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As audiences worldwide recover from a “Crash” course on unlikely victories, fashion-forward eyes turn towards LA for stylistic direction. Every year, the latest gems of artistic imagination make their much publicized debuts on Oscars night. Exquisite gowns, dripping with glamour, capture millions’ imaginations. It is pure magic every stitch of the way.

Dazzling splendor, underscored by tons of star power, makes the Academy Awards ceremony the most anticipated event of the year. On this fateful day, the buzz surrounding the A-list gathering is immutable in every detail of life in Tinsel Town. From the endless racks of couture of clothes wheeled into the Peninsula Hotel to the blocked-off avenues; the city is torrid with excitement.

This year the Academy’s nominees for the haute chic category were… (drum roll) not as ‘out of left field’ as the winners. Charlize Theron, whose whole hearted embrace of couture has been a delight to watch, was statuesque (and appropriately so) in a pewter gown. The outsized bow perched atop one shoulder of the Galliano dream rendered the piece a complex choice, which could work for only the tallest, most slender and delicate of creatures, endowed with larger-than-life appeal. Similarly, Uma Thurman and Jessica Alba - both clad in Versace - were two spellbinding glamazon queens.

But not all Fashionlines favorites were towering babes with mile-long gams. Petit charm’s poster child, Reese Witherspoon was absolutely beautiful in a vintage Christian Dior frock. Undoubtedly, this time around, the adorable Oscar nominated Walk the Line sensation had made sure that the ‘vintage’ description attached to her selection meant something other than “a dress Kirsten Dunst wore new to an after party three years ago.”

Her baby’s father may not have won Oscar gold for his portrayal of a gay cowboy, but Michelle Williams was a 24-carat jewel in Vera Wang. Juxtaposed against the surprisingly svelte young mom’s alabaster skin and crimson lips, the mango colored dress was simply perfect. However, Mrs. Heath Ledger was not the only one modeling the former Vogue editor’s designs. British rose, Keira Knightley, was the other Wang girl in attendance. Mermaid like in a flaring eggplant ensemble, the girl with pride and prejudice dazzled onlookers.

Unfortunately, one time sex pot turned New Jersey house wife Jennifer Lopez looked matronly shrouded in a pistachio gown. But not even the excessive drapery of the ghetto-fabulous diva’s eye-searing mishap sufficed to distract from her over-tanned (more like seared) complexion and caky makeup. The Kong’s belloved Naomi Watts, on the other hand, shone in an ephemeral Givenchy creation, adorned with hand knotted roses.

Cameras don’t lie. After all, many actresses, gifted with gorgeous looks, have committed horrid style faux pas on the Oscar stage. But for every victim there is a belle drenched in elegance. Ultimately, the fashion pendulum swings both ways.




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