Actress Jessica Alba and boyfriend Cash Warren arrive for the 78th Academy Awards Sunday, March 5, 2006, in Los Angeles. Alba will be a presenter during the Oscar telecast.
Plunging back and necklines, miles of silk and a treasuretroveof diamonds will bathe the Oscars red carpet in old-style Hollywood glamour when the stars come out to play on Sunday.
The world's most famous catwalk show, capable of launching new fashion trends overnight, will be marked this year by its eclectic style rather than any single theme, and will featurefigure-hugging gownsreminiscent ofTinseltowngolden age, fashion experts say.
With many of the 2006 hopefuls for cinema's top acting awards youthful, first-time nominees, and no shadows such as a fresh war threatening totone downthe ceremony as happened in 2003, the fashion mood will be sumptuous, party-like and varied.
"I'm sure we're going to see a return to the Hollywood glamour era, we're going to see more variety than we've seen in the past," said Patty Fox, fashion coordinator for the 78th Academy Awards.
Everything from multi-million-dollar diamond-encrusted jewels from Hollywood's favourite jeweller Harry Winston, totulleand princess-style evening dresses will rule the show that will be watched by up to one billion television viewers across the globe, Fox said.
"Our goals then were to return the glamour to Hollywood and engage the viewers' interest in what the stars were wearing," she says. Now it is big business.
The world's best-known fashion and jewellery designers flock to Hollywood ahead of the show, armed with scores of gowns, jewels and accessories to offer stars who turn up with their stylists to get outfitted.
Even Hollywood's men are not immune from the fashion pressure. Many will don stylish Armanituxedoswith waistcoats and accents of ivory that will be "reminiscent of the days when celluloid Gary Cooper prevailed," Fox said.