The Small Detail You Might Have Missed at This Year’s Oscars

Updated: Mar. 25, 2023

For the first time in 62 years, the prestigious event showcased a new color scheme.

On Sunday night, all around the world, over 16.62 million people tuned into this year’s Oscars ceremony. Also known as the Academy Awards, the dazzling annual event honors the accomplishments of Hollywood actors, producers, directors and crew, some of whom will walk away with a coveted gold statuette. Since the event’s inception in 1929, film fanatics and pop trivia obsessives have tuned in religiously to watch celebrities swoon, banter and strut their way into the prestigious auditorium. And since the 33rd Academy Awards in 1961, all of those historic moments have happened on the now-iconic red carpet.

But this year, eagle-eyed viewers noticed a change in the atmosphere, thanks to the newly revamped carpet choice. In the words of three-time host Jimmy Kimmel, “I’m thrilled, I’m honored, I’m excited, mostly about the carpet. I mean, this carpet is so beautiful. It’s a remnant, we got it for a very good price downtown.” So, what is the deal with the new Oscars carpet? Here’s everything to know, from why designers opted for the refresh to how many samples they tried before picking the perfect shade.

Why was the Oscars carpet not red this year?

This year, the Academy recruited creative consultants Raúl Àvila and Lisa Love to reimagine the “red carpet aesthetic and guest experience.” According to Love in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the decision to change the carpet color was an intentional move to help guests transition from daytime interviews to nighttime festivities. She explains: “That’s always been something that the Oscars has had a problem with ever since it’s started because it begins so early in the day with the sunshine and the heat, but everybody’s dressed up for a night event and they are there at 4 o’clock.” To further support the stars’ comfort, Love and Àvila also darkened the color of the tent to better “block the light.”

What color was the Oscars carpet?

Media photograph the champagne-colored carpet for the 95th Oscars red carpet arrivals area as it is rolled out along Hollywood BoulevardPATRICK T. FALLON/Getty Images

The Oscars’ carpet this year was warm, luxurious champagne. The tent was a “sienna or saffron-colored sienna, which connotes the color of sunset,” Love explains.

In order to get the golden hour atmosphere just right, Love and Àvila tested five different shades of champagne. Indeed, they liked all the varieties so much that at the beginning of the 900-foot carpet, they included a gradient of darker champagne shades to lighter ones, in order to best complement each celebrity’s outfit in photos.

How did people feel about the new Oscars carpet?

The loudest voices on Twitter were understandably critical. Some compared it to a “cement parking lot,” while others were reminded of “an airport Hilton.”

Celebrity reactions were more balanced. Scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis joked about her gown’s perfect color match, while Wakandan royalty Angela Bassett appreciated how it let her amethyst gown shine.

But whether you loved it or hated it, I think we’re all grateful that the biggest scandal this year was a carpet change. And that our latest viral moment is the extraordinarily touching acceptance speech of wholesome comeback kid and brilliant history-maker Ke Huy Quan. If you haven’t yet, be sure to see all the masterful nominees at work in their astonishing films.