Meryl Streep’s Elie Saab at the Oscars Was Worth That Chanel Controversy

Meryl Streep in Elie Saab at the Oscars. (Photo: Getty Images)
Meryl Streep in Elie Saab at the Oscars. (Photo: Getty Images)

After days of back-and-forth sniping between Meryl Streep and Karl Lagerfeld over her Oscars gown, all eyes were on the actress tonight. What dress caused her to allegedly ditch Chanel at the last minute? And was it worth the kerfuffle?

The answers: a deep-blue, sequined custom Elie Saab look … and yes.

This isn’t just a gown — it’s a kind of jumpsuit with a skirt over pants. That makes us wonder if it was the unique look itself that caused Streep to reportedly pull the plug on alterations for a Chanel gown.

We would have been talking about this dress anyway, but it became a headline-grabber two days ago, when Lagerfeld told Women’s Wear Daily that Streep’s reps canceled their request for a gown because they had found a designer who would pay Streep to wear the house’s design on the red carpet. He decried her “cheapness” for the move. Streep strongly denied this allegation, and both Lagerfeld and Chanel recanted.

That wasn’t enough for Streep, who felt the controversy was detracting from a focus on more important matters, such as her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, which earned her a 20th Oscar nod. On Saturday, she issued a statement, saying, “I do not take this lightly, and Mr. Lagerfeld’s generic ‘statement’ of regret for this ‘controversy’ was not an apology. He lied, they printed the lie, and I am still waiting.”

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

This prompted the designer to give yet another statement of regret to The Cut. “After an informal conversation, I misunderstood that Ms. Streep may have chosen another designer due to remuneration, which Ms. Streep’s team has confirmed is not the case. I regret this controversy and wish Ms. Streep well with her 20th Academy Award nomination.”

Now that we’ve seen the winning outfit, perhaps we can pay more attention to Streep’s words and achievements tonight. Or to the way Jimmy Kimmel totally roasted her in his opening monologue, which he concluded with an allusion to another controversial designer.

“Nice dress, by the way,” Kimmel said. “Is that an Ivanka?”

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