Best Oscars Moments 2023: Ke Huy Quan's Win, Slap Jokes, “The Little Mermaid"

Lady Gaga took the stage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night (March 12) to perform her hit best song nominee “Hold My Hand,” from the blockbuster sequel Top Gun: Maverick.

“I wrote this song with my friend BloodPop for the film Top Gun: Maverick in my studio basement,” she began her performance. “It’s deeply personal for me, and I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life, and we all need a hero sometimes. There are heroes all around us, in unassuming places, but you might find that you can be your own hero even if you feel broken inside.”

Gaga then delivered a stripped-down version of the Maverick power ballad, with just a piano for accompaniment for the first verse and chorus, before being joined by drums and bass for the remainder of the performance. It was an appropriate raw and intimate-feeling version of the song, given its emotional introduction.

“Hold My Hand” hit No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2022 — one of two Hot 100 hits from Maverick, along with OneRepublic’s “I Ain’t Worried.” Lady Gaga previously won the Oscar for best original song at the 2019 Academy Awards, for her Hot 100-topping Bradley Cooper duet “Shallow” from A Star Is Born.

Top Gun: Maverick is nominated for six total categories at this year’s Academy Awards, also including best editing, best-adapted screenplay, and best picture. It is one of two box office-besting sequels to be nominated for best picture this year, along with Avatar: The Way of Water.

It’s the 95th annual Academy Awards! A history-making night where the iconic red carpet turned beige and an unprecedented number of nominees and presenters served up jaw-dropping looks. People went hard this year, which means we got treated to some of fashion’s highest highs as well as some of its more…questionable impulses. Here are the 20 ensembles that stood out to us the most—for good or bad reasons.


Rihanna in Alaïa

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Nominated for Best Original song for “Lift Me Up” from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack, the singer, designer, entrepreneur and soon-to-be mom for the second time hit the red carpet in a darkly sexy look that combined soft and hard, reinforcing her own brand aesthetic while proudly celebrating the miraculous work her body is doing.

malala yousafzai
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Malala Yousafzai in Ralph Lauren

The activist, author, and Nobel Laureate opted for total glam this night and Ralph Lauren delivered for her, offering her a gown that fulfills her own preferences and personal style while stepping up on the sparkle to it can stand side by side with the biggest movie stars of the world. We love that it feels rich but doesn’t feel ostentatious, which wouldn’t have felt right for her.


Fan Bingbing in Tony Ward Couture

fan bingbing
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Now that’s how you make a triumphant return to the red carpet! Having interrupted her career for a few years due to some tax issues, the star of The 355 came back in the biggest, boldest, most glamorous look possible. While we think the design could be seen as a little too much—she won’t be going through any narrow doors in those sleeves—we also think she’s the kind of wearer who can make it come off like the height of restrained elegance. The styling is flawless, and she looks impeccable.

hong chau in prada
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Hong Chau in Prada

The star of The Whale and Best Supporting Actress nominee worked directly with Prada on the design of her gown, suggesting the Mandarin collar as a nod to her heritage. It was a great call, because it gives this sleek, elegantly retro gown a touch that’s both personal and distinct. It’s a shame, then, that the whole thing is nearly ruined by that totally unnecessary paillette train.


Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli

allison williams in giambattista valli
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The M3GAN star has established a reputation as a horror movie sure bet, but she got as far away from anything scary or gothic with this highly precious, almost too sweet look. The dress is pretty, but we think the massive opera coat and the feather-cut hem are both a little too much for her to handle.

sandra oh in giambattista valli
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Sandra Oh in Giambattista Valli

Sometimes one of the best looks of the night can come from an unexpected corner. This gorgeous Giambattista Valli gown looks stunning on the star of Turning Red, in a color that absolutely sings on her and a style that feels elegant, easy, and boldly chic. That pendant is a showstopper that makes the look.

mindy kaling in vera wang
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Mindy Kaling in Vera Wang

This felt like a surprising turn, if not something of a statement from the actress and writer. She’s always been a fashion girl, but for this night, she opted to go for hot. The white looks amazing on her and the detached sleeves are an interesting element, but we aren’t wild about the bodice design or those flaps at the waist.

ariana debose in atelier versace
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Ariana DeBose in Atelier Versace

After becoming a meme and shutting down her social media accounts briefly when her BAFTAs rap number went viral, the West Side Story star hit the Oscars red carpet as a winner and a champ, armored, broad-shouldered, sexy, and ready to take on anything. We admit that the design is just a little bit tacky to our eyes, but we also think a little flash and confidence was exactly what she needed at this moment.


Halle Bailey in Dolce & Gabbana

halle bailey in d and g
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The star of the upcoming The Little Mermaid showed up looking way more like another iconic Disney princess, serving up pure Cinderella realness in this lovely, old-fashioned gown that practically screams “ingenue.” It’s a classic look, and we think it’s probably the opening salvo in a whole year of them to come as she promotes her history-making role.


