Sexy as hell in a body-baring, cream lace long-sleeved Zuhair Murad gown, Jennifer Lopez gave us the slack-jawed fashion moment we've been waiting for, and one to rival that famously low-cut leafy print Versace gown she wore to the Grammys in 2000. The gown, with its strategically placed modesty panels, was about as revealing as you can get without being fined by the FCC.
Equally dramatic, but far less exposed, was Julianne Moore in a long-sleeved Tom Ford gown in black silk georgette with a modern-looking slash of white at the waist and down one side.
Quite bare or covered up — that's what ruled the red carpet.
There was deep décolletage and far too many fishtail hems. And forget strapless, the night's big statement was backless.
Naomi Watts' backless cranberry-colored Zac Posen gown was stunningly simple. Covered up in the front, with long sleeves, it looked fresh, as did her loosely side-swept hair. (Amy Poehler was wearing a similar do.)
Nude, cream and blush tone looks were popular. A lot of them were a snooze though, including Anne Hathaway's two-piece Chanel. An exception was Kerry Washington's unique, Champagne-colored Miu Miu dress with a long, sheer skirt and delicate silver, feather-like embroidery. Another winner in the pale-hued spectrum was "Downton Abbey" actress Michelle Dockery's cream column gown with gold leaf embroidery by French designer Alexandre Vauthier.
Giorgio Armani made a strong showing, dressing Jodie Foster in a navy blue beaded halter gown with interesting-looking, tile-like paillettes on the straps, and Olivia Munn in a strapless column with turquoise herringbone beading on the bodice. Both of the gowns felt special, but their designs were measured. They were not overdone nor underwhelming.
Dior's new designer Raf Simons also dressed a pair of high-profile guests: Jennifer Lawrence in a coral-hued, strapless, 1950s-style organza gown with a molded bustier that sent the Twitterverse into overdrive chattering about her awkward assets, and Marion Cotillard in a more demure, orange velvet dress with draped front detail and asymmetrical hem.
But any marks for pizazz that Lawrence might have earned were negated as soon as she opened her mouth. "It's Dior Haute Couture," she told E! Entertainment. "I don't know what 'haute' means, but I have to say it."