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Video: Oscar’s red carpet hits and misses

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updated 2/28/2011 9:36:42 AM ET 2011-02-28T14:36:42

"Black Swan" graced the Oscars on Sunday night in several ways: Besides Natalie Portman in her Rodarte violet-colored draped gown in silk chiffon with Swarovski crystals, co-star Mila Kunis wore a very low-cut, lingerie-style Elie Saab gown in lavender with lace details.

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Other stars had a bit of a dancer vibe, including Mandy Moore in a gold-beaded, illusion gown by Monique Lhuillier and Hailee Steinfeld's custom-made Marchesa.

Steinfeld accessorized her crystal-covered, hand-embroidered, tea-length tulle dress in pale pink with a ballerina-style, diamond-and-platinum Fred Leighton headband.

Story: A royal night for 'The King's Speech'

"Hailee Steinfeld made the perfect choice — in its endearingness and sincerity," said Susan Cernek, executive online fashion editor for Glamour.

And, added Cernek, "Natalie Portman was as gorgeous and amazing as you'd think." The gown by Laura and Kate Mulleavy made skillful use of a delicate neckline to draw attention from the empire waist that is pretty standard for maternity dresses, she observed, and the Tiffany & Co. tassel earrings were a perfect complement.

Interactive: Rate the Oscar fashions (on this page)

There was some controversy ahead of the Academy Awards about "Black Swan" — and who should get the credit for its very influential looks. Rodarte did design some of the outfits, but Amy Westcott was the film's official costume designer.

"Natalie Portman was making a personal choice. She calls the Rodarte designers 'friends,'" Cernek says.

Another big statement on the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles was host Anne Hathaway in a big, attention-grabbing strapless red gown.

Gwyneth Paltrow's metallic, embroidered sheath gown with a slit-style V neck by Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa hit the trend of a more seductive, sophisticated Oscars look versus flashy, skin-baring styles.

Red carpet trends: Shimmer, reds, plums

"Mostly I think people looked really good. They went couture and body conscious, not overtly sexy," said Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of InStyle magazine. "There was a lot of sheer, a lot of high necks. ... There was no real clunker in the bunch."

The higher neckline of Amy Adams' L'Wren Scott gown, covered in purple caviar beads with a back-hem slit, was contrasted by her chunky pendant necklace. "It was a '40s Shanghai nightclub — sexy but quite covered up," said Cernek.

"The one thing we're seeing a consistent amount of is silhouettes fitted to their bodies, whether it's romantic or structured," said stylist Cristina Ehrlich, who worked with Adams.

Melissa Leo's Marc Bouwer gown, which had a collar-style neckline, was an atypical choice of this most classic and glamorous occasion of the awards-show season.

Story: Complete list of Oscar winners

Reese Witherspoon channeled a bit of Brigitte Bardot in her black gown by Giorgio Armani Prive with a white band around the strapless bustline, and Hilary Swank's strapless, gray Gucci had the unexpected twist of delicate feathers at the hemline.

Oscar.com fashion expert Tom Julian put Scarlett Johansson and her deep-magenta, stretch-lace gown by Dolce & Gabbana at the top of his list. (He gave his best-tux prize to Tom Ford's fitted suit on Justin Timberlake.)

"Glamorous reds, regal and rich purples, and modern metallics took over this year's red carpet," Julian said.

Also in red were Penelope Cruz in a sequined L'Wren Scott and Sandra Bullock, wearing a sculptured, strapless Vera Wang.

Jennifer Hudson showed off her slimmed-down figure in a tangerine-orange halter gown by Versace. She told E! she was wearing purple shoes, but the oversized skirt kept them hidden.

"It was a great way to say, 'Guess what? I'm a star, I've got the power and I'm fierce," said style expert Suze Yalof Schwartz. "It was the ultimate makeover dress."

Slideshow: 2011 Academy Awards red carpet (on this page)

If her dress didn't do it, then her jewels did. Jeweler Neil Lane valued her 20-carat ring, long, basket earrings, and bracelets at $1 million.

Jennifer Lawrence surely raised her buzz status in a slinky, scoopneck, fire-engine red Calvin Klein gown. It wasn't the usual Oscar-glam look. She looked more like a '70s swimsuit pinup — except for the 42 carats of Chopard yellow diamonds on her wrist — but it worked for her.

Cate Blanchett went the couture route in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. The pleated, pale-wisteria dress was embroidered with pearls, crystals covered in leather and a swath of yellow beads around the neck.

Glamour.com's Cernek put Blanchett in the same category as Florence Welch, who wore a cream-colored lace Valentino, as stars who don't back down on personal style.

