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A peep into the 10 best looks of the 2023 awards season

Zikode rocked a custom gown at the Grammys

Tems attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
Tems attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
Image: Emma McIntyre

That’s a wrap! As we step out of the tulle skirts and confetti haze, SMag looks back at the 10 best looks of the 2023 awards season. From the Golden Globes to the Grammys and Oscars (and anything in-between) these were the fashion moments that found their way into the style history books... see you at the Met Gala in May, Hollywood!

 1. Tems (Oscars)

Blocking the view of anyone who sat behind her at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles, Nigerian mega-star Tems made her debut at the Oscars felt with her now-viral and meme-worthy ensemble. Nominated for her writing credit on Rihanna's Lift Me Up, her architectural masterpiece was a mountainous headache during the live televised show.

But when given the leg room on the champagne carpet,  the Lever Couture one-shouldered white tulle dress with wrap-around detail and thigh-high slit served, honey! The unforgettable and wacky moment has now become synonymous with the 95th annual Academy Awards, much like the Will Smith slap did last year. Guess who I'm dressing up as for Halloween? 

 2. Zendaya (SAG awards) 

Zendaya attends the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Zendaya attends the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Image: Frazer Harrison

Renowned for her breathtaking red carpet looks, Hollywood’s favourite IT girl was missing at many awards shows this season. But the one time she showed up, styled by now-retired Law Roach, the trendsetter knocked it out of the ballpark.

She was pretty in pink, opting for a Valentino gown that was adorned with dozens of rosettes at the SAG Awards. Finishing off the look with tossed bob updo, Zendaya reminded Hollywood why they were all players in her game.

3.  Sheila Atim (Baftas)

Sheila Atim attends the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023 at The Royal Festival Hall.
Sheila Atim attends the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023 at The Royal Festival Hall.
Image: Mike Marsland

Perhaps not the most celebrated was Atim looking dreamy at the Bafta Awards. Atim looked part-human-part-android in a stunning ensemble that looked as though she was dipped into her dress. The Woman King actor glimmered and sparkled in a crushed metallic floral embellished Prada gown. She completed it with matching gloves and a pearl chocker neckpiece.  

4. Harry Styles (Brits)

Harry Styles attends The BRIT Awards 2023
Harry Styles attends The BRIT Awards 2023
Image: Getty Images

Staying in high spirits after his Album of the Year victory at the Grammys a few weeks earlier, the As It Was musician arrived at 43rd The BRIT Awards looking like a winner. Styles wiped the board clean in all four of his categories wearing an all-black Nina Ricci peplum blazer and oversized flower choker necklace; styled with flared trouser plus exaggerated lapels and shoulders.  

 5. Lady Gaga (Oscars)

Lady Gaga attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards.
Lady Gaga attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards.
Image: Mike Coppola

There was big hoopla leading to the big night, on whether Gaga would show up, since she had a scheduling clash with filming Joker: Folie à Deux.  Not only did she show up, but she slayed the sartorial Olympics and performed her Oscar-nominated smash Hold My Hand.

On arrival, she donned a  fresh-off-the-runway black Versace gown with a sheer corseted bodice and drop-waist silhouette that revealed her beautiful back tattoos. The gown had made a debut at the Versace runway just three days before. Only Gaga could have secured it.

6. Rihanna (Golden Globes) 

The yummy mummy’s been booked and busy this season. Ahead of her Super Bowl half-time show, Rihanna made an appearance at the Golden Globes in a custom all-black haute couture Schiaparelli ruched gown. Her look was polished off with a matching velvet bustier, opera gloves and cape with puff sleeves.  

7. Lizzo (Grammys)

Lizzo attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Lizzo attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Image: Matt Winkelmeyer

Exuding “Big Boss Energy”, the About Damn Time singer was a tangerine surprise at the Grammy Awards in a head-turning bright orange Dolce & Gabbana hooded floor-length theatrical cape. With floral appliqué, underneath the artist wore a matching orange corseted floor-length gown.  

8. Cardi B (Grammys)

Cardi B attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Cardi B attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Image: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Never one to shy away from any opportunity to dress-up, the WAP rapper parted the sea at the Grammys in an electric blue sculptural custom gown by Indian designer Gaurav Gupta.  

9. MJ Rodriquez (Golden Globes) 

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez attends the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez attends the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Image: Jon Kopaloff

The Pose alumni came wrapped as a wish-list item come true at the Golden Globes. She opted for a jewelled tone ruffled Balmain gown.  

10. Nomcebo Zikode (Grammys) 

Zakes Bantwini, Nomcebo Zikode, and Wouter Kellerman at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Zakes Bantwini, Nomcebo Zikode, and Wouter Kellerman at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez

The one-third of Bayethe trio accepted the Grammy for Best Global Music Performance in a custom Gert-Johan Coetzee gown. The dramatic look was complete with glass beadings, which cascaded into a glorious ostrich and peacock feathered train.  

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