Natalie Portman and Waad al-Kataeb both used embroidery to make a statement on the Oscars red carpet. Al-Kateab, is the narrator and director of For Sama. The film essays her life during the war in Syria. She got the skirt of her dress embroidered with an Arabic poem. It translates into English as: “we dared to dream and we will not regret dignity”.
This year marked another year for the Academy in which no women got nominated for the best director. This is despite promising examples of female talent. Portman had a list of overlooked names embroidered along with the trim of her black Dior cape. In a red carpet interview, Natalie said. “I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way.” Two years ago, when Portman presented the award for best director at the Oscars, her direct reference to “the all-male nominees” went viral.
The female directors named on her cape included Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria, Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell). Wang won for best picture at the Spirit Awards on Saturday.
Costume designer Sandy Powell wore a calico suit covered with Hollywood stars’ signatures, which she will auction off after awards season, to help preserve the cottage owned by her late friend Derek Jarman.