All the Details Behind Zooey Deschanel's Glam Oscars Looks


We love an Oscars red carpet—all the glitz, glamour, and drama—but everyone knows the real noteworthy fashion moments take place at the viewing and after-parties. Case in point: Zooey Deschanel stepped out in not one but two showstopping looks for Hollywood’s biggest night. First, the actress and musician opted for a royal-blue Vivienne Westwood gown paired with Mikimoto pearls and a vintage Schiaparelli clutch for the 31st annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party. Equal parts chic and playful, the look served as an homage to the late designer. For the Vanity Fair party later that evening, Deschanel did a quick change, stepping out in an architectural haute couture design by Iris van Herpen paired with Jimmy Choo pumps and jewelry by Ruchi New York, Luisa Alexander, and Nickho Rey. 

Each ensemble was thoughtfully curated by Deschanel’s longtime stylist, Ib Abdel Nasser, and no detail was spared. To complement the London punk vibe of Deschanel’s Vivienne Westwood gown, makeup artist Jo Baker applied a greased-up three-tone eye and finished with a lip stain for drama, and hairstylist Evanie Frausto embraced her natural texture with soft waves. "For Vanity Fair, we went completely opposite with a scarlet lip and teardrop gems around the lower lash line for a play on ’60s lash fun,” Baker told us. "These gems are the new unseen gems from my new Bakeup gem kit that will be out soon.”

Deschanel gave Who What Wear exclusive behind-the-scenes access as she got ready for each event. Don’t miss all the stunning details below.


(Image credit: Jenna Marsh; Styling: Vivienne Westwood dress; Mikimoto pearls; Vera Belleza ring; vintage Schiaparelli clutch; Roger Vivier shoes)

First, tell us about the look you selected for the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.

Zooey Deschanel: My stylist, Ib Abdel Nasser, and I felt it would be nice to pay respects to the great Vivienne Westwood for the Elton John party. I loved this beautiful royal-blue gown, and we felt it was only right to style it with inspiration from how the Westwood shows have been styled—playful, chic, and a bit messy. The dress is so pretty, so we wanted the hair and makeup to look a little more lived-in and stack all of these lovely pearl necklaces from Mikimoto to make it feel cool and modern.

Ib Abdel Nasser: Composing the looks were no-brainers for Zooey and I. For EJAF, we wanted to find a way to pay tribute to the late and great Vivienne Westwood, as it was Zooey’s first major red carpet since her passing. We love the classic cocotte silhouette, and when we saw it in this beautiful jewel-tone blue, the rest was history. We accessorized the gown with many strands of pearls draped in a messy fashion, which spoke to the Vivienne Westwood brand DNA and added an element of punk to the look. 

What about this look made you say, "This is the one!”?

ZD: I absolutely love the tailoring and the color.


(Image credit: Jenna Marsh)

What was the inspiration behind your glam for this look?

ZD: My makeup artist Jo Baker wanted me to look a little grungy to contrast the classic gown, and my hairstylist Evanie used a lot of my natural hair texture to create a super-cool-girl wave. We loved playing with the hair and makeup to go with this gown! It was very important to the overall look.

Who and/or what film are you rooting for this year?

ZD: Well, I can’t help but root for Jamie Lee Curtis because she played my mom on New Girl. I’m so happy for her!


(Image credit: Jenna Marsh; Styling: Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture dress; Ruchi New York earrings and ring; Luisa Alexander ring; Nickho Rey cuff; Jimmy Choo shoes)

You did an outfit swap for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. What was the fashion story you wanted to tell with this look?

ZD: We are huge fans of Iris van Herpen. She makes visionary architectural fashion that is incredibly unique. Ib managed to get my favorite look from her show, this iridescent work of art. It reminded me of a sea creature. I have never seen a dress like it. We leaned into the ethereal magic of the dress with Jimmy Choo sparkly pumps and silver-toned jewelry.

IAN: We were lucky enough to have so many beautiful options from amazing designers for the Vanity Fair party, but when we tried on the Qualia dress from Iris van Herpen, there was no denying it—the dress sang! All the moving parts—textures, construction, iridescence—all akin to a beautifully composed symphony. Iris van Herpen is prolific, and we were so honored for the opportunity to work with them! It was almost too perfect, as we acquired a beautiful Iris van Herpen F/W 15 jumpsuit not too long ago from my friends at Farmer Jawns (an Indigenous-owned designer vintage store here in L.A.), which lended itself as the perfect opportunity to tease what was yet to come at the night-before party on Saturday.

This is your 13th VF Oscar Party. What do you love about attending this event each year? Is there a past VF party look that stands out to you?

ZD: I love going to the Vanity Fair party! It is very special and an honor to be included for so many years. Two of my favorite past looks are the pink Christopher John Rodgers archive dress I wore last year, which had this epic train (it was such an iconic dress with a ton of drama), and the floral-and-polka-dot Oscar de la Renta I wore a few years back. It was so pretty and feminine. I felt amazing wearing it.

What are some self-care rituals you do on the day of a big red carpet to keep yourself calm and feel your best?

ZD: I did a seven-minute sheet mask from Evidens de Beauté, which is wonderful. It really hydrates your skin and makes you glow.


(Image credit: Jenna Marsh)

Do you have any personal rules when it comes to accessorizing on the red carpet?

ZD: The only rule is there are no rules—and have fun! I find so much joy in fashion. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to wear some spectacular works of fashion art for Oscars week each year.

What was your favorite memory from the night as a whole?

ZD: My favorite memory is all of the wonderful and talented people I get to see and meet and talk to. I love finding out who is down-to-earth, kind, and inclusive. To me, that is what makes a person truly cool.

Photographer: Jenna Marsh with Studio Navona

Stylist: Ib Abdel Nasser

Hairstylist: Evanie Frausto

Makeup Artist: Jo Baker

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Executive Director, Entertainment

Jessica Baker is Who What Wear’s Executive Director, Entertainment, where she ideates, books, writes, and edits celebrity and entertainment features.