ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ENVELOPE Fashion

Amy Adams shows influence of 'American Hustle' on red carpet

Multicity film premieres, promotional tours and a months-long award season mean a whole lot of dressing up.

But today's long run of red carpets does create an opportunity for an actress to tell a story with fashion choices. And so far this season, Amy Adams' story has been to remind us that she's not just the nice girl.

Sure, she's played a Disney princess, a nun, a Muppets superfan from Smalltown U.S.A. and the doting (though strong) wife of a religious leader.

PHOTOS: Movie scenes from 'American Hustle'

But Adams' latest role in "American Hustle" casts her as a glamorous grifter in sexy-as-hell vintage Halston dresses with cleavage so arresting it deserved its own screen credit. And the sizzling 1970s spirit of those costumes seems to be influencing Adams' real-life red carpet looks of late, which have been less sweetheart and more sexpot.

It all started at the New York Film Festival in October. The cleavage-baring, deep V-neck on the naughty-and-nice lavender Prabal Gurung sheath dress Adams wore to a screening of "Her" was merely a preview of things to come.

Later that month, she chose a similarly sleek, pastel blue sheath by Antonio Berardi for the Hollywood Film Awards. The padded shoulders and sharply cut neckline signaled a new mood for the actress. She meant business.

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In December, when the promotional tour for "American Hustle" kicked into gear, Adams turned up the heat even more. At a screening of the film in L.A., she chose a spring 2014 black-and-white striped pencil dress with a peekaboo sheer skirt by London-based designer David Koma.

At the after-party for a New York screening of the film, she went with a Joseph Altuzarra black dress with lace trim that was pure sex kitten, especially with her retro bouffant hairdo.

On Dec. 8, at the New York premiere, Adams worked a sleeveless black Elie Saab halter gown with strips of lace hugging every curve. And later that week at the premiere of her other film, Spike Jonze's "Her" in L.A., she wore a Lanvin dress with modern-looking inverted pleating that was anything but basic black.

FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2014

For the Golden Globes, she again channeled her "American Hustle" character, taking the plunge in a two-tone red, deep V-neck halter gown by Valentino.

But she's never looked better than she did at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where she opted for a Berardi electric blue gown with an asymmetrical, sharp-edged bodice that was a striking contrast to the curves of her body and rolled hairstyle.

We can't wait to see what she wears to the Oscars. Might we suggest vintage Halston?

booth.moore@latimes.com

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