Australian actress Nicole Kidman and British actress Naomi Watts
arrive for the 79th Academy Awards Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, in Los Angeles.
The common complaint about Oscar fashion choices of the past few years is
that stars played it too safe. Not so this' year.
Jennifer Hudson arrived on the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre in Los
Angeles on Sunday in a brown ruched gown with a metallic python bolero by Oscar
de la Renta, and Cate Blanchett wore a stunning one-shoulder Swarovski crystal
mesh gown by Giorgio Armani Prive. Helen Mirren didn't shy away from her sexy
side in a champagne-colored Christian Lacroix gown with gold-leaf embroidery on
the skirt and a plunging V-neck.
Calling it her "dream dress," Mirren told The Associated Press, "It chose me.
It makes me feel comfortable. I don't feel like I'm trying to be something I'm
Gwyneth Paltrow made a strong fashion statement in Zac Posen's apricot
spider-web tulle-and-chiffon gown, and Nicole Kidman made a bold color choice
with her bright red Balenciaga halter gown with an oversized bow at the neck.
Reese Witherspoon's strapless Nina Ricci with a tiered bottom was a deep purple,
and Naomi Watts' Escada gown was yellow with a sapphire blue sash.
Jada Pinkett Smith wore a corset-style strapless gown in gold lame by
Carolina Herrera, and Jessica Biel's hot pink halter was selected straight from
Oscar de la Renta's fashion show earlier this month in New York. Kelly Preston's
animal print gown was by Dolce & Gabbana.
Penelope Cruz's strapless Versace was a blush color with an intricately
swirled tight bodice that exploded into an exaggerated skirt.
"This is the year of extravagant designs ¡ª fancy fabrics, feathers as trim,
unexpected stones and metallics," observed Tom Julian, fashion commentator for
the Web site Oscar.com.
Jennifer Lopez's lilac Marchesa gown had an antique jeweled neckline that
created a chain-link effect. Asked why she chose the gown, Lopez's husband, Marc
Anthony, spoke up: "I chose it."
Lopez added: "It makes me feel very glamorous, chic and sexy."
Meanwhile, Rachel Weisz said her strapless art deco-style platinum Vera Wang
gown with jewels sewn onto the hem and bust, including a small glistening bow,
was "very romantic."
Beyonce's Armani gown also had an interesting neckline. It was basically a
light green strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline, but there was a strand
of stones over one shoulder.
Giorgio Armani attended the ceremony, presumably in his own design. "It's
very important to be elegant and simple rather than be flashy," he said.
Many top actors chose classic tuxedos by Armani, including Leonardo DiCaprio,
Mark Wahlberg, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese.
Meryl Streep, in a nod to the film that brought her to the Oscars, wore a
Prada black silk radzmire coat over a black satin skirt and an emerald green
belt. She further accessorized with colorful bead necklaces.
Hudson wore a 1960s diamond necklace with a 32-carat yellow diamond pendant
by Fred Leighton, and 10-year-old Abigail Breslin's pink sundress was adorned
with flowers. Cameron Diaz jazzed up her white off-the-shoulder gown with silver
Many actresses seemed to add personal touches to their outfits instead of
making the red carpet a sea of strapless satin dresses and tight bun hairdos.
Collier Strong, consulting makeup artist for L'Oreal Paris who worked with
Diane Keaton, said part of the diversity in looks might come from the broad
field of nominated stars, spanning all ages.
Speaking of mature women, Strong said, "I think they add something vitally
needed ¡ª confidence and a sense of themselves. They don't need to pose a certain
way, they don't need to make sure a picture is from the right angle."
Emily Blunt shimmered in a sequined blue gown by Francisco Costa by Calvin
Klein. There were many others in blue, too, including Portia de Rossi in a
halter gown by Zac Posen, Jodie Foster in a Vera Wang crinkled silk chiffon
gown, Maggie Gyllenhaal in a one-shoulder Proenza Schouler dress with Venetian
glass embroidery and a feathered hemline, and Melissa Etheridge in a navy
Green was well represented with Celine Dion in a dark green, wrap-style gown
that was complemented with diamond cuff bracelets from Lily et Cie, and Kate
Winslet in a one-shoulder gown in a lighter hue by Valentino.
Anne Hathaway also wore a Valentino ¡ª a white strapless gown with a black bow
at the neckline.
Queen Latifah and Rinko Kikuchi were among the few stars in black ¡ª and they
both looked great. Latifah's gown was Carmen Marc Valvo's feminine twist on a
tuxedo made completely of strips of silk ribbon, while Kikuchi had on a
streamlined strapless gown, a far cry from her pompom fiasco at the Golden
"I wanted to be very proper and very honest," Kikuchi said.