Oscars fashion: Bonham Carter shock

2011-02-28 10:39

Hollywood - From Penelope Cruz's stunning red to Gwyneth Paltrow in subdued silver, all eyes were on the fashion choices on Sunday as Hollywood's A-listers hit the Oscars red carpet.

And as for the famously quirky British actress Helena Bonham Carter - she wore a surprisingly normal black dress.

"I thought it would be nice to celebrate film not fashion... I've got a bit of a complex about my bum so thought I'd make it even bigger," she joked, shortly before the 83rd Academy Awards show got under way.

Bonham Carter, who lost out later in the best supporting actress category for her role in The King's Speech, is known for her unpredictable dress sense and had forecast whatever she wore could be "catastrophic."

At the Golden Globes she wore one red shoe and one green, but on Sunday she kept her vow to wear same-colored footwear, below a Gothic-looking black dress described as "something I got together with costume designer Colleen Atwood."

Apart from a large bustle, the striking black silk taffeta gown with a velvet bodice and Elizabethan-style cutaway sleeves was supremely conservative compared to outfits she has stunned fashion-watchers with in the past.

Natalie Portman in plum

Natalie Portman, who won the best actress prize for her role as a paranoid ballerina in Black Swan, was in plum Rodarte with Tiffany jewelry, but insisted she felt at home whatever she wears.

"Most girls get so excited to get dressed up," said the heavily pregnant star, adding that she could equally be happy "at home in sweats with, like, messy hair and no makeup. The biggest luxury of all."

Cruz, arriving on the arm of husband and best actor nominee Javier Bardem, looked typically ravishing in a red number, the same colour as last year's best actress Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, in a structured Vera Wang gown.

"I chose it because it's always so cheerful and my son recognises the color red," said Bullock, whose pale make-up exaggerated her red lips and complemented the gown perfectly.


Jennifer Hudson looked slender and glamorous in her halter necked Versace gown accessorised with Neil Lane jewelry and a Jimmy Choo bag.

Her train with a diamond pleated off-centre bustle was so long that she needed three people to ensure its wellbeing as she made her way along the red caret.

Jennifer Lawrence, a losing best actress nominee for her role in Winter's Bone, chose a simple red dress with spaghetti straps and a low back; her long blonde hair loosely pinned.

Pastel perfection

Pastel tones, reflecting the most recent collections, were also a popular choice.

Cate Blanchett chose a pale lilac gown in pleated chiffon with a collar of chartreuse and lilac beading.

Her simple, sleek blonde hair was a simple antidote to the complexity of the dress.

In Christian Dior haute couture, Nicole Kidman continued the pastel trend with a silk grosgrain lavender gown, richly embroidered with silver thread as well as a magnificent diamond choker, which reached down her back.

In sharp contrast to the dress, she wore her hair in a simple ponytail with minimal, very natural make-up.

Silver and gold

However, the most striking trend at this year's Academy Awards was the choice of silver, gold and platinum seen on so many stars.

Paltrow resembled the Oscar statue itself in a shimmering gold sheath by Calvin Klein and sky-high heels.

Hilary Swank looked stunning in a silver strapless gown with ostrich feathered trim by Jean Paul Gaultier and Michelle Williams chose a form fitting heavy silver beaded gown by Chanel and very uncomfortable looking shoes.

Her white-blonde pixie-cut hair and dramatic dark eye make-up completed a winning combination.

Annette Bening was elegant in a graphite and silver sequined dress with huge emerald earrings and Celine Dion also chose a textured graphite coloured gown - this one with long sleeves.

Helen Mirren, elegant as always, wore a dark grey silver gown with a jewelled buckle at the back.

Of the men, Colin Firth, unsurprising again chose Tom Ford, and Russell Brand, escorting his mother to the Awards this year, wore a petrol blue skinny cut suit by Marc Jacobs with a black shirt, straight black tie and wet-look hair.

Keith Urban chose the simple chic of Prada.

Read more on:    oscars  |  fashion

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