Zimbabwe: Of Chino’s, Formal Trousers Red Light At the Oscars


It has been a very exciting week full of drama with a lot happening in the showbizz sector, from Mambo Dhuterere’s new song with Mbeu, to denim day celebrations.

Well, the denim day was celebrated on April 28 and it falls under the Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

So, this day of action and awareness is an event in which people are encouraged to wear denim to combat victim blaming and educate others about sexual violence.

Unfortunately, this year it fell during a working day and somehow it was difficult to wear formal denim unless your employer allowed you too wear one.

For some of us, we are celebrating it this weekend.

It would also be a misnomer not to talk about the fashion statement at the Oscars.

A review by the CNN Style proved that it was a 50/50 rate and kudos to celebrities for their efforts, especially during this tough times of Covid-19.

It was never easy on the red carpet and organisers of the event said that they tried their best to recapture the glamour that the showpiece event is known for, with the limited number.

Usually held in February, the Oscars were pushed back by over two months in the hopes that loosening Covid-19 restrictions would allow for a more lavish affair.

Indeed, with attendees not required to wear masks for the cameras, and evening wear from some of fashion’s biggest names on display, there were glimpses of normalcy on the red carpet at the end of a largely virtual awards season.

The 93rd annual Academy Awards took place across two LA venues: the Dolby Theatre and Union Station, where up to 170 guests, nominees and presenters were permitted to gather.

Organisers eschewed a Zoom-centered event, meaning attendees have dispensed with the “waist up” fashion statements we’ve grown accustomed to in recent months.

Instead, stars walked a socially distanced red carpet – albeit one that is far shorter than in previous years – where a small group of photographers awaited.

While some kept things casual, like best director winner Chloé Zhao, who paired her high-collared dress with a pair of crisp white sneakers, most attendees relished the rare chance to dress up for the cameras by sporting bold colours and sparkling gowns.

Gold has always been a recurring theme on the Oscars red carpet, and the colour was out in force at the show.

Among the most eye-catching was Andra Day in a Vera Wang dress and matching gold clutch, and Carey Mulligan, whose sequined Valentino two-piece exposed her midriff between a bandeau and ballgown skirt.

Leslie Odom Jr. wore an all-gold Brioni suit and Questlove kept things fun in a pair of golden crocs.

Zendaya veered away from gold and towards bright yellow, turning up in one of the night’s most talked-about looks.

Custom-designed by Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, the dress (which was named “Force de beaute” by the Italian label) took 300 hours to make and was paired with a reported $6 million’s worth of Bulgari diamonds.

The evening’s trends did not all revolve around colour, with cut-out dresses also making frequent appearances on the red carpet.

In addition to Zendaya and Andra Day’s aforementioned midriff-baring outfits, Best Actress nominees Vanessa Kirby and Carey Mulligan also opted for similar styles.

And Viola Davis went for a variation on the theme with her striking white Alexander McQueen gown – although her stylist revealed to British Vogue that the effect of cutouts had been produced by dying the corset underneath to match the actor’s exact skin tone.

When it came to menswear, there were a number of twists on traditional black-tie dressing amid the usual abundance of tuxedos.

Nine-year-old “Minari” star Alan S.

Kim stole hearts pairing his mini Thom Browne blazer with dress shorts and mismatched high socks, and Jon Batiste, whose soundtrack for Disney-Pixar’s “Soul” won the Oscar for Best Original Score, accessorized a classic Dior tuxedo with an outsized red flower on his lapel.

It is true that our local fashionistas look forward to events like these not necessarily to see who wins which award per se, but to see who was what.

I am guilty as charged.

The fashion industry is very complex, especially with trousers (length, fit, material, brands).

The most pertinent question most people ask is how they can style their outfit, but also be in-between formal and casual.

Most fashion language gets lost in translation for example with chinos and suit trousers so its very important to clear the air on that one.

Chinos basically refer to trousers that are, in most cases, 100 percent cotton with a twill pattern.

Due to its durability and silhouette, chinos were mainly used in the uniformed forces particularly in the military before they got into the public market.

Back to the topic of the day – chinos are the lower version of denim jeans in terms of durability.

Chino trousers are what I always refer to as, “whenever in doubt, wear chinos” because they are the epitome of smart casual which can pass with any shoe or top, especially for the older guys.

Suit trousers on the other hand are more distinguishable, most of us can spot them form a distance mainly due to its fine material in most cases, apart from tweeds and flannels, but even in those thicker materials most can still tell if it’s a suit trousers or not without a doubt.