Behr hair pins, which I layer vertically in her hair instead of horizontally on her scalp. This gave the stars the illusion they were floating above the ponytail.

Then for the texture of her hair, I wanted to keep it authentic to Kiki’s natural 4c hair texture when blown-out, pre flat-ironing.

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Ingenue Layne was absolutely radiant, but another winner on the carpet last night keeps elevating her game, decades into her stardom. Angela Bassett proved to not only be the queen of Wakanda, but our hearts, pairing a dazzling Jenny Packham gown with a finger-waved and naturally-textured mane styled by Randy Stodghill. We’d quip that Bassett got her groove back, but we all know she’s never lost it.

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Angela Bassett in Jenny Packham.
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

But every awards show look can’t be a winner. After wowing us with his out-of-the-box embroidered suit and cape combo at the Globes, for this critic, nominee Billy Porter (Pose) fell short at the Critics’ Choice Awards, opting for a brown satin tuxedo jumpsuit (yes, jumpsuit) with an satin bow by Rinat Brodach.

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Where do we even begin with all the problems with this ‘fit? Well, first of all, the fit itself, which did Porter no favors by looking rumpled all over. Of course, that’s also the risk you run when wearing head-to-toe satin. Also, the decidedly autumnal color scheme and oversized bow, while unexpected, were giving us “prize turkey” vibes, while his black boots looked incongruous. On the whole, it was disappointing, since Porter’s fuchsia-lined cape was one of our favorites on the Globes’ carpet.

Billy Porter in Rinat Brodach
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)
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Other winners on the Critics’ Choice carpet? Laura Harrier, continuing her ambassadorship for Louis Vuitton in a plunging white gown (new Vuitton campaign star Indya Moore also wore white); Regina King, looking regal in violet Michael Kors Collection; and Janet Mock wearing a custom gunmetal gown by Roland Mouret all brought it home. But we’ll let you be the critics this time; just check out our slideshow below.

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Besides, we’re just here for the afterparty. Right, Laura?

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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.