Florence Pugh in Valentino Couture

florence pugh in valentino couture
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Miss Flo was here to present, which means all the pressure was off her for the night. Your girl came to have a good time and she dressed the part, showing up in this wildly exuberant 19th-century-style gown, slit to the bust, over a pair of hot pants. It’s elegant, it’s youthful, it’s a little punk. We don’t love the color and we’re not sure about those platforms, but we can’t deny the whole look is perfect for her.

danai gurira
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Danai Gurira in Jason Wu

The star of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is absolutely stunned in this quietly elegant Jason Wu gown with an elevated, raw-edged bust line. The design is nearly totally minimalist, but that one detail, plus that amazing hairstyle, turned this into one of the more memorable looks of the night; part Audrey Hepburn, part tribute to her heritage.

ana de armas in louis vuitton
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Ana de Armas in Louis Vuitton

We tend to think the Blonde star and Best Actress nominee was hurt by her contractual obligations to Louis Vuitton as a brand ambassador during the promotion of this film. The brand’s aesthetic wasn’t a good match for promoting a Marilyn biopic, and we think this gown is a perfect illustration of that. While the pressed petals at the hem are pretty, the color is dingy and the design is uninteresting aside from that one detail.

angela bassett in moschino
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Angela Bassett in Moschino

Bow down to the queen! The Best Supporting Actress nominee for her already iconic turn in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever indulged in her preferences for exuberant shapes and bold fun colors with this Moschino confection that conveyed strength and charisma but also softness and elegance. The necklace is stunning and the styling is giving old-Hollywood glamour.

austin butler in saint laurent
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Austin Butler in Saint Laurent

The Elvis star famously has trouble giving up his carefully curated Elvis voice, and the Best Actor nominee may have similar problems giving up on the Elvis-inspired styles that have served him so well all year. We love the elegance and the swagger of this double-breasted tuxedo, from the accentuated shoulders all the way down to the pointy-toed, high-heeled, patent leather boots.


Stephanie Hsu in Valentino

stephanie hsu in valentino
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The Everything Everywhere All at Once star and Best Supporting Actress nominee went the sweetly romantic route in this simple but boldly proportioned strapless gown in brilliant pink. The styling is relatively low-key, but it gives that classic ingenue feel. It’s just a very pretty look with every detail right.

dwayne johnson in dolce and gabbana
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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Dolce & Gabbana

We have to give the star of Black Adam a lot of credit for flipping the script on his own image a little. Pink tuxedos and suits have been somewhat popular on celebrity red carpets in the last few years, but this satin dinner jacket in what he called “ballet pink” brings a softness and flamboyance to the action star’s style that has us seeing him in a whole new light.

michelle yeoh in dior couture
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Michelle Yeoh in Dior Couture

The Everything Everywhere All at Once star and Best Actress nominee looked like the very picture of serene confidence in this floaty, cloudlike couture gown with a white sheer yoke. There’s something appealing about taking such a soft, relatively low-key (even her jewelry is somewhat restrained compared to her usual) approach to her style after such an intense campaigning season. It speaks beautifully of her own confidence and sense of self.

paul mescal in gucci
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Paul Mescal in Gucci

Nominated for Best Actor for his role in Aftersun, Paul Mescal has been enjoying the kind of career liftoff in the last few years that most actors can only dream of. In response to his meteoric rise, he seems to have deliberately taken the most laid-back approach to his public style possible. While we don’t entirely love the semi-sheer shirt, don’t understand why his hair is such a mess, and think the flare on those pants is a little too wide, there’s a sort of sleazy swankiness here that really suits him.

cate blanchett in lv
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Cate Blanchett in Louis Vuitton

The Best Actress nominee for her role in Tár went for this restrained, stately Louis Vuitton gown and we’re just going to have to rip off the Band-Aid here: We’re disappointed. It’s elegant, sure. It’s appropriate. It practically reeks of prestige and self-confidence. We think she opted to go for such a toned-down look deliberately to show that she’s not trying too hard. We get it. But we’re still disappointed.

lady gaga in versace
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Lady Gaga in Versace

Always willing and able to deliver a little drama, the “Hold My Hand” singer announced that she was performing the Oscar-nominated song (from the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack) mere hours before the ceremony started. Gaga followed up the announcement with this gorgeously severe Versace gown, that delivers the kind of glamour she wants for the Oscars but gives her the slightly dark edge that makes her forever Mother Monster.

 The best moments from Oscars 2023 took us on a wild ride through celebrity red-carpet interactions and historic Academy firsts.

