The fishtail hems, the fairy-tale details, the strapless silhouettes...
For so long, red carpets were a sea of sameness. You knew what you were going to see before you even tuned in.
Not so this awards show season.
The best dressed on the SAG Awards red carpet exemplified a new kind of fearless, modern chic that's taking over Hollywood.
Topping the list were "Game of Thrones" actress Emilia Clarke in a dramatic liquid metallic Calvin Klein dress with a single cap sleeve that made her look like a beautiful bronze statue, and "Blue Jasmine's" Cate Blanchett in a blush pink Givenchy gown with a scarf-like front. There was sequin trim, but the placement was so unexpected it begged for a second (and third) look.
Julie Bowen of "Modern Family" chose a spiral-print Carolina Herrera gown from the spring 2014 collection, which was inspired by kinetic art. The layered black-and-white lines on the skirt created a cool kind of optical illusion when she moved.
"Downton Abbey's" Michelle Dockery wore a J. Mendel black column gown with a plunging neckline trimmed in white. "It's like a tuxedo but a dress," she told E! Entertainment Television. Also working the black-and-white look was "Veep's" Anna Chlumsky in Sophie Theallet.
"12 Years a Slave" star Lupita Nyong'o, who was the sartorial star of the Golden Globe Awards in her red Ralph Lauren cape gown, wore a turquoise Gucci silk crepe column with gold and turquoise floral embroidered straps. It was fine, but not the stunner that the Globes look was.
Nyongo's dress did speak to one of the evening's trends, though. Blue gave red a run for its money as the cool red carpet hue. The best in blue was "American Hustle's" Amy Adams, dressed in an Antonio Berardi gown with an asymmetrical bodice. I loved the contrast of the sharp edges with the soft curves of her body and rolled hairstyle.
Other fearless fliers? "Game of Thrones" actress Natalie Dormer, her head half-shaved, in a load of ear cuffs and a Marios Schwab white dress with black net sleeves, and "Boardwalk Empire's" Gretchen Mol in a J. Mendel white, graphic lace T-shirt gown that was a perfect choice for the balmy 85-degree weather.
"August: Osage County" star Julia Roberts wore a pink Valentino "secret jumpsuit," "Scandal's" Kerry Washington bared her baby bump in a Prada crop-top and Liza Minnelli wore fur trim, proving heat is no match for Old Hollywood.
But "Saving Mr. Bank's" Emma Thompson may have been the night's biggest fashion revolutionary. Not only did she wear vintage (a 1930s gown with peacock embroidery), but after a dramatic chucking off of her painful high heels onstage at the Globes last week, she went with Christian Louboutin flats. You go girl!
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