The Hidden Statement Behind Jane Fonda's Oscars Dress

The stars were ready to shine at the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony, and many did so in meaningful outfits. America Ferrera's ensemble was a nod to her ancestors, Billy Porter's gown was inspired by Kensington Palace's gilded cupola room, and Spike Lee's suit paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. Jane Fonda also made a strong statement with her Oscars fashion that you might have missed. 

When Fonda took the stage to present the award for best picture (which, FYI, went to Parasite), the audience was surely in awe of how lovely the Grace and Frankie star looked. Wearing a stunning crimson-red Ellie Saab gown, the dress featured long sleeves and a sheer section around the chest and upper arms. The dress simply sparkled under the lights. According to Page Six, Fonda also "sported a short gray wig in place of her usual chin-length blond hair."

While Fonda's gown was certainly a lovely choice, it was also one that fans may recognize. That's because she wore the same frock in Cannes back in 2014, but if you're thinking this was an oversight, think again! Fonda decided to re-wear the dress at the Oscars as a part of her pledge to take action against climate change. To that end, Fonda has said that she will not be buying any new clothes.

Jane Fonda has sworn off shopping

Plenty of celebrities are using their fame to help the fight against climate change, including K-pop superstars BTS and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Jane Fonda is also making waves with her high-profile activism, and that includes the outfit she wore to the 2020 Oscars, which backs up her claim that she has sworn off buying new and unnecessary items of clothing.

On Nov. 1, 2019, Fonda was participating in a protest on Capitol Hill when, according to Page Six, she told the crowd, "So when I talk to people about, 'We don't really need to keep shopping. We shouldn't look to shopping for our identity. We don't need more stuff,' then I have to walk the walk too. So I'm not buying any more clothes."

That same month, Fonda was spotted out and about wearing the same outfits more than once (you know, like regular people.) For instance, she attended the Glamour Women of the Year Awards slaying a glittery black suit, and then she wore it again that same week while attending the GCAPP Empower Party.

While Fonda's new habit of re-wearing clothing is sending out a strong message, it's not the only way she's making statements with her outfit choices.

There was another key piece to Jane Fonda's Oscars outfit

When Jane Fonda stepped out onto the Oscars stage to present an award at the 2020 event, she carried more than just the envelope with the winning picture inside. She was also carrying a red coat. This wasn't a fancy cape like Natalie Portman's (incredibly meaningful) accessory or a suitable suit jacket like the one worn by Keanu Reeves' mom, Patricia Taylor. No, Fonda brought with her a normal winter jacket. At one point, she casually slung it over her shoulder, and at another point, she folded it neatly over her arm. It was hard to miss the unusual addition to her formal outfit.

Fonda had a very good reason for bringing that item with her. Page Six notes that the "now-infamous red coat" is the same one "that she said would be her last purchase ever and has since worn many times to climate protests — and to jail when she was arrested at the same protests."

"You see this coat? I needed something red and I went out and found this coat on sale," Fonda said in 2019, during a Capitol Hill protest, per W Magazine. "This is the last article of clothing that I will ever buy." Sure enough, she's been wearing that coat again and again while showing up at numerous protests.

Jane Fonda is a pro at protests

Jane Fonda may be famous for her roles in Barbarella, Monster-in-Law, and, as we've already mentioned (because it's worth mentioning twice) on Grace and Frankie alongside Lily Tomlin, but Fonda also has a reputation as a gutsy activist. As of Feb. 10, 2020, Fonda "has held 15 'Fire Drill Friday' protests," including one on "the Friday before the Oscars 2020 red carpet," reported Page Six.

Fonda isn't the only famous face fighting against climate change. During her pre-Oscars protest, she was "joined by Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix, who spoke at length about climate change and animal rights during his speech Sunday in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles," per Page Six. Her Grace and Frankie costar, Sam Waterson, was arrested with her at a protest not just once, but twice.

"I will be on the Capitol every Friday, rain or shine, inspired and emboldened by the incredible movement our youth have created," Fonda wrote on her website. "I can no longer stand by and let our elected officials ignore — and even worse — empower — the industries that are destroying our planet for profit. We can not continue to stand for this."