Thankfully my interest in the Oscars is very rarely to do with the awards and very much to do with the dresses. And this year was exceptionally good in that regard. There were no truly legendary Oscar dress disasters (think Bjork laying an egg) although quite what Marisa Tomei was thinking I'm not sure. Kudos to her for going vintage, though. I found it quite hard to get my favourite looks down to a top 10. But I have done, and here they are:
1. Mila Kunis in Elie Saab
I am actually in love with Mila Kunis after this awards season. She hasn't put a foot wrong, and last night was no exception. Her beautiful lilac Elie Saab (who, let's be honest, is pretty much the king of the red carpet) was perfect. The lace and the plunging neck line kept it young, whilst the draping and frill to the skirt upped the glamour. Pared down hair, make up and jewellery kept her from looking too try hard and kept the look from being fussy. She looks breathtaking. And I love her.
2. Halle Berry in Marchesa
Halle Berry's gorgeous, nude, strapless Marchesa had just the right amount of froth and bling to look special without looking showgirl. The shade looks amazing against her skin tone too. Again, hair, make up and jewellery were kept minimal to let the dress do the talking. Beautiful.
3. Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott
As previously noted, midnight blue is having a moment. Amy Adams was its main ambassador at the Oscars and she looked stunning. Her beautiful, sparkling L'Wren Scott looked incredible against her red hair and incredible Cartier jewellery. I love the cap sleeves too.
4. Scarlett Johansson in Dolce and Gabbana
This girl knows how to dress her figure. Her beautiful, plum lace D&G with a cut out back looked demure but not boring, classic but not ageing. Both purple and lace were trends at this year's ceremony so Scarlett yet again flexes her fashion savvy. I love her tousled bob too, and her statement cocktail ring is to die for.
5. Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein Collection
The best of many gowns embracing the 'less is more' feel that's been big this season. The simple lines and lack of embellishment on this lush CK Collection showed off the brilliance of its cut. Pared with poker straight hair and Louis Vuitton jewellery, Gwyneth looked super cool. A triumph all the sweeter given some of the disasters she's had in past years...
6. Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa
The most age appropriate Oscars dress ever made for a young starlet, probably due in large part to the fact said young starlet had a hand in designing it. There was a definite ballerina feel to this pale pink, gently embellished Marchesa number which, largely thanks to Natalie Portman looking amazing in Black Swan, is very on trend. The skinny alice band and not-floor-sweeping hemline kept the look young. As it should be, given its wearer is 14. Wish I'd been that cool at 14!
7. Celine Dion in Armani Privee
Believe me, I'm as surprised as you are! But this simple, long sleeved, pale hued dress by red carpet specialists Armani Privee is just gorgeous. I have a serious fashion crush on dresses with sleeves and this one is executed perfectly. Also, Celine gave birth to twins four months ago. She's looking pretty damn good for it!
8. Natalie Portman in Rodarte
Rodarte famously were behind the costumes for Black Swan so it was only a matter of time before the film's (now) Oscar winning star turn wore one of their designs on the red carpet. The off the shoulder plum number she eventually went for was beautiful and worked on the very pregnant star's body perfectly. Teamed with minimal accessories and sideswept hair, this was the best dressed bump I've scene in a very long time.
9. Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein Collection
From the same house and in the same mould as Gwyneth Paltrow's nude column gown, but also completely different. The stunning newcomer went for a daringly simple red CK Collection dress that flaunted her 20-year old figure to perfection whilst keeping everything covered and classy. Teamed with almost no jewellery and perfect blonde waves, the up and coming actress cemented her status as one to watch both on and off the screen.
10. Hilary Swank in Gucci
Hilary Swank always seems to get just the right amount of drama into her big red carpet event dressing and this stunning silver sequinned AND feathered Gucci number was a real showstopper. The rest of the look was kept as simple as could be which really let the dress shine. On other stars this could have looked awful, so double thumbs up for (as Tim Gunn would say) making it work.