Oscars fashion 2012: From Marchesa to McQueen, the labels that ruled the red carpet… and who scored highest in the style stakes
It may be a celebration of film, but for the fashion industry, the Oscars is the world's biggest and most important catwalk.
This year, the designers that ruled
the red carpet were unarguably Elie Saab, whose couture gowns adorned
the backs of Milla Jovovich and Berenice Bejo, and Marchesa, which was
worn by Stacy Keibler and Sandra Bullock.
Valentino dressed some of the
youngest stars – the Descendants' Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller –
and did a fine job of making them look formal and elegant, while at the
same time age-appropriate.
Berenice Bejo, best supporting actress nominee for her role in The Artist
Leading ladies: Milla Jovovich made a stunning entrance in shimmering white Elie Saab on the Oscars red carpet last night (left), while newcomer and Best Supporting Actress nominee Berenice Bejo was glamorous in a pale and delicate green gown by the same label (right)
Showstopping: George Clooney's beau, Stacy Keibler (left) looked looked like an Oscar statuette in Marchesa. The same house dressed Sandra Bullock, her black and white gown embellished at the waist and accessorised with a simple clutch and understated jewellery (right)
The creations of fellow Italian
Giorgio Armani also made more than one appearance – though Penelope
Cruz's princess-like gown could not have been more different from Ellie
Kemper's slinky rust sequins.
But the biggest style points went to
the labels that elected to dress just one major name – a risk, because
if the star (or indeed their stylist) were to change their mind at the
last minute, they would get no Academy Awards glory at all.
There is no doubt that Gwyneth Paltrow did Tom Ford proud though, in a ravishing white caped gown, while
Rooney Mara looked like her Givenchy gown was made for her (indeed, it
probably was – the label's latest couture show was very Dragon
All white on the night: Gwyneth Paltrow (left) looked the epitome of chic in a caped Tom Ford dress, Rooney Mara, Best Actress nominee, made the most of her alabaster skin in white Givenchy (centre) and Octavia Spencer, Best Supporting Actress, shimmered in a beautifully flattering white Tadashi Shoji creation
Ladies in red: Michelle Williams, nominated for Best Actress for her role in My Week with Marilyn, wore coral-red Louis Vuitton with a peplum waist (left), Natalie Portman was a picture of elegance in a 1954 vintage Christian Dior gown (centre) and Emma Stone wore a fuchsia halterneck by Giambattista Valli (right)
Jessica Chastain, for many of the
style set, was a favourite in classic Alexander McQueen. The bespoke
black gown had a gold hand-embroidered bodice and hem, and was
accessorised with a staggering $2million worth of Harry Winston
Kristen Wiig's blush-coloured J Mendel was romantic and understated, while Angelina Jolie's showstopping full-skirted Versace, with its thigh-high split, was pure Old Hollywood.
Those aside, it was disappointing to
see such a large number of stars playing it so safe in black or beige –
so Michelle Williams was a highlight in her strapless coral-red Louis
Vuitton with peplum waist. Viola Davis's emerald green Vera Wang also
added a much-needed pop of colour.
Resplendent: Jessica Chastain was regal in a classic Alexander McQueen creation, the bespoke black gown had a gold hand-embroidered bodice and hem
Pretty Penny: Penelope Cruz wore princess-like Armani, her blue gown set off by twinkling diamonds and a classic, Old Hollywood-style hairdo
Of course, it is always exciting when
a star chooses a lesser-known label, as a great dress can catapault a
new designer into the fashion spotlight. This is almost certainly the case with Tadashi Shoji, who created Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer's shimmering white gown.
Natalie Portman's vintage Christian Dior gown from 1954 may well go down in Oscars history as one of its finest fashion moments. The look was completed by a Charlotte Olympia box clutch and a dazzling V-shaped Harry Winston necklace.
Louise Roe, who co-presented the red
carpet coverage for ABC in a tiered and tailored Black Halo dress, said
that her favourite looks were the simplest.
Red carpet queens: Angelina Jolie's showstopping full-skirted Versace, with its thigh-high split, was pure Old Hollywood (left) and Oscar winner Meryl Streep was reminiscent of the Oscar she walked away with (centre). Viola Davis's emerald green Vera Wang gown added a much-needed pop of colour (right)
Starlets in the making: Valentino dressed young stars Shailene Woodley
(far left) and Amara Miller (second left). The actresses looked sophisticated and
age-appropriate in the Italian label. Ellie Kemper looked slinky in Armani rust sequins (second from the right) and Kristen Wiig looked understated in blush J Mendel (right)
'I died for Gwyneth in Tom Ford with it's elegant cape,' she told MailOnline. 'Shailene Woodley was a home run in Valentino and Jessica Chastain in classic gold McQueen – wow.'
She added that Emma Stone in her
fuchsia halterneck Giambattista Valli and chunky crystal Louis Vuitton
clutch was another favourite – though Busy Philipps missed the mark.
'Her dress didn't show off her
curves,' she explained. 'And those pink shoes weren't quite appropriate –
although they'd look fab at fashion week!'
Funny ladies: Tina Fey in midnight blue Carolina Herrera, with a peplum detail at the waist (left), Glenn Close in sultry evergreen Zac Posen with matching jacket (centre) and Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy wore a peach-coloured Marina Rinaldi gown with Brian Atwood shoes (right)
Mixed reviews: Missi Pyle (far left) caused confusion when she said that her Valentina Delfino gown was made with 'cruelty-free silkworms'; Kelly Osbourne wore Aldo shoes beneath her Badgley Mischka gown (second left); Busy Philipps (centre right) fell shy of the mark according to TV presenter Louise Roe (far right) in Black Halo
Aldo made what was probably its first
ever appearance at the Academy Awards, beneath Kelly Osbourne's Badgley
Mishka gown, and The Artist's Missi Pyle caused some confusion when she
announced that her Valentina Delfino gown was made with 'cruelty-free
silkworms' (is this a new eco-trend).
Though Rooney Mara admitted that she
only chose her dress that morning, the star who really pulled off the
'oh, this old thing' line was Christopher Plummer. The actor, 82,
admitted that he was wearing 'an old smoking jacket of mine… If you hold on long enough, it becomes fashionable again.'