How Daniel Kaluuya slayed (and saved) Hollywood's red carpet season

We're used to seeing celebrities glammed all the way up on red carpets. Hair done. Outfit impeccable. Face glowing.

But when awards season came back around, revamped by a global pandemic and looking very 2021-esque, hardly anyone could blame Jodie Foster for accepting a Golden Globe in pajamas or Jason Sudeikis for wearing a hoodie at every awards show. On the contrary, it was probably the one time we could relate to Hollywood's upper echelon and genuinely nod, "same."

But in February, Daniel Kaluuya appeared virtually wearing a Dior suit to accept his best supporting actor Golden Globe for playing Fred Hampton in "Judas and the Black Messiah" and shut everything down.

Well, actually, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Globes and has no Black members in its 87-person voting body, literally almost shut him down by moving past his acceptance speech after his Zoom audio failed. But maybe they were just jealous of his fashion sense?

Kaluuya looked like a star in his Dior Winter 2020 suiting with a navy wool and silk twill peak lapel jacket and black wool pants designed by Kim Jones, the artistic director for Dior Men, which he paired with a fly pair of high-top Jordan 1 x Dior sneakers.

In short: A whole look.

The Golden Globes was the first big awards show of the pandemic season, but could the "Get Out" actor continue to wow us?

Yes. Yes he could, and yes he would.

Styled by Shiona Turini, who has also served as the costume designer for "Insecure" and "Queen & Slim," Kaluuya was a consistent showstopper at every awards show he attended virtually. The Critics Choice Movie Awards in March? Nailed it in a beige suit by Fear of God. The Screen Actors Guild Awards in April? Killed it in Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh. The British Academy Film Awards a week later? Absolutely slayed in all-white Alexander McQueen.

Daniel Kaluuya sports a Dior suit for the 2021 Golden Globes.
Daniel Kaluuya sports a Dior suit for the 2021 Golden Globes.

"His vibe is classic with a twist, and we leaned into the idea of having a little fun with getting dressed up to stay at home, without looking overly formal," Turini says. "He and I have a common understanding when it comes to dressing — the clothes should never be too loud or too overpowering because the most important part is the person who is wearing them."

The "Black Panther" actor, who prognosticators favor to win his first Oscar, took home another award for "Judas and the Black Messiah" at the SAG Awards. It marked his third honor in less than two months.

And he did all of that while donning an outfit that embodies quarantine-chic fashion: Pajamas. But make them fancy.

Kaluuya wore a flowy, purple-striped silk Louis Vuitton pajama set, complete with pants, a buttoned-down shirt and robe.

"I said to Daniel, 'Would you wear pajamas?' And he said, 'We can do whatever we want.' And we just leaned into the idea. I live in robes and fancy pajamas so it felt weirdly natural to both of us," Turini says. "The purple was so regal, the fabric was incredible and most importantly we were supporting Virgil Abloh — the first Black designer at Louis Vuitton — by doing so."

Aside from Leslie Odom Jr., who has been making us rethink our entire wardrobes with his fresh, colorful looks (only he could pull off a rainbow-colored suit), other stars have given us basics.

Most celebs opted for what they would normally wear on a red carpet, donning their gowns and suits in front of a computer screen, or they went for a look indicative of pandemic life: something comfortable like a hoodie or sweats.

But Kaluuya has stood out because he has dressed for the times. In a moment when some were trying to go back to what's normal and others were giving up, the "Queen & Slim" actor showed us what dressing for the occasion really means. He gave us a certain je ne sais quoi.

"I tried to stay away from prints and patterns that would not translate well over a computer screen," Turini says. "Each major award show has been a somewhat different formal (look). But again, the goal was to not be overly formal while sitting in the living room."

And then came the British Academy Film Awards April 10. After stepping on necks all season long, Kaluuya showed no signs of slowing down for his hometown London's version of the Academy Awards.

Kaluuya and Alexander McQueen. That's all we have to say.

Daniel Kaluuya looks angelic at the 2021 British Academy Film Awards where he won an award for his role in "Judas and the Black Messiah."
Daniel Kaluuya looks angelic at the 2021 British Academy Film Awards where he won an award for his role in "Judas and the Black Messiah."

The actor, who picked up a BAFTA for "Judas and the Black Messiah," stole the show in a McQueen "trompe l'oeil" (what does that even mean?!) double layer evening jacket in ivory wool twill, a classic crew neck T-shirt and coordinating evening trousers with a contrasting black side strip.

"For BAFTAs it was important to Daniel to support a British house. Collaborating with the Alexander McQueen team was a dream," Turini said. "I went into it knowing that I wanted him to wear white because it is so beautiful on his skin."

Iconic. Fierce. A moment.

Us waiting to see what fire fit Kaluuya will wear to the Academy Awards Sunday:


More: Daniel Kaluuya makes 'SNL' debut as game show host convincing family to take the COVID-19 vaccine

'It felt heavy': Daniel Kaluuya on portraying Fred Hampton in 'Judas and the Black Messiah'

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Daniel Kaluuya's red carpet fashion saved pandemic awards shows