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Oscars fashion in retrospect

By Silvia Stanciu, Special to the Chronicle



The last weekend in February came and went, and the burden was placed on the Academy Awards- since the NBA All-Star game was as lukewarm as can be. While the notable male winners, Christopher Plummer for "Beginners," Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris," and Jean Dujardin for "The Artist" proved that ageism might be, well, dying, the young things refused to leave the spotlight. What better way to prove your relevance and worth than to don the perfect gown? Luckily they all have veritable acting chops. With clear signs of fashion intuition, three actresses glistened on the red carpet, and it had little to do with bronzer of the Long Island persuasion.

Michelle Williams' coral Louis Vuitton had every head turning, and despite her loss to Meryl Streep for Best Actress, she could not possibly have been downcast while wearing such a bright and fashion-forward peplum gown. The style, reminiscent of the feminine fifties and yet novel in its interpretation, added shape to her hips and forged the desirable hourglass figure. Needless to say, the actress managed to pull off the pageboy haircut and looked stunning on the red carpet. Needless to say, all shades of orange are "in" for 2012, and we can all blame the talented and savvy Marilyn Monroe impersonator.

Not to be ignored (and perhaps the most meme-relevant takeaway from the Oscars) was Angelina Jolie's choice of showing off her dress. Enveloped in a black velvet Atelier Versace gown, Angelina Jolie's leg made for raucous laughter and gam-lusting stares. Despite the snub for her directorial debut in the cringe-worthy yet powerful "In the Land of Blood and Honey," Jolie showed that a solid black gown will never go out of style, and a good "accessory" will always be show-stopping.

Coming off a critically-acclaimed 2011, Emma Stone brought on the fashion with a bright red Giambattista Valli gown that made me question whether the carpet was actually red. Who said matching your hair to your dress was a bad idea? The beautiful hue complemented her coloring; the elegant design of the dress revealed a young, attractive actress whom we can somehow still see befriending over coffee. Stone attended the awards to present as well as support her fellow colleagues and Oscar nominees for "The Help," Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, but it's safe to say that she overshadowed them in the sartorial department.

With a not-so-unpredictable return to the "bright" trend, we can all dream to look half as good as these accomplished actresses. Formals are coming up, and the lesson we can all take away is that in this instance, "more" is "more." If you don't keep the legs covered up, you will risk becoming a meme!

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