The 2020 BAFTA ceremony will go down in history as one of the most sustainable awards season events ever. Even before guests entered Royal Albert Hall, they received instructions on how to minimize their carbon footprint. The guidelines included everything from how to make eco-friendly travel arrangements to notes on the night’s plant-based menu. By far the most exciting recommendations pertained to style. A sustainable fashion overview created by the Center for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion was given to each attendee, complete with a list of preapproved brands, resellers, and rental options. While nothing was mandatory, award showgoers were strongly encouraged to re-wear existing pieces, seek out environmentally friendly brands, and showcase green design on the world stage.
“Sustainability is very important, and we’re doing more than ever before,” the academy stated. “Where sustainable choices are unable to be made, BAFTA is offsetting, as well as giving guests the tools to offset their own travel and make sustainable fashion choices.”
Only that didn’t exactly happen. Despite the recommendations, many celebrities stuck to their regular red carpet routine, pulling fashion from recent couture and the pre-fall collections instead. One has to wonder why so few observed the dress code given the access to fabulous vintage, the wealth of brands who focus on environmentally sound fashion, and the sheer amount of clothing most stars cycle through during a press tour.
Kate Middleton was a rare exception, attending the event in an Alexander McQueen gown she first wore on a visit to Malaysia in 2012. It looked just as stunning the second time around.
A closer look at the night’s best looks, however, reveals some thoughtful interpretations of the sustainability guidelines.
Discarded satin fabric was used to create the classically minded black Gucci gown Saoirse Ronan wore with orange lips and an elegant chignon. Gucci created an extremely simple, yet surprisingly complex black spaghetti strap dress
Daisy Ridley’s fluttering Oscar de la Renta dress was made with sustainability sourced fabric.
Even the smaller details came into focus: Olivia Colman’s embroidered Alexander McQueen was perfectly complemented by Atelier Swarovski’s lab-grown pink diamonds.
These smart choices were as impactful as anything else that graced the carpet and carried the ceremony’s theme into fashionable territory.
It’s unclear how long before the BAFTAs sustainable guidelines were dispensed. There were a LOT of custom looks and variations of 2020 runway clothes, and it’s hard to know how many balls were already rolling too fast downhill by the time the guidelines were sent — or, how many of these specially made outfits WERE following the guidelines, and they just haven’t talked about it (unlikely), or how many people just weren’t too fussed in the first place. People were quite excited to do the all-black dress code (for the most part) in support of Time’s Up and #MeToo; it’s a shame the sustainability initiative didn’t get a little more heat behind it.
However, here are some nice looks to highlight:
Source: Vogue, GettyImages, Shutterstock, GoFugYourself