Baftas 2018: Best Actress winner Frances McDormand explains why she chose not to wear black

'I have a little trouble with compliance'

Sarah Young
Monday 19 February 2018 11:01 GMT
BAFTAs 2018: Frances McDormand wins Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Following in the footsteps of the Golden Globes, which saw almost every attendee wear black in honour of the #TimesUp movement, Sunday's Bafta looks made more of an impact than ever before.

But, while the majority of Hollywood A-listers and British stars joined in on the sartorial statement, one of the night's biggest winners chose to shun the all-black dress code.

Frances McDormand, who scooped the Best Actress award for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, defied the black-out by instead wearing a graphic floor-length gown decorated with pink and red lipstick print.

Addressing her choice, the American actress admitted that she had a “little trouble with compliance” during her acceptance speech but that she stood “in full solidarity” with her sisters against the myriad of sexual harassment allegations overshadowing the film and TV industry.

“Thank you British film people,” she said.

Giving a nod to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri's director Martin McDonagh and gesturing to her outfit, she added, “As Martin said, I have a little trouble with compliance.

“But I want you to know that I stand in full solidarity with my sisters tonight in black.

Frances McDormand and co-star Sam Rockwell both picked up awards for their roles in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

”I also want to stay that I appreciate a well organised act of civil disobedience.

“And I'm thrilled that activists all over the world have been inspired by the set decoration of the three billboards in Martin's film and have taken to the streets and let it be a part of the positive public discourse that is happening.”

However, McDormand wasn’t the only guest of the night to not wear black.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who attended alongside Prince William, also shunned the dress code by choosing to wear a dark green Jenny Packham gown and carrying a Mascaro clutch. But, did she miss the memo?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the 71st British Academy Film Awards (Chris Jackson - WPA-Pool/Getty Images)

While Kate Middleton’s choice of gown may have seemed dismissive, as a member of the royal family she isn’t allowed get involved in political messaging or bias, and as such wearing black may have been considered a breach of protocol.

Nonetheless, many noticed that The Duchess did sport a black ribbon belt around her middle which may well have been a nod to the Time’s Up initiative.

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