2012 February 27

Oscars Recap: Which Fashion Houses Emerged on Top?

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Meryl Streep in Lanvin Meryl Streep in Lanvin
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(NEW YORK) All in all, another safe season on the red carpet, with enough basically basic gowns to keep Hollywood's A-listers far from the worst-dressed lists. (Sorry, J.Lo.) Which fashion houses emerged on top? Lanvin, for starters. The house dressed Best Actor and Best Actress winners Jean Dujardin and Meryl Streep, the latter in a glittery gold number that will remain more memorable than her speech. (Mamie and Grace Gummer also hit the after-party circuit in noir and navy columns, decked out with statement jewels, also designed by Alber Elbaz). Next up? Louis Vuitton, which provided us with one of the evening's most memorable fashion moments with that "coral" peplum gown on Michelle Williams. And then it was Versace, which adorned Angelina Jolie in so many yards of black velvet that she was all limb and drama, and it worked swimmingly. Alexander McQueen made a major statement with the black and gold gown on a luminous Jessica Chastain; Viola Davis' emerald Vera Wang was equally surprising and successful. Of all the white gowns, Milla Jovovich wore her Elie Saab with the most gusto, and Gwyneth Paltrow's Tom Ford cape was a surprising, and admirable, silhouette choice. 

Giorgio Armani's pale blue princess gown for Penelope Cruz received mixed reviews, but his burnished bronze column on Ellie Kemper fared better with the critics. Carolina Herrera's exclusive with Tina Fey was an inspired choice for a dignified, if not entirely unexpected, look. Judy Greer's body-con Monique Lhuillier didn't receive much airtime last night, which is really too bad, given that the scuba-chic look was among the most directional seen all evening. Shailene Woodley's long-sleeved knit (!!) Valentino Haute Couture gown was a tad mature for the teen; the Proenza Schouler mini she donned for the after-parties served her much better. 

As for the hotly-anticipated Rooney Mara moment? Meh. Her off-white lace Givenchy was a departure from all that noir, but the rest of it left us a little lackluster. Perhaps it's time to take a page from the Zoe Saldana handbook and grace a full season of the ready-to-wear collections, as Saldana did before the release of Avatar? All that homework has clearly paid off: the fash-fixated Saldana's Marios Schwab number at the Vanity Fair party was among the best looks of the evening.

But before checking our Gallery to peruse them all, The Daily wonders...No Chanel? No Prada? No Dior? No Narciso or Francisco (until the after-parties)? We report, you decide...  ASHLEY BAKER

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