"It's nice to see they could find things so unique, even as formal an occasion as it is," she said.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Red carpet

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  1. Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway arrived at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on Feb. 27 in Hollywood, Calif. The actress, who is co-hosting the ceremony with actor James Franco, wore a Valentino for the arrival. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Gwyneth Paltrow

    "Country Strong" star Gwyneth Paltrow arrived looking golden in a Calvin Klein. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon looked sleek in a black and white Oscar de la Renta. (John Shearer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter

    Helena Bonham Carter, who is nominated for best supporting actress for "King's Speech," arrived with partner Tim Burton at her side. (Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" won two awards.) Carter, who reportedly didn't hire a stylist for the event, wore a design from Colleen Atwood. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Sandra Bullock

    Sandra Bullock arrived looking gorgeous in a red Vera Wang gown and Jimmy Choo sandals. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves

    Matthew McConaughey brought girlfriend Camila Alves to the big ceremony. The actor wore a Dolce & Gabanna tux. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Sharon Stone

    Actress Sharon Stone took her look to new heights at the Oscars. (John Shearer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham

    Mark Wahlberg, who's film "The Fighter" won the two supporting actor awards, arrived with wife Rhea Durham. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Justin Timberlake and Lynn Harless

    Justin Timberlake, who starred in "The Social Network," brought mom Lynn Harless to the show with him. (Amy Sancetta / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Hilary Swank

    Actress Hilary Swank was light as air in a Gucci Premiere gown. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz

    Javier Bardem, who was nominated for best actor for "Biutiful," arrived in Gucci, with his wife, actress Penelope Cruz, by his side. Cruz gave birth to the couple's first child recently, and showed off her already slim figure in a L'Wren Scott dress and Jimmy Choo shoes. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

    Actress Nicole Kidman, who was nominated for best actress for "Rabbit Hole," arrived with husband Keith Urban by her side. Kidman wore Dior with Pierre Hardy shoes. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Christian Bale, Sibi Blazic

    Christian Bale, who won for best supporting actor for "The Fighter," arrived at the red carpet with wife Sibi Blazic by his side. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Colin Firth and Livia Giuggioli

    Colin Firth, who won best actor for "The King's Speech," arrived with wife Livia Giuggioli. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Helen Mirren

    Helen Mirren looked elegant on the red carpet in a Vivienne Westwood Couture dress. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Halle Berry

    Halle Berry floated on the red carpet in a crystal-encrusted Marchesa gown. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Scarlett Johansson

    Scarlett Johansson showed off her stunning figure in a body-hugging, one-of-a-kind dress by Dolce & Gabanna and Christian Louboutin shoes. (John Shearer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Mark Ruffalo

    Mark Ruffalo is nominated for supporting actor for his work in "The Kids Are All Right." (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Jennifer Hudson

    Singer Jennifer Hudson took advantage of her svelte new figure and showed off in a Versace. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Russell Brand

    Comedian Russell Brand brought his mother, Barbara, to the big show. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Cate Blanchett

    Cate Blanchett arrived in a Givenchy. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Amy Adams

    Amy Adams, who was nominated for best supporting actress for "The Fighter," arrived in a gorgeous sapphire blue L'Wren Scott dress. According to a Cartier press release, the star accessorized with $1.35 million worth of the company's jewelry. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Jesse Eisenberg

    "The Social Network" star Jesse Eisenberg was nominated for best actor for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. (John Shearer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Hailee Steinfeld

    Fourteen-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, who was nominated for best supporting actress for "True Grit," struck a pose in an age-appropriate Marchesa, Fred Leighton jewels and Ferragamo shoes and clutch. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Mandy Moore

    Singer Mandy Moore sparkled in a Monique Luhuillier on the red carpet. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Mila Kunis

    Mila Kunis, who starred in "Black Swan," stunned in a flowy lilac Elie Saab gown. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Michelle Williams

    Michelle Williams, who was nominated for best actress for her role in "Blue Valentine," wore a beaded Chanel Haute Couture gown and Jimmy Choo pumps. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Melissa Leo

    Melissa Leo, who won for best supporting actress for "The Fighter," wore Marc Bouwer. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Jennifer Lawrence

    Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for best actress for "Winter's Bone," was one of the earliest stars to arrive. She wore Calvin Klein. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (29) 2011 Academy Awards red carpet - Red carpet
  2. Image: 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Show
    Kevin Winter / Getty Images
    Slideshow (24) 2011 Academy Awards red carpet - Awards show
  3. Image: 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Show
    Kevin Winter / Getty Images
    Slideshow (24) 2011 Academy Awards - Awards show
  4. Image: 83rd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
    Slideshow (29) 2011 Academy Awards - Red Carpet
  5. Image: Anne Hathaway
    Chris Pizzello / AP
    Slideshow (44) 2011 Academy Awards - After parties

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