Red carpet standouts

Times Staff Writer

HERE in the city of make-believe, the Oscars are the original reality show. The drama and the comedy play out on the red carpet instead of the silver screen, ensuring some of the best moments in cinema history -- whether the academy embraces it or not.

Like you, we can’t get enough. So with this 79th installment, the fashion team decided to hand out some awards of its own. Among award shows, the Oscars is the most grown up -- sometimes to almost reserved (translated: stultifying) effect. And, for better or worse, Sunday’s fashion show didn’t shatter that tradition. Gowns were pretty and colorful; jewels, blinding; makeup, soft.

And the surprises? None.

The men were men. But stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Alan Arkin set a precedent in formal neckwear with solid-color, four-in-hand ties. Traditional tuxedoes have vanished in favor of a more minimal dark suit.

Women were, well, goddesses, with some, such as Jennifer Lopez in Marchesa, Jodie Foster in Vera Wang and Kate Winslet in sherbet Valentino, opting for a toga silhouette.

Standouts included Reese Witherspoon in a tiered, aubergine Nina Ricci gown; Helen Mirren in Christian Lacroix; Celine Dion in bottle-green James Galanos; and Vogue cover girl Jennifer Hudson in chocolate Oscar de la Renta.


What didn’t work? Jada Pinkett’s Carolina Herrera looked hard. Kelly Preston looked like Pebbles in that leopard Dolce & Gabbana. And the jury is split on Cameron Diaz’s white Valentino: Fashion forward or a table cloth?

Here are the rest: