The Independent Spirit Awards started out as a casual beachside gathering to honor creativity in indie films, but it’s since evolved into quite the high-fashion affair. Ahead of the 36th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on April 22, 2021, Wonderwall.com rounded up the show’s best ever star style, starting with this actress… At the 2020 Indie Spirits, Renee Zellweger — who took home the honor for best female lead for her portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy” that afternoon — sported an ultra-sophisticated all-black getup by Christian Dior. From her casually cool ponytail and shades to her black heels by Jimmy Choo and jewels by David Webb, she definitely had fun with the playful look.
Keep reading for more of the best fashion moments from past Independent Spirit Awards…
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Kate Beckinsale made femme fierce wearing a one-shoulder Diane Von Furstenberg wrap jumpsuit at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards. She paired her draped berry number with bold Lorraine Schwartz cuff bracelets, a coordinating gold Gucci clutch and platform peep-toe heels.
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Kerry Washington’s garden-party chic ensemble was perfectly suited for an afternoon at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards. The “Scandal” star wore a two-tone Giambattista Valli midi-length dress featuring two different floral prints. A subtle teal belt separated the darker flowers on top from a lighter pattern on the bottom. She finished off her girly look with floral Louboutin pumps and a rose gold Bottega Veneta clutch.
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Cate Blanchett put her whole heart into picking an outfit for the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards! The “Blue Jasmine” actress wore a whimsical sky blue Schiaparelli dress with structured shoulders and a ruffled asymmetric hemline. An array of multi-colored hearts — shot with Cupid’s arrow — were dimensionally embroidered throughout to give the illusion of butterflies flapping their delicate wings.
Though the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards were held just steps away from the beach in Santa Monica, California, “12 Years a Slave” star Lupita Nyong’o, who won the best supporting actress prize that year, took a more desert-inspired route with her attire in a collared Stella McCartney romper featuring a glamorous metallic reptile print. She continued to play off snakeskin-like tones and textures with her accessories — a boxy brown-and-gold Devi Kroell clutch and gray suede Casadei pumps.
At the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards, Hunter Schafer looked like an absolute dream! The “Euphoria” star hit the red carpet in a dreamy white pleated confection by Loewe, which she paired with Malone Souliers boots. She enhanced the all-white look with a bold dark lip that added the perfect punch of color (and drama).
Michelle Williams was a total girl boss in Louis Vuitton at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards! She strutted her stuff on the red carpet wearing a navy blue short suit with a classic white blouse underneath. The “My Week with Marilyn” star’s four-button blazer featured a subtly offset black lapel while her bottoms were equally as well-tailored with a cuffed hem. For a bit of flair, the best actress winner added a red embroidered Olympia Le-Tan box clutch.
We’d never seen so many different design elements come together this seamlessly until Reese Witherspoon put Giambattista Valli’s multipatterned number on display at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards. It was impossible not to stare at the “Mud” actress, who along with her cast took home the Robert Altman Award at that year’s show, in the bold minidress featuring a mesmerizing mix of black, blue and white embellishments. Three-dimensional metallic flowers adorned her overhanging square bodice while sheer lace dominated the wrap-tied bottom portion separated by thick stripes.
Rachel McAdams’ colorblocked number at the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards was a major fashion win. The “Spotlight” actress, who along with her cast took home the Robert Altman Award that year, wore a vibrant Solace London dress combining three appropriately beachy tones with a bright coral bodice, a chunky blush belt and an asymmetric handkerchief-hemmed crème skirt.
Leave it to Jennifer Lopez to make an extremely glam sartorial statement at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards, where the “Hustlers” actress — who earned a nod for best supporting female that year — opted for a bold two-toned gown by Valentino that featured a sparkly silver turtleneck and magenta skirt. As for finishing touches? Jenny from the Block went with an equally glistening magenta clutch by Judith Leiber, a diamond ring by Djula and floral-inspired diamond earrings by Anabela Chan.
Elizabeth Olsen’s sexy red lace number at the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards took us from the beach straight to the bedroom. The “Ingrid Goes West” star wore a romantic Zuhair Murad mididress made from sheer polka-dotted lace with ruched shoulders, a lingerie-inspired corset bodice and floral embroidery throughout. Don’t worry, she had on a pair of red briefs underneath for extra coverage!
There’s no better way to steal the fashion spotlight than with an adorable puppy! Glenn Close did just that at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards when she brought her beloved Havanese, Pip, along to the red carpet. Though all eyes were on the “The Wife” star’s pooch, Glenn’s Sies Marjan pantsuit was just as worthy of attention. Her crinkled pink ensemble was custom made from laminated jacquard fabric (though we definitely thought she was wearing tin foil).
