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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, March 6, 2006

And in the category of best-dressed are ...

 •  More Academy red carpet fashion pictures
 •  Oscar's golden idols

By Jean Patteson
Knight Ridder News Service

Best actress nominee Charlize Theron chose black satin for her Oscar night attire.

MICHAEL GOULDING | Knight Ridder News Service

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She won our hearts and a best-actress nomination as spunky Elizabeth in "Pride and Prejudice." And on Oscar night, Keira Knightley won our vote as best-dressed star on the red carpet.

She was gorgeous in a one-shoulder Vera Wang gown of wine-colored taffeta with a fitted, asymmetrical bodice and trumpet skirt. Her necklace, a 1960s stunner from Bulgari, was pure Hollywood glamour, as was her smoky eye makeup. By contrast, her strawberry-blond hair was swept into a simple ponytail. Sweet.

The other best-actress nominees were a study in contrasts. Charlize Theron, super-sophisticated in sleek black satin with a pillow-size bow on her left shoulder. Winner Reese Witherspoon, adorable in a glittering silver-white Cinderella gown. Judi Dench, regal in an exotic ensemble by her favorite design team, Sandeep Khosla and Abu Jani.

"Transamerica" star Felicity Huffman was memorable in a plunge-neck Zac Posen design that left no doubt as to her gender. She was one of many women who, in the words of host Jon Stewart, "could barely afford enough gown to cover their breasts."

Black was again the dominant color on the red carpet. Rachel Weisz, Oscar winner for her supporting role in "The Constant Gardener," was in a portrait-neckline gown by Narciso Rodriguez. But there also were plenty of neutral shades such as taupe, nude, ivory, bronze and platinum.

By contrast, "Brokeback Mountain's" Michelle Williams was a standout in a Vera Wang gown of vibrant marigold, ruffled at the neckline, draped at the hips and extending into a flowing train. Very 1940s Hollywood.

Jessica Alba chose a lighter shade of gold for her Versace halter gown trimmed with panels of delicate lace. Nicole Kidman was her usual vision of elegance in a slender, strapless gown of embroidered white satin by Balenciaga.

Jennifer Lopez was surprisingly demure in a ruched and draped dress of olive chiffon from Rita Watnick at Lily et Cie. But it's doubtful that even King Kong could love Naomi Watts in her slashed-and-shredded Givenchy design.

The hairstyle of the evening was the casual chignon, though long, loose curls were also in abundance. Makeup was pale, pretty and natural-looking for the most part.