The midriff was the unexpected star of the 2021 Oscars red carpet

Amy de Klerk
·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

This year's Academy Awards took place after a very unusual award season, one which saw ceremonies pushed back and many events forced to embrace a virtual approach. The Oscars was therefore the first major award show of the year to take place with a full traditional in-person red carpet – and, as always, actresses, designers and stylists tend to save the best looks for the last (and most prestigious) award show of the season. All of this meant that we got some of the most glamorous red-carpet moments we've seen in a long time. And, while metallics (and specifically gold) were definitely a standout red-carpet trend, there was one even more prominent and unexpected star of the 2021 Academy Awards red carpet: the midriff.

Zendaya, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Andra Day (four of the best-dressed stars of the night) all chose gowns which featured cut-out panels and showed off their abs.

Mulligan and Zendaya both chose Valentino for the big night. While the silhouettes differed dramatically, both gowns featured a cut-out panel at the midriff, a key feature in the Italian label's most recent collections.

Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images
Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

They were joined in embracing the trend by Kirby, who wore a pale pink Gucci gown, which featured a slither of skin below the bustier, while Day wore a slightly more revealing look in the form of a gold chainmail Vera Wang gown, which displayed her toned midriff.

Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Myriam Santos - Getty Images
Photo credit: Myriam Santos - Getty Images

The cut-out has been trending on the catwalk for a few seasons now with designers embracing that subtle slither of skin either with slits in dresses or with luxe bralettes and bustiers that are paired with high-waisted skirts or trousers. That unexpected cut-out creates impact and drama with any ensemble, so there is little surprise that so many stars turned to it for the biggest red-carpet night of the year.

Head here for more from the 2021 Academy Awards red carpet.

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