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Oscar Fashions 2013

Halle Berry - Versace

The 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony featured glitter, glitz, and some unexpected fashion trends. As the stars took their turn on the red carpet, one thing became glaringly apparent: this was the year of the muted color palette.

A-listers Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, and Jennifer Lawrence all opted for nude and off-white gowns. Charlize Theron wowed in a stunning white peplum dress by Dior, while acresses Amy Adams and Zoe Saldana graced the red carpet in shades of light-grey. On the other end of the spectrum, Halle Berry, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, and Stacy Keibler stood out in dark metallic shades and sparkly sequins.

There was the occasional pop of color. Jennifer Anniston and Sally Field both wore gorgeous Valentino gowns in vibrant red. Other colorful standouts included Jane Fonda in bright yellow, Jennifer Garner is stunning plum, and Reese Witherspoon in royal blue.

Amanda Seyfried, Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon, and Olivia Munn all opted for gowns featuring long, beautiful trains. What really set these gowns apart were the construction of the bodices. Some were strapless, some angular, and others featured keyholes.

Which look was your favorite? Did any of the gowns inspire you? Will you incorporate any of the trends into your sewing? What did you think of the color palette?


Halle Berry – Versace

Stacy Keibler

Stacy Keibler – Naeem Khan

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman – L’Wren Scott

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts – Armani Prive


Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron – Dior

Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried – Alexander McQueen

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain – Giorgio Armani

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart – Reem Acra


Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence – Dior

Ocatavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer – Tadashi Shoji

Amy Adams

Amy Adams – Oscar De La Renta

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana – Alexis Mabille

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington – Miu Miu

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn – Marchesa

Jennifer Anniston

Jennifer Anniston – Valentino

Sally Field

Sally Field – Valentino


Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda – Versace

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon – Louis Vuitton

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner – Gucci

Salma Hayek

Salma Heyek – Alexander McQueen


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  1. Sewingmaniac | | #1

    Personally, I like the Alexander McQueen gowns the best - all of the gown are lovely but, AM is my favourite.

  2. conski | | #2

    I think the dress Nicole Kidman is wearing is pretty incredible. I love how L'Wren Scott did the panels at the bottom.

    Though, I can't even imagine how much work the ruffles on Sally Field's Valentino must have been!

  3. Softwear | | #3

    Halle Berry's Versace; in other pictures you can see the shoulder pads as they stick out from the dress; that they would have been covered. Wouldn't expect that from a designer gown. Kristen Stewarts dress while lovely did not flatter her figure; making her look like one thick column. Olivia Munn's should have been about 1 inch higher so it didn't seem as it was falling down and would have given her a longer upper torso and visually more pleasing. Same with Reese Witherspoon's dress, it would have elongated her upper torso and would have give the upper and lower parts of the dress seem more porportionally in balance. Salma Heyek looks like she has no neck. Jane Fonda, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Garner look absolutely stunning in dresses that fit and flatter; and that's what a dress, designer or otherwise should look like.

  4. MachineQueen | | #4

    As I look over the photos, I want to see more neck adornment. So many of the gals have bare shoulders and necks. Their outfits just don't look complete.

  5. user-1109679 | | #5

    Love the geometry in soo many of these - like Halle Barry's. also really liked the simple front and surprising back of the pink gown worn by Anne Hathaway. The overblown bouffant gowns worn by Sally Field, Jennifer Aniston, and others are lovely, but I don't feel they are flattering -- all you see is GOWN, not the person...

  6. User avater
    ppinnc | | #6

    My favorites were Jennifer Garner's Gucci and Charlise Theron's Dior - Both very classy. I notice there was no mention of Anne Hathaway's Prada with those horrible bust darts !! What was she thinking??

  7. stsimon | | #7

    Funny that Jennifer Garner's dress was not featured in most of the news stories--I had to go look for it after reading ppinncc's comment. That looked like the perfect red carpet dress to me: perfect fit (this is how to do darts!), perfect proportions, lovely flattering color, fancy with the ruffle in back but not overwhelming. Well done, Jennifer!

  8. ohannieobanannieo | | #8

    I've been wanting to discuss the gowns with people who have an interest in such things, unlike my husband! :-)

    I thought Jennifer Aniston's gown was absolutely gorgeous. The color was such a unique red, a really beautiful shade and it suited her coloring. Beyond the color though, it fit her beautifully, was proportioned well for her, was classy and classic and yet not stuffy. It was my favorite. I wish she had worn her hair differently with it and perhaps a beautiful necklace but even so, gorgeous.

    Jennifer Garner's was lovely. I loved the blue of Reece Witherspoon's gown. Charlize Theron looked stunning. That perfectly fit white gown with her statuesque figure and the short blonde hair - simple yet stunning.

    While appreciating all of the slinky, shiny, sparkly gowns, after so many, they began to remind of a school of fish, albeit beautiful fish, still very shiny, shimmery fish. I thought Nicole Kidman's was the loveliest of the shiny, shimmery lot and she is so beautiful and graceful in it. Naomi Watts also looked beautiful in that interestingly designed gown; I liked that cap sleeve and the geometric design overall and she is so pretty.I thought the gowns worn by Sallie Field, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and some others were just overwhelmingly too much. Kristin Stewart - a gorgeous gown but she always looks a little like a sullen child who threw on something beautiful of her mother's and was pouting (realizing she was injured that night and so cutting some slack - she did look beautiful) And I thought that Selma Hayak (I fear I'm misspelling her name and can't check it right now) looked just gorgeous in that gown with her hair up; really a rich, complex look from a gown and look of relatively simple lines.

