Our style picks for Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, other best actress nomineesThis year, Hollywood's leading ladies include a sixty-something silver fox, an outsized but outrageously gifted newcomer, and, oh yeah, a 10-foot-tall, cyan-skinned glamazon with amber eyes. And a tail.
But given the right gown, wisely chosen accessories, and a certain amount of confidence, even a Na'vi warrior like Neytiri here can pull off a show-stopping red carpet look -- only Marion Cotillard could wear this Jean Paul Gaultier fish-scale gown better. (IOh wait, she did.)
Some of the best actress contenders at Sunday's 2010 Academy Awards are proven red carpet winners (Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren); and some, no matter how often they're nominated, can't seem to get it right. Yes, we're talking about you, Meryl Streep. (Love you, hate your stylist!) Gabourey Sidibe and Carey Mulligan, relative newcomers, are walking this walk for the first time.
So we've combed through the looks fresh off the recent Paris and New York runways for just the right gown to match their fierce talents.
The lowdown: Bullock tends to play it safe in strapless gowns in nudes and blacks, with an occasional splash of color. She always looks great but doesn't break any new fashion ground. Her Alexander McQueen sheath with cap sleeves and an Art Deco neckline at the Golden Globes was a step in the right direction.
Our pick: This unfussy but ultra-glamorous white gown from Derek Lam is a modern take on the Grecian silhouette.
The lowdown: Mirren should teach classes on red carpet style. She consistently outclasses glamour pusses half -- heck, even a third -- her age by choosing well-tailored gowns in sumptuous fabrics and rich colors.
Our pick: Up-and-comer Prabal Gurung's green sheath with a structured train. It's simple but daring, and the green would look great with Mirren's pale hair.
The lowdown: We appreciate that Streep doesn't kowtow to trends, but she tends toward overwrought shapes and chunky, clunky jewels -- in a word, frumpy. The '80s-era bathroom wallpaper masquerading as Screen Actors Guild Awards gown? Appalling.
Our pick: This long-sleeved gown with a deep V-neck from Tadashi Shoji is similar in silhouette to the SAG look, but the metallic sheen makes all the difference.
Red carpet style: Bold and sassy
The lowdown: Sidibe refuses to be hamstrung by size-zero celebrity culture, and she's gotten some big names to create custom looks for her. She often opts for simple shapes in bright jewel tones, but we think she needs -- and deserves -- a little bling.
Our pick: Oscar de la Renta's belted black gown embellished with silver oozes old Hollywood glamour, and we bet Sidibe could rock a fur stole. (Marchesa, however, is dressing the "Precious" star, USA Today reports.)
The lowdown: Mulligan sported strapless, and, if truth be told, saggy gowns for much of the awards season, but broke out of the mold with a sleek printed gown from Vionnet at the British version of the Oscars last week. But we wouldn't mind a dash more sex appeal.
Our pick: Did we say sex appeal? This lace-trimmed gown from Elie Saab certainly fits the bill. The newly blond actress would look smashing in sunny yellow.