The Best and Worst-Dressed at 2011 Oscars

The red carpet at the Academy Awards was more subdued this year, allowing understated dresses to shine alongside the night's usual sparklers.

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The red carpet at the Academy Awards was more subdued this year, allowing understated dresses to shine alongside the night's usual sparklers. BEST: Actress Mila Kunis looked positively radiant in a delicate lavender lace gown by Elie Saab that managed to show a lot of skin while still looking elegant.
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BEST: Michelle Williams perfectly channeled the evening's more pared-down glamour in a cream-colored Chanel dress covered with tiny, pearly embellishments.
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BEST: Host Anne Hathaway had multiple costume changes during the long broadcast, but one of her best was the vintage red Valentino she wore on the red carpet, where the label's founding designer stood by her side.
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BEST: Like many other actresses on the Oscars red carpet, Halle Berry opted for a neutral hue over a strong color: This frothy, sparkling Marchesa was one of the night's better fairy tale-like gowns.
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BEST: Of all the evening's ladies in red, Sandra Bullock was the strongest in a structured, fire-engine red Vera Wang gown with a bustier-like neckline.
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BEST: Young nominee Hailee Steinfeld has proved a flawless red carpet star and her winning streak continued with this peachy Marchesa gown, which managed to seem slightly princess-y without looking too tween. The slim, sparkly headband was such a fresh topper.
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BEST: Best actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence was one of the first to hit the Oscars red carpet, and her simple-yet-sexy Calvin Klein set the tone for the evening's understated sex appeal.
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BEST: Gwyneth Paltrow's shimmering Calvin Klein column was a perfect balance of minimalist simplicity and rich sparkle, perfectly paired with statement-making earrings and razor-straight hair.
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BEST: Just one month after giving birth to a baby boy, Penelope Cruz showed off her curves in a perfectly-fitted, sparkling red L'Wren Scott gown.
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BEST: Cate Blanchett's Givenchy haute couture gown will likely have its critics, but for the majority of fashion fans, the actress the style quotient on this year's red carpet to a whole new level with this utterly unique gown, topped off with the night's chicest haircut.
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BEST: Mandy Moore typically channels more of an indie-girl aesthetic, so this upscale and sophisticated Monique Lhullier gown felt slightly out of character, but nonetheless wonderfully glamorous and precisely the type of gown one hopes to spot on the Oscars red carpet each year.
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WORST: Despite Helena Bonham Carter's unfortunate taste in clothing, she never ceases to have a wonderful sense of humor about her attire. This rather witchy-looking dress was designed by the costume designer for "Alice in Wonderland," and came complete with a Union Jack garter belt.
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WORST: Actress Melissa Leo's custom Marc Bouwer was a rather dizzying patchwork of reflective pieces that might have worked better had there not been quite so much material. The high collar and strong shoulders didn't help to soften the look.
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WORST: Much as we were thrilled that Marisa Tomei brought designer Charles James back to the red carpet with this '50s couture piece, the neckline seemed ill-fitted and unflattering, and the tulle skirt looked a bit too fussy.
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WORST: While the red hue and delicate lace of Scarlett Johansson's Dolce & Gabbana gown were perfectly on-trend for the evening, the odd shape of the transparent lace at the neckline and the two-tone nature of the material made the whole look feel a bit sloppy.
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WORST: All eyes were on Natalie Portman to see whether she would wear Dior in spite of the recent drama with John Galliano, or favor Rodarte, who designed some of the costumes in "Black Swan." As it happens, Rodarte won the night, though one never would have guessed it by looking at the rather unremarkable dress that, despite its lovely plum color, looked like it could have been any off-the-rack gown.
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WORST: True, there isn't anything egregiously wrong with Reese Witherspoon's strapless black-and-white gown, which seemed to channel Julia Roberts' Valentino of 2001, but there certainly wasn't anything interesting about it, either, and the flipped-out high ponytail made the whole look too informal for such a big event.
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WORST: Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, did choose to support Dior in wearing this haute couture gown. Unfortunately, the architectural white gown had a seriously unflattering silhouette.
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WORST: While the vast majority of Anne Hathaway's myriad costume changes were quite elegant -- even her charming tuxedo -- this tiered black-and-white confection was a misstep both for its shape, color, and the odd braided bun with which Hathaway chose to top it off.
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WORST: Sharon Stone seemed to be taking the "Black Swan" theme a bit too seriously with this black feathered gown and severe bouffant hairdo.
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WORST: A simple, navy sparkling gown in and of itself can be quite chic, but something about the cap sleeves on Amy Adams' L'Wren Scott dress failed to flatter. In addition, topping the look off with a chunky Chopard necklace seemed excessive.
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