Who won and lost in the Oscar fashions?

by SUSANNAH CONWAY, femail.co.uk

Sartorially speaking, the 74th Oscars ceremony was an elegant evening.

Most actresses opted for classic looks and tried and tested colours such as black, cream and red rather than anything too outlandish or wacky.

Even the stars' hair and make-up was noticeably more relaxed and natural as fashion drops down a gear six months on from the tragic events of September 11th.

Take a peek at our picture galleries of the best and worst and give us your comments on the frocks on our message board.

Black and still more black paraded down the famous red carpet with Julia Roberts (in Armani), Uma Thurman (in Gaultier), Marisa Tomei (in Jurgen Simonsen), Renee Zellweger (in Carolina Herrerra) and our own Judi Dench all favouring fashion's chicest colour.

This sea of black made the colourful dresses stand out all the more with one of the most eye-catching worn by our own Oscar hopeful, Kate Winslet.

Accompanied by her director boyfriend Sam Mendes, Winslet looked radiant in a curvaceous red Ben de Lisi bustier dress with a delicate garland of silk roses draped across her shoulders.

When asked if she felt comfortable in her dress she quipped with characteristic British frankness, 'I wouldn't like to need to pee at this point.'

Halle Berry, making history as the first black women to win a Best Actress Oscar, wore a suitably memorable dress by Lebanese designer Elie Saab.

Consisting of a sheer net bodice decorated with strategically placed embroidered flowers worn over a sumptuous mulberry satin full skirt, it's a look guaranteed to be on the high street within weeks.

Best actress nominee Helen Mirren wore a white Armani gown with a satin bodice and a flowing white skirt bedecked with sparkles. 'It's snow on a moonlit night,' she said.

Her icy diamonds, by Fred Leighton, consisted of dangly grape cluster earrings, thick cuffs, and a fig leaf brooch.

All the biggest names in fashion were represented at the ceremony last night, with Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier and Versace all in evidence on the men as well as the women.

Mulholland Drive actress Laura Harring wins the prize for most extravagant outfit as she teamed a £20 million diamond necklace with diamond encrusted shoes by Stuart Weitzman worth £750,000.

Doubtless both the shoes and the necklace will be safely back in the shop this morning.

Inevitably some dresses didn't live up to the hype with Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Connelly looking pale and drab in her beige Balenciaga dress replete with tattered frills on the skirt.

Likewise former Best Actress winner Gwyneth Paltrow's braless top and skirt combo from French couture house Christian Lacroix failed to give her uplift she needed leaving her looking pale and droopy.

Other less-than-successful outfits included Faith Hill's rainbow coloured lace dress and Sally Kirkland's gaudy gold frilled confection that triggered the metal detector all guests were required to walk through en route to the ceremony.

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