Academy Awards: Oscar fashion choices dazzle audience in 2011

dminty@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 28, 2011 

While Anne Hathaway and James Franco failed to impress most of Sunday's Oscar viewers with their hosting skills, Hathaway's eight outfit changes set the tone for a stylish evening.

This year's red-carpet fashions dazzled the audience. One trend that emerged on the red carpet was the cap-sleeve dress. Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and Michelle Williams opted for short sleeves. Another trend? Bold colors. Jennifer Hudson's tangerine Versace gown and the red L'Wren Scott dress worn by Penelope Cruz were brave color choices.

Statement jewelry took a backseat to subtle accessories at this year's show. Sandra Bullock wore simple diamond earrings and showed off a bare neck in her red Vera Wang gown. Instead of wearing attention-grabbing jewelry at the neckline, most actresses seemed to want to draw viewers' eyes lower. Mermaid silhouettes, short trains and embellished hemlines graced the red carpet.

Sparkle was spotted in Natalie Portman's Tiffany rubellite tassel earrings with rose-cut diamonds. They were a perfect complement to her elegant dress. Nicole Kidman's neck and back glistened thanks to a Fred Leighton 150-carat diamond necklace that Kidman wore as a choker so that diamonds dripped down her back.

Here are best and worst picks from Ledger-Enquirer staffers. Share your thoughts in the comments section:

DAWN'S FAVORITES:

Mom-to-be Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") glowed in her eggplant V-neck Rodarte gown. She looked sophisticated, glamorous and happy.

Reese Witherspoon's Giorgio Armani Prive gown showed the classic combination of white and black makes a powerful fashion statement. She also proved that ponytails can be sophisticated.

Fourteen-year-old Hailee Steinfeld wore an age-appropriate, nude, ankle-length Marchesa gown. The dress looked cheerful and youthful, just like Hailee.

Gwyneth Paltrow's metallic silver Calvin Klein gown showed that Oscar worthy dresses don't have to be ballgowns. The dress was a perfect fit and created a charming silhouette.

Mila Kunis offered a refreshing break from bold colors with her lavender and lace Elie Saab gown.

DAWN'S DUDS:

Was Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone") sexy and sleek in her simple red Calvin Klein Collection gown? I suppose. But it's the Oscars. I don't want simple. I want drama. The only thing dramatic about the dress was its bold red color.

I didn't care for the cap-sleeve trend. Amy Adams looked too covered up in her navy sequined L'Wren Scott gown, and Michelle Williams got lost in a white sequined Chanel dress.

Helena Bonham Carter wore a corseted dress by Colleen Atwood. Sure, Atwood won a Best Costume Oscar for "Alice in Wonderland" but the Oscars is fashion show (um, awards show). It's not a costume party.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

Hilary Swank went over the top with feathers on a heavily textured, silver strapless Gucci dress.

Scarlett Johansson caught our attention in her burgundy, lace Dolce & Gabbana gown.

Nicole Kidman's Dior Haute Couture dress drew criticism from red-carpet interviewer Kelly Osbourne, who called it a kimono.

Cate Blanchett's Givenchy Couture gown seemed to have a porthole on the chest.

Sandra Bullock's red Vera Wang gown had plenty of volume and the strapless bodice was structured.

New mom Penelope Cruz looked slim and sexy in a red silk dress with hand-embroidered sequins by L'Wren Scott.

Jennifer Hudson showed off her new, slim body in a bold tangerine halter gown by Versace.

Mandy Moore looked sweet in a silver, crystal-smattered Monique Lhuillier dress.

Halle Berry stood out in silver Marchesa gown with champagne tulle applique at the hem of the dress and a row of ruffles along a strapless neckline.

SANDRA OKAMOTO'S PICKS

Anne Hathaway in a red vintage Valentino, escorted by Valentino himself, on the Red Carpet. She had another half-dozen gowns during the show. And she looked amazing in all of them.

Jennifer Hudson was slim, yet curvy in red Versace

Scarlett Johansen looked amazing in purple Dolce and Gabbana

I liked Jennifer Lawrence in a very simple, red Calvin Klein slip dress

Cate Blanchett always rules on the Red Carpet and her Givenchy gown was another winner

And the pregnant Natalie Portman in purple Rodarte just glowed

I realized I chose the ones in purple and red — two of my favorite colors.

Nicole Kidman looked good in white Dior, though those "wing" on her hips were a little distracting.

I'm so glad 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld looked like a 14-year-old should. No Miley Cyrus skankiness from this child. Well, yet.

Look! Helena Bonham Carter didn't look like a freak! Apparently, Colleen Atwood, who won an Oscar for costume design tonight did her outfit.

All in all, everyone looked pretty good tonight. No real, what is she wearing?! moments.

As for men, don't Josh Brolin and Javier Barden look very, very handsome in their white tuxes?

Hathaway looked great in her tux. Franco, not so much in a strapless pink gown, trying to do Marilyn Monroe in the famous pink "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" gown.

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