2011 Academy Awards: Red Carpet Fashion Review

Oscar Arrivals Mila Kunisalt

There were plenty of gorgeous, stunningly constructed Oscar fashions on the red carpet this year, but most of the night’s major stars avoided any boundary pushing gowns. The notable exceptions to the safe fashion category were Mila Kunis (above, left) in a lilac chiffon Elie Saab Haute Couture gown with tiered lace detailing and a grosgrain ribbon waist and Cate Blanchett (above, right) in an art-meets-fashion pleated silk chiffon gown with pearl and crystal embellishments, a stunner from Givenchy Haute Couture.

altJennifer Hudson 2011 Oscars

Relying on color for their dramatic effect were Jennifer Lawrence (above, left) in a simple scoop neck custom fire engine red Calvin Klein gown, which she wore with nary a piece of jewelry in sight, Jennifer Hudson (above, right) in a tangerine orange Versace gown with contrasting purple shoes, Anne Hathaway in vintage strapless Valentino, a glowing Penelope Cruz, who just gave birth to her first child, in a flaming red hand embroidered L'Wren Scott gown, and Sandra Bullock in a red silk faille strapless Vera Wang gown with a double bustier and an oversized back bow. Yes, it appears red is the new black.

Mandy Moore Oscars 2011Michell Williams 2011 Oscars

Playing into the “better safe than sorry” choices, princess gowns were a major trend of the night. Hailee Steinfeld opted for an age appropriate custom Marchesa crystal hand embroidered tulle tea length dress in a pale ballet pink, Mandy Moore (above, left) opted for a Monique Lhuillier strapless tulle embellished gown that looked as if it was off the shoulder, but actually went up to the singer’s neckline, Hilary Swank went for a sequin, strapless bodice Gucci gown with a feather bottom; Halle Berry (below, left) went with a nude, crystal encrusted corset gown with organza and silk tulle ruffles from Marchesa, while Michelle Williams (above, right) opted for a demure beaded Chanel, shoulder-covering nude gown. Also in a more covered-up than expected look was Amy Adams (below, right) in a glistening blue L'Wren Scott gown that she paired with a whopping $1.35 million in Cartier emeralds & diamonds.

Halle Berry 2011 OscarsAmy Adams 2011 Oscars

On the opposite end of the spectrum was major cleavage. Aside from Jennifer Hudson and Mila Kunis, Gwyneth Paltrow (below, left) showed off her figure in a chest slit metallic Calvin Klein gown.

Gwyneth Paltrow 2011 OscarsSharon Stone 2011 Oscars

In the controversial department of the night, both Sharon Stone (above, right) and Nicole Kidman (below, left) opted to wear Christian Dior despite the recent suspension of designer John Galliano for his arrest for supposedly making anti-semitic remarks. Equally surprising was Natalie Portman (below, right) opting for an elegant, understated violet silk chiffon draped gown by the Rodarte sisters given the controversy over how much the design duo actually contributed to the costumes in Black Swan. And, of course, Helena Bonham Carter was expectedly kooky. The actress turned to costume designer Colleen Atwood for her black ensemble because she wanted to “celebrate film, not fashion” – quite fitting given that, for better or worse, the fashions often overshadow the awards ceremony.

Nicole Kidman 2011 OscarsNatalie Portman 2011 Oscars

Images: WENN Photo Library.