Trend Report: Oscar Fashion

Last night’s Oscar red carpet left many wanting, and not just for the fashion info Ryan Seacrest declined to obtain (seriously, if he said “Who are you wearing?” more than five times max I’d be shocked. His refusal to play the fashion game sent hundreds of viewers, myself included, scurrying to the Internet to figure out which designers made which dresses).

But what left us wanting even more was the lack of fashion risks and heart-stopping glamour. With all the fitted bodices, mermaid hems, solid colors, and simple necklines, I was left wondering: where’s the excitement? Where’s the shock factor?

You can’t blame celebrities for playing it safe, considering how critical and fashion-savvy Oscar viewers (with their incessant live-blogging and Tweeting) have become. The upside was that several clear-cut, unambiguous trends were easy to identify, making it simple for you to inject a little Oscar fashion into your own formal style. Here’s the breakdown of the 2010 Oscars biggest trends:

Ruffles: Nominee Gabourey Sidibe commented, “It’s like Hollywood prom.” For all the ruffles on the red carpet, she could have been right. Some were done perfectly, like Demi Moore‘s blush-colored confection and Elizabeth Banks‘ gorgeous grays (both Atelier Versace), not to mention Karl Lagerfeld-favorite Diane Kruger in Chanel Couture. Some went very, very badly, like Vera Farmiga in one too many Marchesa pleats or Zoe Saldana, whose purple explosion looked more like a kid’s art project complete with glitter and pom-poms than the Givenchy Couture it was. But no matter how it came out, the message was clear: we are having a ruffle moment.

Metallics: The celebs shined last night in an array of metallics that made the gleaming gold statuettes redundant. Sandra Bullock was the most radiant in Marchesa (although she could have used to lay off the lipstick and hairspray a bit), and Cameron Diaz sparkled in Oscar de la Renta. Miley Cyrus, Julianne Moore, and Kate Winslet all sported a subtle sheen on their strapless (and respectively age-appropriate) gowns.

Pastels: Maggie Gyllenhal bucked the trend in jewel-tone Dries Van Noten print, but the majority of the stars chose pastels for the red carpet. Jennifer Lopez and Amanda Seyfried struck a similar note in sculpted Armani Prive gowns in pale pink and pale green (or was it white?) respectively. Sarah Jessica Parker took the night’s biggest risk in yellow Chanel Couture, Queen Latifah and Zoe Saldana chose lavendar, Charlize Theron and Anna Kendrick blushed in rosy pink, and Helen Mirren went with icy blue Badgley Mischka. But the best pastel of the night was worn by the ever-gorgeous Rachel McAdams, who wrapped up all the prettiest hues in one watercolor gown by Elie Saab. Pastel perfection.

Strapless: Finally we’ve been granted a reprieve from the attack of the one-strap dresses. With a few notable exceptions (Sigourney Weavers Grecian one-strap, Mariah Carey‘s cap sleeves, Helen Mirren‘s gauze arm bandages, SJP‘s harnass), the stars left all manner of straps at home and showed off their shoulders in style. The best strapless looks of the night belonged to Carey Mulligan (in Prada), Rachel McAdams (in Elie Saab Haute Couture), Penelope Cruz (in Donna Karan couture), and Kirsten Stewart (in Monique Lhullier).

Modesty: Hollywood, modest? Well, yes. While nearly every gown revealed the celebs’ perfectly toned arms, for the most part the stars didn’t bring the girls out to play, if you know what we mean. Typically showy Mariah Carey kept her famous chest covered, and the impossibly classy Meryl Streep had one of the only plunging necklines of the night (executed flawlessly by Project Runway alum Chris March.) The only thing being flashed last night was statuette gold. 2010 Oscars fashion may not have been particularly adventurous, but it sure was tasteful.

All sorority formal-bound college girls, take note.

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