The best word to describe the red-carpet fashion at the Academy Awards: red.
Katherine Heigl, Helen Mirren, Miley Cyrus, Julie Christie, Ruby Dee, Anne Hathaway and Heidi Klum were among the stars in red gowns Sunday night at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
Pregnant actresses Cate Blanchett — in a Dries van Noten halter gown with floral beading on the skirt — and Jessica Alba both embraced their revised shapes in empire-waist gowns.
Alba, wearing a plum-colored strapless Marchesa gown with a plume of feathers at the bust, said she is a fan of designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig. "Their seasons are always beautiful and this one in particular."
Feathers were a recent trend on the runway and Penelope Cruz's black strapless gown had them, too.
W magazine fashion market editor Treena Lombardo reminds at-home fashion followers not to take trends from the red carpet too seriously. "I don't think any of the trends the Oscars hit are trends the rest of the world needs to know about," she said.
She did notice all that red, though.
"Heidi Klum was the most beautiful I've ever seen her," Lombardo said. "Amy Ryan was the opposite. She was very minimal and very chic — an exact 180 from what Heidi was doing."
Klum's full-volume gown was by John Galliano. It is being auctioned as part of The Heart Truth campaign to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Ryan's one-shoulder, midnight-blue dress was custom-made by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein.
One-shoulder gowns were another popular look, worn by Hillary Swank in Versace, Olivia Thirlby in Vera Wang, Hathaway in Marchesa and Heigl in Escada. Heigl's gown had a slim-fitting draped bodice and the front of Hathaway's gown was covered in fabric roses.
Several stars, though, opted for strapless styles, including Renee Zellweger in a silver lace gown by Carolina Herrera. The dress had sparkle but was otherwise simple to complement her short hairstyle.
Jennifer Garner and Laura Linney also chose strapless gowns and then accessorized them with prominent necklaces. Garner's black Oscar de la Renta dress had an almost flamenco-style skirt and was worn with an art deco-era necklace with 61 carats of diamonds from Van Cleef & Arpels, while Linney's dark-blue gown with a bustle back highlighted a gold pendant-style necklace with diamond and blue topaz by Cathy Waterman.
"I'm just over the moon with it," said Amy Adams of her Proenza Schouler strapless gown in emerald-green, double-sided silk. She carried a tiny Art Nouveau French gold-mesh purse by Fred Leighton.