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Spanish actress Penelope Cruz's strapless Versace gown was a blush color with an intricately swirled tight bodice that exploded into an exaggerated skirt at the 79th Academy Awards outside the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.
AP photo
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz's strapless Versace gown was a blush color with an intricately swirled tight bodice that exploded into an exaggerated skirt at the 79th Academy Awards outside the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.

BOLD moves

on Oscarís red carpet

By Samantha Critchell
AP Fashion Writer

The common complaint about Oscar fashion choices of the past few years is that stars played it too safe. Not so this year.

Jennifer Hudson arrived on the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday in a brown ruched gown with a metallic python bolero by Oscar de la Renta, and Cate Blanchett wore a stunning one-shoulder Swarovski crystal mesh gown by Giorgio Armani Prive. Helen Mirren didn't shy away from her sexy side in a champagne-colored Christian Lacroix gown with gold-leaf embroidery on the skirt and a plunging V-neck.

Calling it her "dream dress," Mirren told The Associated Press, "It chose me. It makes me feel comfortable. I don't feel like I'm trying to be something I'm not."

Collier Strong, consulting makeup artist for L'Oreal Paris who worked with Diane Keaton, said part of the diversity in looks might come from the broad field of nominated stars, spanning all ages.

Speaking of mature women, Strong said, "I think they add something vitally needed — confidence and a sense of themselves. They don't need to pose a certain way, they don't need to make sure a picture is from the right angle."

"This is the year of extravagant designs — fancy fabrics, feathers as trim, unexpected stones and metallics," observed Tom Julian, fashion commentator for the Web site Oscar.com.

Many actresses seemed to add personal touches to their outfits instead of making the red carpet a sea of strapless satin dresses and tight bun hairdos.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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