Gold, glamour, whimsy strut the red carpet
By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL
Associated Press Fashion Writer
Sandra Bullock dressed the part at yesterday's Academy Awards: She wore a gleaming metallic, slim-fitting gown that seemed fashioned after the Oscar statuette itself.
The dress, at least, was a winner, making Bullock one of many who stepped up their style on Hollywood's most important runway. Top actresses made bold color choices, donned stiffer shapes and used sparkle strategically to get noticed.
"This red carpet was whimsical, thank God. It was the most interesting red carpet in a long time," said Suze Yalof Schwartz, Glamour magazine's executive fashion editor at large. "You want to see a dress that makes you say 'Wow!' and I saw at least six of those."
There had been a trend in recent years to make safe choices at the Oscars, with celebrities aware that photos taken there follow them for the rest of their lives. But there was a refreshing sense of fun — and some directional fashion — this year.
"We're moving into architectural shapes and away from all the drapery. There were not a lot of 'goddesses' this year," observed Sharon Graubard, senior vice president of trend analysis at forecasting firm Stylesight. "This was about glamour — very tasteful, grown-up glamour."
Gold was a huge trend, with Kate Winslet looking like an old-school movie star in a sleek, strapless gold gown by Yves Saint Laurent and Deco-inspired $2.5 million yellow-diamond necklace from Tiffany & Co. Cameron Diaz, with bold red lips, was another screen siren in a gold strapless gown with metallic ribbons and pailettes by Oscar de la Renta; Miley Cyrus wore a bustier-style strapless gold number by Jenny Packham; and Sarah Jessica Parker chose a custom yellow Chanel with silver flowers around the bustline.
Flowers were another dominant theme at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Bullock's Marchesa gown had delicate floral embroidery.
And Mo'Nique complemented her electric blue Tadashi Shoji asymmetrical dress with gardenias in her hair.
She said she did it in the spirit of the late Hattie McDaniel, who had done the same in 1940.
Gabourey Sidibe's blue dress was decorated with silver beads in a floral pattern, and fashion designer-turned-director Tom Ford stuck a gardenia in his lapel.
Another fashion-forward look was Zoe Saldana's Givenchy gown with a sparkly light-pink bodice and a lilac skirt that descended into tight ruffles in all shades of purple.
Queen Latifah's one-shoulder Badgley Mischka was also pink, and its mermaid shape "is the right way to dress a curvy woman," said Yalof Schwartz.
Maggie Gyllenhaal wore something rarely seen on the awards circuit — a print. The blue, black and white gown by Dries van Noten had a tropical vibe.
"I love his clothes. They're sexy and unusual. He designed my wedding dress," she said.
Her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, wore the tuxedo he bought for their wedding — designed by Tom Ford.