Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP
Zendaya stuns Oscars red carpet in Cher-inspired Valentino gown
Zendaya reaffirmed her status as red carpet royalty at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday evening, wearing a vibrant lemon yellow Valentino Haute Couture gown that set social media alight.
The actor, who presented the Oscar for Best Original Score, stunned in an outfit inspired by Cher that she paired with a huge collection of Bulgari diamonds.
Valentino said on Instagram that the chiffon dress was custom designed by its creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, and took artisans 300 hours to produce. The Italian label also revealed that the gown has its own name: Force de beauté.
Zendaya arrived at the in-person event wearing a yellow mask that matched the hue of her dress. But with attendees not required to wear masks on camera, the "Malcolm & Marie" star removed it for the red carpet and televised ceremony, which was held at Union Station in Los Angeles.
The strapless gown featured a cutout detail that revealed the actor's midriff -- a recurring trend on this year's red carpet, with Best Actress nominees Andra Day, Vanessa Kirby and Carey Mulligan all opting for variations on the style.
In a series of behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram, Zendaya's stylist Law Roach said the look was an homage to singer and actress Cher, who wore a similar gown on her eponymous TV show in the mid-1970s. Roach called Cher a "constant inspiration," before revealing that the Valentino dress also glows in the dark.
Zendaya accessorized with a gold vintage Balmain clutch, towering Jimmy Choo heels, two stacked diamond collars, matching earrings and a pair of rings.
"The inspiration was all about this jewelry," Roach told Harper's Bazaar, which reported that Zendaya's jewels comprised $6 million worth of diamonds, including a six-carat yellow stone at the center of a pendant. "We have a beautiful gown, but in the fitting, we had a whole gamut of these incredible, incredible pieces from Bulgari, and the jewelry just literally became the star of the show."
The outfit was roundly praised on social media, with comments describing her as a "stunning ray of sunshine" and "consistently the best dressed person on Earth."
"How's it possible that Zendaya ALWAYS looks THIS good?" tweeted film reporter Beatrice Verhoeven. "Every single look is a look."
With a perfectly timed breeze helping Zendaya's dress flutter as she posed for photographers, another social media user joked that the wind deserved its own Best Supporting Actor award.
Zendaya has worked with Roach since her days as a Disney Channel star. The stylist masterminded many of her most notable looks, from her 2018 Versace Joan of Arc-inspired gown to the emerald dress she wore to the Elle Awards in 2019.
At the Met Gala earlier that year, Zendaya arrived in a Tommy Hilfiger Cinderella gown that lit up as Roach -- who was dressed as the Fairy Godmother -- waved a wand.