    I seem to recall a time when Halle Berry wore a pink gown that looked so pretty on her, but this "star-trek" kind of design she wore this year, and the angular/geometric hair- I don't think flattered her at all.

    Last thought: I am not a fan of all the strapless gowns, the long, excessive trains, the low cut/V-cut "why bother wearing anything" bodices, and the little "bib" fronts with no backs (and the annoyingly frequent references in popular tabloids of the side-b**b, a classless, tiresome comment about a generally unattractive style.

    Thus ends a long exposition of nuttin' but one sewer's opinions! I wish I could wear even one of those gowns, but if I could, it would be Jennifer Aniston's!

  9. RStaff49 | | #9

    I too wondered about all those ruffles on Sally Fields dress. Since I did not watch the awards, this is the first time I have seen the gowns. There are many lovely ones. Why have all the trains? Are modern men wary enough not to step on them? Halle Barry was perfect for that dress with shoulder pads. Jane Fonda did look stunning in the yellow gown. Thanks to Threads for sharing these.

  10. Mamato8 | | #10

    The one that caught my eye was on Zoe Saldana. That dress is so smooth and the wonderful ripples of white, grey and black at the bottom so classy! I'm not sure what it looks like from other angles, but the photo shows a very classy line. The top of the dress doesn't look like it's barely holding on either. I prefer more clothes on the models too.

    I just can't get over that hemline! It is so cool!

  11. Ikebana152 | | #11

    It's sometimes hard to separate the woman from the dress.

    Salma Hayek's McQueen dress was well executed but on her petite buxom frame made her appear shorter and neckless. Amy Adams floating dress was lovely and floaty but the color against her skin was just drab.

    I am not a huge fan of Raf Simon but Charlize Theron's Dior gown was spectacular. Love the geometry of the bustier and peplum. Georgina Chapman's Marchesa gown made her one of the most beautiful pregnant women i have every seen.

    Kudos to Octavia Spencer in Tadahi Shoji - a large woman in a dress that fit her well, worked her curves and made no apologies for her size. Sadly Melissa McCarthy looked awful. Last year she was this big beautiful woman, this year draped in a sad, gray, droopy sack her appearance was disheartening.

    One of my favorite designers of the night was Marchesa. Olivia Munn's spectacular bodice, Georgina Chapman's pregnant elegance and Fan Bingbing's fuschia draped bodice were all so well executed and suited to the women who wore them.

    Ann Hathaways dress was ill fitted, over designed at the back and a bad color for her.

    I am hot and cold about Halle Berry's dress. Almost costumey but fabulous on her. She could wear a dish towel and still be stunning. So was it her or the dress?

    Jessica chastaine was the right woman in the right dress. A perfect match of color and line for a stunning redhead. Kelly Ripa's dress was perfectly executed and one of the few prints of the evening. The bodice on Kelly Osboune's dress was a fabulous piece of construction.

    I am taking Haute Couture techniques at FIT this spring and this week have spent hours appliquing lace to silk organza ...NOT EASY!!! I have a much deeper appreciation of the talents of the people who execute these amazing, floating, beaded, ruffled and ruched confections. I am not often (ever) invited to red carpet events so my challenge as an average person who sews is how to incorporate the elegance and technique of these red carpet works of art into my daily life. Can i drape a better dress, modify a neckline, add a couture finsh and still be appropriate to my lifetyle?

    Thanks to the NY Times for the online Red Carpet project - 15 years of Oscar red carpet fashion. My i-pad is glued to my hand.

    Thanks to Threads for letting me play fashion critic..:-)

  12. user-980489 | | #12

    Love many of the gowns, but Heidi Klum's gown - really??? It doesn't matter how good of shape your body is in - most of us don't want to see "all of it" when people are dressed for the red carpet.

  13. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #13

    Jennifer Laurence should have had more practice walking with that gown! And Kristen Stewart's dress stood out from her bust in a very ill-fitting way, looked so very messy.
    I loved Hallie Berry's gown. Thought most of the huge ball gowns were too over the top, and the dresses were wearing the women.

  14. terricita | | #14

    I wasn't crazy about the metalic dresses. Though shiny, the colors came off as drab even though some had some interesting detail. I loved Charleize Theron's beautiful dress as well as the cool haircut. Also loved Octavia Spencer's dress. She always looks good and well put together and that is hard to do, and do consistantly, especially if you're full figured. My other favorite was Jennifer Aniston's gown. Loved the beautiful color. I love bright color anyway and am glad to see it worn, but I agree with another poster that I wish she would have done something with her hair. That kind of ballgown does not look right with the same hair you go to the beach in.

  15. User avater
    bj_sews_on | | #15

    Many of the gowns were lessons in what did not flatter as well as what did... agree with Softwear when she says that the short, strapless bodices shorten and don't flatter the proportions of the wearers, like Reese Whitherspoon's dress. She usually has a very balanced figure. Some of the gowns don't look very up-to-date. Jane Fonda's shoulder pads look like something pulled out from the 80's... does she always wear unnatural pads? Sally Fields has a petite figure so she must have looked overwhelmed with all those ruffles. A little more realism would have helped while choosing something for her figure.

    The tight metallics with all the lines and seams probably show a trend. They do have a lesson here about "just because you can doesn't mean you should". I agree about Halle Berry's gown with user_110... She did look rather like she was in a sci-fi costume.

    Valentino, Gucci and Christian Dior all proved they still respect the proportions of a woman's figure.. they were all beautiful gowns. After seeing Zoe Saldana wearing the lovely gown by Alexis Mabille I'd like to see more of that designer.

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