Now that the Oscar's pics are beamed around the world within seconds and the celebs are styled by professionals within an inch, red carpet dressing has actually become more fraught than ever. People decry that the result is super safe dressing, but when actresses do pick something a little left of centre, they often have imaginary rocks thrown at them.
Last night, however, the panel at my wee Oscars party were most excited by the sartorial turn from non-star and three time Oscar winner Sandy Powell. Sandy - who won the Best Costume category for Young Victoria - demonstrated her fashion credentials by taking the road less travelled, and the results were gorgeous. Snaps to her for eschewing diamonds in favour of colourful bangles and a chignon in favour of a beret. And I've got no idea who created her divine dress, but the Art Deco style pattern and colours were enthralling.
But now to my faves among the stars ...
Carey Mulligan was an edgy glamour girl in a jewel encrusted Prada.
Maggie pulled off bold colour and prints with aplomb in Dries Van Noten.
Rachel McAdams was so, so pretty in Elie Saab. The print was large but the colour muted, and the crossover strapless bodice was really flattering on her petite frame.
And Avatar star Zoe Saldana has divided the universe in her 2010 Givenchy gown. Some say that it was a pouffy mess but whenever the camera was on her I couldn't avert my eyes. I think she looked beautiful.
Nicole Richie went for sophisticated 70s style glam in Reem Acra ... so refreshing to see someone not wearing a strapless gown.
And while, disappointingly, there were no showstopping vintage numbers on the carpet, I did notice that vintage lover Marisa Tomei opted for an early 80s Halston for the Vanity Fair after party. This look is sublime on her.
It was funny to hear how often my little panel disagreed on frocks last night. What were your favourites?