HOLLYWOOD's A-list actresses oozed old-school elegance in white and glittering silver on the Oscars red carpet on Sunday, even as rain tumbled down on Tinseltown’s top fashion parade.
Beyond the icy colour palette, another trend for the ladies was lots of pearls and beads. Many of the gowns seen on the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre were embellished to the max.
Luckily, organisers set up a canopy to protect the stars from the drizzle.
Julianne Moore, who won the best actress Oscar for playing a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice, wore a custom beaded white strapless Chanel gown with black accents, her red hair swept back in a bun.
“Karl Lagerfeld made this for me!” she exclaimed.
France’s Marion Cotillard, a previous Oscar winner and nominated again on Sunday in the best actress category, also chose white — a sleeveless Dior polka dot gown with a geisha-style bustle.
“I dreamed of cinema glory, for sure ... but I would have never thought I would be part of this American family of cinema,” Cotillard told E! Television’s Ryan Seacrest.
Best supporting actress winner Patricia Arquette, who took home the trophy for her moving portrayal of a single mother raising two kids in Boyhood, arrived early with several members of her acting family in tow.
The 46-year-old blonde dazzled in a one-shoulder Rosetta Getty gown with a ruched white bodice and a form-fitting black skirt. A simple updo gave her a bit of a Greek goddess look.
“It’s a beautiful story about human beings and kids growing up,” Arquette told CNN of Boyhood, which earned a total of six nominations, but only the one award.
Lupita Nyong’o — the best supporting actress Oscar winner last year for 12 Years a Slave and a red carpet darling — wore a custom pearl-encrusted sleeveless Calvin Klein gown.
“The pressure’s off,” she said. “I can just dress up and enjoy the show.”
Wild nominee Laura Dern — who brought her actor father Bruce to the ceremony — glittered in a fierce silver-studded strapless Alberta Ferretti gown worthy of a warrior princess.
In a pale shade of silvery grey was best actress nominee Felicity Jones, who was resplendent in a hand-sewn, pearl-covered gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, her shoulders bare.
And Lady Gaga, who sang a powerful The Sound of Music tribute medley during the show to mark its 50th anniversary, wore a space-age sparkling white and silver Azzedine Alaia gown with a full skirt — and bright red gloves that seemed better suited for washing dishes.
For fashion and jewellery designers, having an A-list star show up on the Oscars red carpet in one of their creations is essentially free advertising — thanks to the global coverage of the ceremony.
Bucking the pale colour trend was British actress Rosamund Pike — a nominee for her startling turn in thriller Gone Girl — who looked sultry in a fire engine-red Givenchy gown with a high slit up the front.
And Scarlett Johansson rocked a curve-hugging Versace halter gown in emerald green.
For men, pops of colour
For the men, there were lots of classic black tuxedos — best actor nominees Steve Carell and rival Michael Keaton, along with Boyhood star Ethan Hawke, a best supporting actor nominee, all kept it simple.
But a few used the red carpet to get noticed. Some mixed it up with colours, while best supporting actor winner JK Simmons added a dapper black hat.
Selma star David Oyelowo, who many observers felt deserved a nomination for playing Martin Luther King, rocked a three-piece burgundy tux from Dolce & Gabbana.
Briton Eddie Redmayne, who as predicted took home the best actor prize for his moving, physical portrayal of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, sported a midnight blue Alexander McQueen tux with black accents.
“It’s raining, which feels beautifully British,” Redmayne told E! Television. — AFP
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 24, 2015.