HOLLYWOOD (AFP) – – Spectacular gowns and millions of dollars worth of jewelry lit up the Oscars red carpet here Sunday as stars opted for old-school Hollywood glamor on Tinseltown’s glitziest night of the year.
A-listers shimmered and sparkled down the most famous runway in the world taking inspiration from the silver screen itself as many of the nominated actresses chose gowns in shades of platinum and silver.
Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock set the tone with a spectacular silver beaded gown with elegant train, forties style make-up and sleek hair.
Dame Helen Mirren also chose a dress of silvery tones by Badgley Mischka, this time in sequined tulle with diamond jewelry by Hollywood favorite, the French house of Chopard.
Kate Winslet, presenting this year, chose a structured strapless column dress in silvery tones by Yves St Laurent and the most exquisite jewelry of the night: a pendant style necklace of emerald cut white and yellow diamonds by Tiffany with matching earrings and cuff believed to be worth more than 2.5 million dollars.
Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman in Oscars history to win the best director prize, wore a simple form-fitting platinum column dress with bodice detailing.
Sarah Jessica Parker wore a vanilla colored silk duchess satin dress by Chanel Couture with unusual silver embellishments at the neck and draped back chosen, she said, because it was “just perfect”.
Diane Kruger also chose Channel Couture in a stunning white chiffon halter neck dress with black details; as gorgeous from the back as the front, something of a relief for the armies of photographers and fans catching just a glimpse as the stars spin by.
In a fifties-style gold beaded strapless gown, Cameron Diaz looked the epitome of glamour as did Amanda Seyfried in Armani Prive. Also in Armani Prive was Jennifer Lopez in a less than flattering structured strapless gown.
Other questionable choices came from Mariah Carey who was practically bursting out of her petrol blue Valentino semi-strapless gown threatening a wardrobe malfunction at any moment.
Tom Ford, unsurprisingly in his own label tux, was sporting almost as many diamonds as the actresses he followed.
His shirt studs were each several carats worth of splendid princess cut diamonds and he wore a perfect gardenia in his lapel.
Colin Firth was also in a Tom Ford tux with beautiful art deco studs in what looked like platinum and onyx and George Clooney, ever elegant in his trusted Armani suit, also wore interesting studs; these, he said, were “from my uncle”.
As always, Penelope Cruz, looked stunning in deep red strapless pleated gown by Donna Karan with Chopard jewelry and feathered clutch.
Sigourney Weaver also chose red in the form of a one-shouldered chiffon gown with black belt. Vera Farmiga, nominated for her role in “Up In The Air,” in a red dress by Marchesa that all but overwhelmed her tiny frame with its rippling spirals of pleated silk.
The more unusual choices came from Carey Mulligan, nominated in the best supporting actress category, chose a black strapless dress by Prada covered with dozens of tiny silver forks spoons and scissors and some dazzling chandelier earrings by Fred Leighton.
Asked what she will be doing when the award season is all over, she said “I’ll be wearing pajamas every day and will not stop eating for a week!” Maggie Gyllenhaal chose an electric blue strapless dress by Dried Van Noten, which almost worked but for the strange make-up and fuchsia lip color.
Perhaps the only surprise at this year’s Awards was something notable by its absence: Alexander McQueen, having been favored in the past by both Sandra Bullock and Sarah Jessica Parker among others, was missing from the red carpet.