THIS YEAR’S OSCARS told a glitzier story than Best Pictures, winners and outfits. Forget the designers who scheme, plot and try their darndest to cop a place in the best dressed lists. Glamour in 2018 was not on the red carpet but up on stage.
More than 20 million viewers tuned in to watch Hollywood validate its biggest night. Thanks to Austrian brand Swarovski, one of the world’s leading producers crystal jewelry, the Dolby Theatre dazzled with such brilliance it outshone even Meryl Streep.
Dressing the 3,400 seater Dolby Theatre for the night was an advertising coup since the stage’s stunning design set social media on fire. The design had singer Katy Perry tweeting “Can the Oscars get a nomination for best set design or is that like sending a thank you card for a thank you card? #Oscars“.
Who needs million dollar advertising campaigns when they can say they framed the scene that saw Gary Oldman claim his long-awaited Best Actor Oscar?
Swarovski is no stranger to dressing the most under-rated star of the award ceremony. For the last 11 years, Swarovski has been the supplier used to decorate the stages, but this was the year people took notice of the fine crystals.
It is refreshing to see acclaimed set designer Derek Mclane eschew minimalist and monochromatic trends for the elaborate halo-like crown. The Emmy nominated creative has led the team for six years, collaborating with Swarovski.
The challenge for the 90th Anniversary of the Oscars was accepted. Opting for a futuristic set that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of the new Avengers movie, he crafted a set with 45 million Swarovski crystals, and it was monumentally brilliant under the stage lights.
Before he began the design process, Lane visited Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria to gain some inspiration. Armed with a wealth of information from Swarovski’s place of origin, Lane returned to Los Angeles where he set about designing a new proscenium.
The final product, unveiled to the world on March 4th, was composed of octagonal tiles that had metal and other materials join the crystals. Making a return after its debut in 2017, were the floating Oscars that featured over 14,000 crystals.
Over 3 hours, the impressive stage was transformed into four different yet equally magical worlds, all framed by the crystal crown that had social media abuzz. From Elsa’s castle to Beauty and the Beast, the jokes rolled in yet few could deny just how stunning each iteration was.
After nine decades of glitz and glamour, it is a shame that the viewership of the prestigious ceremony has been on the decline. One certainty though, while the Oscars committee is playing catch up with the audience, Swarovski will have little to fear in capturing our attention.