It’s hard to go wrong with anything Chanel! Brie Larson, who won the best actress prize for her work in “Room” that year, wore an embellished plaid ensemble by the design house at the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards. Her high-fashion look included a triangular-cut crop top and matching flared midi-length skirt that were both intricately embroidered with silver beading and ruffled strips of fabric in red, white and blue. To avoid detracting from the design, she accessorized with a simple pair of strappy silver Casadei sandals.
Sometimes all a girl needs to turn heads is a classic little black — or midnight blue, in Emma Stone’s case — dress. The “Birdman” best supporting actress nominee commanded the red carpet at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards in an elegant and unique Monique Lhuillier number. Her timeless look featured a cap-sleeved lace bodice with flirty side cut-outs and a pleated flared midi-skirt.
Olivia Wilde looked ethereal in Ralph Lauren at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards. The actress and, years later, “Booksmart” director’s flowy strapless gown featured a subtle paisley print on champagne-colored fabric. Paired with a layered gold Tiffany & Co. pendant necklace, her look was brilliantly formal and relaxed at the same time.
“Booksmart” star Beanie Feldstein arrived at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards in a pastel blue confection by Markarian that featured puffed sleeves, an eye-catching black belt and a voluminous midi-length skirt. From her sleek updo and Christian Louboutin sandals to her matching blue earrings by Irene Neuwirth, Beanie looked fresh out of a fairytale.
You’d think all of the differing bold patterns in Janelle Monae’s look at the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards would majorly clash. But the singer-actress, who took home the Robert Altman Award with her “Moonlight” castmates that year, created a hypnotizing geometric look by mixing and matching black-and-white pieces by Salvatore Ferragamo. She started with a checkered blouse tucked into a pleated and flared midi-skirt and added a vertically striped high-neck coat. For good measure, she accessorized with an Emm Kuo clutch in a similar print and a bold red lip for a pop of color.
Finding maternity-friendly awards show frocks can be quite the challenge, unless you’re Natalie Portman! She commissioned Givenchy Couture to custom make the yellow lace minidress she wore to the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards. The “Black Swan” star, who took home the best actress prize that year, put her bump (she was pregnant with son Aleph at the time) on display in the fit-and-flare number featuring a lace bodice, a bright yellow empire waistband and a beige pleated silk chiffon skirt. For the final touch, she added a bright coordinating clutch by the same designer.
Jennifer Lawrence looked like a gift at the top of our wish list in this wrapped and bow-tied Lanvin ensemble at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards. The “Silver Linings Playbook” best actress winner donned a skin-tight halter bodysuit with triangular side cut-outs along with a coordinating black asymmetric wrap skirt. But the most show-stopping element of all was her crystal-link choker, also by Lanvin.
Naomie Harris’s outfit choice at the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards was definitely well-suited for a Bond movie star. Naomi, who took home the Robert Altman Award along with her “Moonlight” castmates that year, chose a Chanel minidress that was classic yet striking with its blue-and-purple tweed design accented by a sheer black lace hemline. But most electrifying were the bright pink Velcro strips made to look like they were holding the entire dress together.
Amanda Seyfried showed up to the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards ready to get down to business in a sparkling Givenchy menswear ensemble. The actress wore a white button-up — jazzed up with a shimmering jewel-encrusted collar and bib — tucked into a pair of gray wide-leg trousers. She accessorized her already fierce look with a metallic belt and matching pointed-toe pumps.
We love this color on her! At the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards, director Lulu Wang — who won for best feature for “The Farewell” that evening — stunned in a bright green gown by Prabal Gurung. The dress was both sustainable and chic — it was exquisitely hand-draped from recycled taffeta.
The all-white Honor ensemble that Sarah Paulson wore to the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards was the perfect blend of feminine and fancy. The “Mud” actress, who that year took home the Robert Altman Award along with her castmates, donned a sheer blouse tucked into a flare midi-length skirt — all made more interesting by a cropped overlay top embroidered with three-dimensional blue flowers. She accessorized with a basket-weave Bottega Veneta clutch in the same pastel hue as the petals and silver pointed-toe Rupert Sanderson pumps.
Whether or not Julianne Moore won at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards, she still looked like a shining trophy of her own. The “Still Alice” star, who took home the best actress prize that year, dazzled in a metallic Christian Dior shift dress drenched in glimmering gold and silver sequin flowers. She opted for black platform peep-toes to complement the black sparkling detail around her neckline.
KiKi Layne brought her fashion A-game to the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards! The “Native Son” star looked all sorts of fierce and fabulous in a draped white Chloe gown featuring a powerful high neckline, a flowy pseudo-cape and an armor-inspired smock encrusted with large colorful stones. If KiKi was actually a warrior, we’d have to think she slayed the red carpet — especially with the addition of those dramatic drop earrings, gold bangles and her bold wrap-around snake arm cuff.
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