As the global A-list stepped off the red carpet into Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on March 2, they entered a spectacular celebration of movie-making artistry. Setting the stage for the 86th Academy Awards, Tony Award-winning production designer Derek McLane once again collaborated with Swarovski to ramp up the glamour at the world’s favorite star-studded event.
In an atmosphere of spine-tingling excitement, and anticipation, Hollywood’s finest took their seats among the 164,000 shimmering crystals. Inspired by the Oscar-winning Animated Feature Frozen, McLane created unique decorative set pieces including an 80ft wide by 40ft high main crystal curtain backdrop with six magnificent crystal swag drapes. Together the enchanting stage décor weighed more than 3,000 pounds.
McLane outlined his vision: “I saw the Ice Palace in the film, and immediately knew the effect I wanted to achieve. The crystals refract light in such a way that they add an extra level of magic to the performance."
The finishing flourish to this brilliant feat of creative thinking and technical precision came as Broadway veteran Idina Menzel gave a stellar performance of Frozen’s Oscar-winning Original Song, Let it Go, surrounded by a magical crystal wonderland.
Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett was a red-carpet winner, too. Leading the best-dressed set in a spectacularly romantic Armani Privé gown inspired by Old Hollywood and dripping with Swarovski crystals, she set the standard for glamour.
Kate Hudson also wowed with classic style in custom-made Atelier Versace—an exquisitely elegant, pale silver creation featuring a plunging décolletage with matching mantelet, and shimmering crystal beading. Now, if only there was a category for Best Supporting Dress…
Photo of Idina Menzel by courtesy of A.M.P.A.S.