The Oscars present a special challenge for someone like Lupita Nyong'o. From wearing literally every color of the rainbow to her penchant for rocking glasses with ball gowns (the better to read that Teleprompter, yo), Nyong'o established herself as a red-carpet risk-taker early on. As the thus-far staid dresses we've seen prove, the Oscars are the most risk-averse red carpet in the game. So, what's a fashion-loving lass to do? Lupita's answer? Pearls, darling. A floor-length gown that's literally dripping with them.
Nyong'o's Calvin Klein gown, which she paired with Chopard jewelry and Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, featured a tasteful, understated silhouette (no Rihanna loofah dress here), but still made a statement through a truly extreme level of embellishment.
Pearls are actually emerging as a mini-trend on tonight's red carpet; see: Chrissy Teigen and Felicity Jones' gowns featuring pearl bodices. But only Lupita took the full-length pearl plunge. If the other starlets' dresses evoke a very pretty, classic kind of glamour, only Lupita's dress throws down the fancy gauntlet. Khloe Kardashian may not have loved it (she was, of course, vocal about not digging the cut-out), but we sure did. She may not be up for any awards tonight, but Nyong'o wins a million points for her subversive statement on the most conservative red carpet of all.