Political Fashion Statements: The 2019 Grammys and Oscars

Political Fashion Statements: The 2019 Grammys and Oscars

Alexis Waiss, Staff Writer

People across the country have watched this year’s Grammy and Oscars Awards Ceremonies, where accomplished musicians, actors, and actresses are honored for their hard work.  Other than to getting awards and supporting those who won them, celebrities also use these events to make a political statement, especially through their fashion.

On this year’s Oscars red carpet, Crazy Rich Asians lead actress, Constance Wu, put an blue American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ribbon on her gold clutch.  This clutch accompanied her yellow, custom-made Versace gown.

First time oscar winner and director BlackKklansman, Spike Lee, wore knuckle rings in each hand that read “Hate” in red letters and “Love” in gold letters.  He also wore a necklace, wore a purple suit, and was covered in purple apparel to pay tribute to the musician, Prince.

Spike Lee on the Oscars red carpet.

In addition, actor, Billy Porter wore a velvet tuxedo gown made by Christian Siriano to challenge gender norms and embrace his queer identity.

“My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean? Women show up every day in pants, but the minute a man wears a dress, the seas part,” said Billy Porter to Times Magazine.

Political fashion statements at this year’s Grammy Awards took a slight turn right, as some outfits were pro-Trump.

American musician and songwriter, Joy Villa wore a silver, reversible gown by Desi Designs inscripted with the message, “Build the Wall.”  For the sake of looking like a wall, Villa’s dress had barbed wire and she wore a metal crown resembling the one worn by the Statue of Liberty.  She also carried a red purse labeled with his slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Villa wore the gown to make a political statement.

“I’m here to support the wall, not the president. I love what the president is doing. Higher economy, lowered unemployment for black Americans, Latino Americans. I am both,” said Joy Villa to the Hollywood Reporter.

Somewhere else on the Grammys red carpet, Ricky Rebel showed off his political views with a bedazzled red, white, and blue jacket.  It was inscripted with the words, “Keep America Great” in large white letters studded with jewels. The back of his jacket read “Trump” in large letters.  When worn in reverse, The jacket looked white and flashy on the outside while the inside was covered in words commemorating Trump.

To make even more of a statement with his outfit, Rebel also wore a bedazzled, white high-collar dress shirt, pants, and heeled boots along with silver-jeweled glasses.

Grammy watchers, including students at Amador, had a variety of reactions.  Many viewers were appalled about the Trump apparel, while others respected the celebrities’ choice to show their political views.

“I admire their bravery and willingness to showcase their own opinions, even though I fully disagree with them,” said Isla Griston (‘20).

Both stars flaunted their outfits and responded to backlash on posts from their Instagram accounts.  

“‘Shut up!’ They said. ‘Stop talking politics!’ They yelled. ‘Sit down you don’t matter!’ They insisted. I don’t listen to haters. I listen to truth. Building the wall will cut down crime, protect children from being trafficked and stop the 1 in 3 women from being sexually assaulted tying to get through illegally. It’s a humanitarian crisis. I support life. I support protection. I SUPPORT THE WALL!” said Joy Villa on Instagram.

Instead of directly sending message to ‘the haters”, Ricky Rebel fought backlash by embracing his look with confidence.