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Red carpet becomes a black and white affair

THE big guns - Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet and Sean Penn among them ?? went with black at Sunday's Academy Awards, but light colors and asymmetrical gowns topped the broader fashion trends.

Jolie and Brad Pitt looked very much the part as the red carpet's golden couple at the Kodak Theatre in classic, almost retro styles. She wore a black sweetheart-neck strapless gown by Elie Saab, accessorized with green drop earrings, while he wore a classic bow tie.

Penn, in Giorgio Armani, also perfectly matched his wife, Robin Wright Penn. Vanessa Hudgens, in a black Marchesa gown with black and white tulle flowers on the bodice and dangling platinum, diamond and vintage coral earrings by Cathy Waterman, and Zac Efron, in Dolce & Gabbana, were the next-generation supercouple.

Winslet also went with dark and sophisticated in a gray satin and black tulle dress by Atelier Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati. She looked "flawless," said stylist Mary Alice Stephenson. "Everything is right!"

But Jolie, Stephenson added, was disappointing. "Angelina Jolie is always beautiful but boring and ho-hum in that black dress. It is just too drab, dour and depressing for the Oscars. I really hoped she would step it up and have some fun with color and take a chance with wearing something unexpected."

Leading the charge of light colors was Mickey Rourke in his Jean Paul Gaultier suit without a tie.

Anne Hathaway sparkled in a strapless champagne-colored Armani Prive gown covered in crystals and circular pailettes with a jeweled dragon brooch on the back. Evan Rachel Wood was in a strapless flesh-tone number.

Penelope Cruz wore a white 1950s Balmain gown, with a strapless neckline and hand-embroidery with gold treads, which she got from top vintage curator Rita Watnick's Lily et Cie. Miley Cyrus's beaded Zuhair Murad dress was mostly white but had tiers of midnight-blue beaded petals.

"She looked old Hollywood," said Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion editor at large for Glamour.

"I couldn't believe how much white there was," said designer Pamella Roland. "Most times we're told that actresses want color ... but I also was amazed how glamorous everyone was."


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