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Red Carpet Fashion Forecast: The Academy Awards 2012

Chloe Gaffney |
February 24, 2012 | 2:10 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
This Sunday marks one of the most momentous occasions in fashion: The 84th Academy Awards.  Presenters, nominees, actresses, stylists, designers and journalists alike all know that landing an esteemed position on one of the best dressed lists is most significant for this event. 

Hollywood’s elite did not disappoint in 2011.  Anne Hathaway turned heads with the assistance of stylist Rachel Zoe, showcasing eight different gowns throughout the program.  Hathaway arrived in a signature red Valentino couture gown, sported Armani Privé, Oscar de la Renta, Lanvin, Givenchy and concluded the show in Tom Ford.  Her stellar looks conveyed class, confidence and eclectic variety.  A number of actresses, in the likes of Hailee Steinfeld, Halle Berry, Michelle Williams and Mandy Moore, arrived clad in nude-hued gowns.  However, I predict that the subtle sparkle that gleamed on the red carpet last year will have transformed into glitz and glaring glam this year.

As we witnessed during the 2012 Golden Globes and Grammy Awards, many female celebrities abandoned the gowns that embody classic beauty, and instead opted for more daring and eye-catching ensembles.  The Oscars are typically a time for stunning fashion choices, and I expect to see more sexy gowns on Sunday than ever before.  Think low-cut necklines, body-hugging silhouettes, sheer fabrics and high slits.  I am certain we will see bright hues, sequins and full skirts, especially on confident red carpet veterans like Jennifer Lopez, who will be presenting this year.

A notable exception to this prediction is Rooney Mara, a nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her character in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”  Mara has consistently worn black, cutout gowns on the red carpet since stepping into the spotlight this year.  Given the dark nature of her role as Lisbeth Salander, I venture to say that the actress will remain consistent in her decision to wear black, while simultaneously incorporating her signature edginess into an elegant gown.    

I also believe that Jessica Chastain, nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her character in “The Help,” will remain true to her simplistic fashion approach.  Chastain favors minimalist looks that flatter her gorgeous neckline and slim waist.  She looks striking in purple and blue hues, which complement her red hair.  I expect that she will look very tasteful and ladylike without attempting to take any dramatic outfit risks.

Numerous young, fresh actresses have emerged this year and truly made a splash on the film and fashion industries.  They stand alongside some of the most established and acclaimed actresses, and it will be interesting to analyze the contrast in attire between the two generations.  Only Sunday will we see who comes best dressed to impress on fashion’s biggest night.

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