Winners & Losers

As stars twirled on the red carpet, observers saw both dazzling glamour and a few fashion mistakes.

Focus On Oscar Style

March 06, 2005|By Tanika White | Tanika White,Sun Staff

Three cheers for old school glamour. The lush fabrics, the classic tailoring. The jewels, the makeup, the hair! When celebrities find a way to bring back old Hollywood, and make it their own, it reminds us why we love to star-gaze in the first place.

On the red carpet of last week's Academy Awards, actors and actresses combined style and beauty and grace, each in his or her own way. Elegance and romance ruled the night, but there were other trends that emerged.

"The mermaid hemline was very in," said celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch, "very fitted all the way down and then flared out."

The shoulders were the body part to be bared, as many actresses went for strapless or sleeveless dresses. But several chose sexy off-the-shoulder gowns instead.

There was a rainbow of color choices, but many actresses chose body-hugging dresses in muted colors, such as taupe or putty.

Rich-looking velvet was a popular fabric, and many stars tucked their luxurious locks into beautiful upswept buns or classy chignons. For a modern day twist on the up-do, some style-setting actresses passed over sleek, and chose texture instead. "Curly hair is in," said Glamour magazine's Suze Yalof Schwartz. "It looks new. Straight hair looks old."

As with all trends, some versions turned out better on the red carpet than others. Here's who did them right, and who did them wrong.

Mermaid-style dresses

Best: Salma Hayek is va-va-voom personified in this midnight blue piece of Prada perfection. The dress hugs her sexy curves and accentuates Hayek's many positives. She manages to carry off both a sauciness, and an easy grace at the same time.

Worst: Renee Zellweger's raspberry-silk, strapless Carolina Herrera, on the other hand, is all wrong for a number of reasons. The color, paired with her dark hair, makes her look severe, instead of soft. The train looked cumbersome; the bodice looked too tight (even on her tiny figure) and most of the night, Zellweger looked uncomfortable.

Up-dos

Best: Scarlett Johansson's up-do, accentuated with a 19th-century Fred Leighton tiara, looks romantic, soft and pretty, with just the right amount of structure and haphazard tendrils.

Worst: Penelope Cruz, however, looks like a Q-tip. Her big bun, filled up with an oversized hairpiece, no doubt, overpowers her tiny face and frame, giving her a lopsided look.

Velvet

Best: Velvet is a popular fabric among style-setters for its luxe look and lush feel. Oscar performer Beyonce, shown here in the first of four outfits of the night -- a black silk velvet strapless Atelier Versace gown -- looks snug as a bug, sophisticated and beautiful.

Worst: Presenter P. Diddy, however, in an all-velvet tuxedo from his designer line, Sean John, illustrates what can happen when you take velvet too far.

Bolder shoulders

Worst: But Melanie Griffith's celadon, pleated, silk chiffon gown, by Versace -- equally as beautifully embroidered -- hangs off her body in a sloppy and unflattering way (she is shown with her husband, Antonio Banderas).

Best: Oprah Winfrey shows her shoulders in a gold, embroidered Vera Wang skirt and top ensemble that is appropriate and becoming. It fits well, showing off Winfrey's new trim figure.

Muted colors

Best: Halle Berry's taupe, one-shoulder, silk chiffon gown by Atelier Versace stands out against her butterscotch skin tone.

Worst: Gwyneth Paltrow, in Stella McCartney, looks washed out (and squeezed) in a flesh-toned gown that was too close to her own skin color.

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