Cleavage, mermaid trains, spray tans and borrowed bling, oh my. The Oscars red carpet fashion show is getting underway in Hollywood.

Who will wear what tonight? Well, it’s not much of a guessing game. Anne Hathaway is expected to wear Valentino, a house with which she has a long association. (Valentino made her wedding dress last year.) And Jennifer Lawrence, who appears in the new Miss Dior advertising campaign, will no doubt wear something by Dior designer Raf Simons.  Charlize Theron is another face of Dior (in other words, under contract with the fashion house), so it’s likely she will wear Dior as well.

Oscars 2013 red carpet photos

There are a few wild cards. I’m looking forward to seeing Quvenzhané Wallis, the young star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” who has such a fun sense of style and seems to genuinely be having the time of her life. This girl is going places. It was announced today that she will star in the upcoming remake of “Annie,” produced by Jay-Z.

I’m also looking forward to seeing some of the other wild cards, like Amanda Seyfried, Adele and Naomi Watts.

Oscars 2013: Nominee list | Ballot | Trivia | Timeline

Getting dressed for the Oscars red carpet is a tricky balancing act. With one dress, stars have to try to appeal to the general public as well as to the more discerning insider fashion crowd. They have to represent the designer brand they are wearing (and in some cases, are paid to wear).  But more importantly, a star’s red carpet look should say something about their personal style. Because a star’s personal style is a powerful marketing tool to land magazine covers, lucrative cosmetics endorsement deals and, if they are lucky, their own perfume and personal clothing line someday.

Let the games begin.

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