These Suited-up Grandmothers Are Our Pick for Best Dressed at the 2024 Oscars

At the Oscars, most attendees go for the classics: glamorous gowns for the women, and staid black or navy tuxedos for the men. First-timers tend to be even more cautious on the carpet, wanting to make sure they fall in line with tradition on their maiden voyage into Hollywood’s most-watched event. Which is why it’s so wonderful, so refreshing, to see someone take those rules and throw them right out the window.

For proof, please take a gander at this year’s Academy Awards red carpet where, among a sea crowded with A-list names wearing some of the biggest fashion brands, two unexpected icons showed everyone else how it’s done. Meet Chang Li Hua and Yi Yan Fuei, who looked absolutely impeccable in their printed suits from the Los Angeles-based brand Rodarte, topped off with sunglasses. Legends, truly.

Năi Nai & Wài Pó’s Sean Wang, Chang Li Hua, Sam Davis, and Yi Yan Fuei on the Oscars carpet.

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Chang, 86, and Yi, 96, are the Taiwanese grandmothers slash breakout stars at the center of the Oscar-nominated documentary short film Năi Nai & Wài Pó, which was directed by their grandson Sean Wang. The duo was styled by Shirley Kurata, whom you may remember from another standout punk-inspired suit from last year worn by Daniel Kwan, who won best director for Everything Everywhere All at Once. And sure, this may have been their first-ever Oscars red carpet, but these two newbies weren’t going to be bossed around. No no, they worked with Kurata and Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy on their custom looks, picking out prints, colors, and even their lapel flowers. Năi Nai and Wài Pó x Rodarte? We can only dream.

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As they proved at the Oscars Nominee Luncheon in February, Chang Li Hua and Yi Yan Fuei are red-carpet naturals.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

And did these two decide, for their first ever Oscars red carpet, to go classic and low=key? Perhaps a black tux or a simple ensemble would have sufficed. Hell no, we’re definitely not dealing with shrinking wall flowers. These gals came out swinging with big, bright floral prints: red palm fronds for Chang and marigold flowers on black for Yi, who accessorized with a printed walking cane and a very on-trend ribbon tie. They both sported of-the-moment footwear choices, too: ballet flats. “We’re old now, wearing brighter colors is more flattering,” said Hua in a charming behind-the-scenes video of the fittings.

A friendly reminder that with age comes knowledge, taste, and swagger that just cannot be rushed. And for that, we tip our hats to two women who definitely belong in the best-dressed echelon of the night.

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