At Los Angeles's Dolby Theatre on March 12, actors, directors, and creatives gathered to honor the best in cinema at the 2023 Oscars. Among the most-nominated projects? Everything Everywhere All At OnceTár, The Banshees of Inisherin, and more. One of the biggest questions of the night: how big will Everything Everywhere All At Once's Oscars sweep be?

But the fun began hours before the ceremony, as A-listers gathered by the dozens to walk the carpet and celebrate each other's successes. The great moments started early — Halle Bailey in beautiful blue ahead of The Little Mermaid trailer! FloPugh and Stephanie Hsu catching up on the red carpet! It's a night to remember already.

Below, discover all the best moments of Oscars 2023 you may have missed, from the carpet to the ceremony to the after-parties galore.

Florence Pugh & Stephanie Hsu Clutching Each Other on the Red Carpet

The best part of the Oscars might just be the celeb-on-celeb interactions, and this sweet FloPugh x Stephanie Hsu moment was particularly iconic. The pair held hands and complimented each other on the red carpet, and we want a buddy comedy ASAP.

Halle Bailey's Thriving Before The Little Mermaid Trailer Comes Out

Tonight's the night of the Oscars, but it's also the night The Little Mermaid full trailer drops — it's airing during the ceremony. Star Halle Bailey is presenting this evening, and arrived on the champagne carpet in blue, looking like a full Disney princess. She told Variety the fan reaction to the movie, and surely to the new trailer, is something special: “It makes me so happy to see people's response to the movie," she said. "It makes me feel such gratitude and I'm so happy for the movie to be finally coming out because we've been talking about it for so long."

The Mandatory References to the Slap

Listen, we all knew it was coming. No host could dream of a world where they didn't address Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year's Oscars, and certainly not Jimmy Kimmel. “If anyone in this auditorium commits an act of will be given the Best Actor Oscar and allowed to make a 19-minute speech,” Kimmel quipped. He then added that to get to him you'd have to battle Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), Michelle Yeoh, The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield), and more celebs who sat in the audience. Suffice it to say he's safe.

Rihanna Talking About Her Voice

Before she performed her Oscar-nominated song “Lift Me Up,” Rihanna was asked about how her voice is doing — and she had the best, most succinct answer: “Beautiful. God-given.” No lies detected.

Ke Huy Quan's Iconic Win for Best Supporting Actor

Ariana DeBose delivered the news tearfully: Ke Huy Quan won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the first Vietnam-born actor to do so.

In his speech, he first addressed his 84-year-old mom watching at home, thanking her for her sacrifices. “My journey started on a boat,” he said with emotion. “I spent a year in a refugee camp, and somehow I ended up here on Hollywood's biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies, I can't believe it's happening to me. This is the American dream.” He also shouted to his wife Echo, who told him for years that “one day, my time will come.” 

“To all of you out there,” he concluded, “please keep your dreams alive.”

USVietnamese actor Ke Huy Quan accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Everything Everywhere All at...

Michael B. Jordan Making the Best Black Panther Reference

This year's award for Best Supporting Actress went to Jamie Lee Curtis for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Academy’s decision polarized viewers on social media, with many claiming Curtis’s co-star Stephanie Hsu and icon Angela Bassett (who was nominated for her work in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) were snubbed. A few categories after Curtis’s win, Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors presented the award for Best Cinematography. Before delivering their presentation, Michael B. Jordan gave a subtle shout-out to Angela Bassett. “Hey, Auntie,” he said, looking directly at Angela in the crowd. The significance? That’s one of the most famous lines from Black Panther, said by Michael’s character Killmonger to Bassett’s Queen Ramonda. “We love you,” Jonathan Majors added, also looking directly at Angela. While this may not be the year Angela Bassett gets her Oscar, it’s heartwarming to see her still receive love and support on the 2023 Oscars stage.\

Lady Gaga Coming to the Rescue

Before she performed “Hold My Hand” at the Oscars, she came to the aid of a fallen comrade on the champagne carpet. People captured Gaga's instinctual reaction to the fall, and her subsequent rush to help the man to his feet. And that's on reflexes.

Jimmy Kimmel, Please Leave Malala Alone

Like…? Kimmel visited activist Malala Yousafzai at her Oscars 2023 seat and immediately began to antagonize her with questions about Chris Pine/Harry Styles split gate. “I only talk about peace,” she responded, deadpan.

Michelle Yeoh's Big Win for Best Actress

Nerves were high, but the Academy came through: Michelle Yeoh has her first Oscar win for Best Actress for her work in Everything Everywhere All At Once. “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” she said in her speech. “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re past your prime.” She's the first Asian woman to win the award in the show's 95-year history.

HOLLYWOOD CALIFORNIA  MARCH 12 Michelle Yeoh accepts the Best Actress award for Everything Everywhere All at Once...

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