HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Actress Sandra Bullock arrives at...

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Actress Sandra Bullock arrives at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images) Credit: Getty/John Shearer

Screen sirens were blazing at the 83rd Academy Awards and not fretting a bit if they clashed with the red carpet. Red - and variations on that theme - ruled, with host Anne Hathaway leading the way in vintage haute couture Valentino, complete with train.

Jennifer Lawrence chose a Calvin Klein clinger, Sandra Bullock wore a strapless Vera Wang. Scarlett Johansson vamped up her amethyst lace Dolce & Gabbana with a just-out-of-bed 'do. There was new mom Penélope Cruz in red sequins, while Jennifer Hudson's plunging (whooo) Versace was tangerine, and Mila Kunis wore a lavender, spicy-sweet Elie Saab. Natalie Portman stunned in a purple Rodarte with a touch of beading (the designers did the costumes for "Black Swan"). The gown featured an empire waist that barely showed off her baby bump. Perfection!

Some gals were knockouts in neutral. Halle Berry was wrapped in a white tulle and sequined Marchesa, Michelle Williams donned creamy Chanel, Hilary Swank wore a silvery feathered Gucci and Gwyneth Paltrow could win best dressed for her spare, sparkly Calvin Klein. Darling Hailee Steinfeld helped design her appropriately princess-y blush tea-length frock by Marchesa. Was it us, or was Nicole Kidman's white Dior, a tad tablecloth-y? And, hmmm, not quite sure about Melissa Leo's ivory doily-like, mirrored-lace Marc Bouwer.

Of note, less jewelry, less bling and more informal hairdos - ponytails, tousled, long and loose. And, oh, those individualists - we rather liked Cate Blanchett's quirky lunar, lavender pleated Givenchy with its bubbly beading and, of course, there was Helena Bonham Carter, who nixed the fancy labels and went directly to a costume designer for her 1800s-inspired velvet getup, complete with bustle.

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