It’s the biggest night on the Hollywood calendar, and the rain wasn’t about to deter the stars from pulling out all the stops as the Academy Awards kicked off on Sunday at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Tinseltown’s elite navigated the soaked red carpet as they tried to avoid ruining their designer gowns, while a makeshift tented roof threatened to collapse on top of them and drops of water began falling through it.[contentblock id=1 img=adsense.png]
Ushers and publicists were dressed in plastic rainwear and clutching umbrellas as they helped the stars out of their cars and to avoid puddles forming on the carpet. Despite the uncharacteristic wet weather for LA, the Best Actress nominees spent plenty of time posing for the cameras in their black and white creations, relishing the spotlight. Reese Witherspoon, nominated for Wild, picked an off-the-shoulder icy blue Tom Ford gown with black velvet straps across the bust and waist.
The 38-year-old let the dress – which hugged her petite figure in all the right places – do the talking with understated jewellery and make-up, and wore her blonde hair in soft waves. Julianne, who took home the coveted gong for Still Alice, kept things relatively simple but still stunning in a strapless white custom Chanel sequined gown.
The 54-year-old decided to keep her jewellery minimal, and swept her auburn tresses into a low bun. She polished off her look with winged black eyeliner and deep red lipstick. ‘Karl Lagerfeld made it for me,’ Julianne told Ryan Seacrest as she discussed her shimmering gown on the red carpet.
Marion picked an unusual white sequined Dior Couture creation with a polka dot layering over lace. The Two Days, One Night star turned every head in the number, which she teamed with a chic updo. Meanwhile, Felicity Jones looked extremely elegant in a dramatic off-grey gown with detailed bodice and full, floor-sweeping skirt. The theatrical but demure Alexander McQueen number was paired with a slick clutch and diamond earrings.[contentblock id=2 img=adsense.png]
Also opting for a heavily embellished gown was last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner, Lupita Nyong’o. The 12 Years A Slave star Best Supporting Actress nominee Keira Knightley dressed her growing baby bump in a nude chiffon gown with delicate embroidery, by Valentino. She posed on the red carpet with Lady Gaga, who added an eccentric touch to her custom Azzedine Alaia dress with red rubber gloves.
Patricia Arquette, meanwhile, looked gorgeous in a black and white asymmetrical gown designed by her childhood friend Rosetta Getty. The 46-year-old actress, won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood, was joined by her sister Rosanna – who opted for a silky blue ensemble.
Muted dresses were a popular choice on the red carpet, with Cate Blanchett, Sienna Miller and Margot Robbie playing it safe in black gowns. Last year’s Best Actress winner Cate, who presented the Best Actor Oscar to Eddie Redmayne, jazzed up her simple John Galliano number with a turquoise Tiffany & Co. statement necklace, while Margot Robbie accentuated her plunging, sheer Saint Laurent gown with vintage jewellery.
Rita Ora was another star in black, making sure she stole the limelight in an elaborate gown by Marchesa. The singer performed during the ceremony. However Rosamund Pike, another Best Actress nominee, bucked the trend as she highlighted her stunning post-baby body in a red form-fitting dress with a split up the front.Dakota Johnson picked scarlet too, in the form of a sexy Saint Laurent number. The Fifty Shades Of Grey star, who was there to introduce Adam Levine’s performance, brought her mother Melanie Griffith – dressed in black – as her date. Other A-listers picking bright colours were Scarlett Johansson, who teamed a skintight and plunging green gown with a matching statement necklace, and Emma Stone, who gave an old Hollywood inspired look a modern twist in a chartreuse gown by Elie Saab that boasted a sexy side-split.[contentblock id=3 img=adsense.png]
The Best Supporting Actress nominee, up for her work in Birdman, got a lift from Jennifer Aniston as they shared a hug on the red carpet. The Friends star, who missed out on a nod for Cake, picked a blush pink creation – the same shade favoured by the likes of Zoe Saldana and Kerry Washington.
Gwyneth Paltrow picked a Ralph And Russo gown with floral embellishment, which was the same baby pink hue as the dress she wore when she won a Best Actress Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare In Love. Meanwhile, Jessica Chastain looked beautiful in midnight blue as she arrived at the event, where she presented the Best Cinematography prize.
American Ferrera went with a strong colour as well as she showed up at the event to support her nominated film How To Train Your Dragon 2. The 30-year-old star looked stunning in a green ombre Grecian style gown by Jenny Packham. A diamond buckled belt cinched her waist and showed off her incredible curves, while she added another colour pop with turquoise drop earring.
Before changing into her Into The Woods Cinderella costume to perform an opening number with host Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick went for a very elegant look, without stealing attention away from the nominees. The Pitch Perfect star, who was up for a Best Supporting Actress nod in 2010 for Up In The Air, picked a stunning custom Thakoon gown in peach, which featured a keyhole cut-out and dazzling halterneck.
Also keeping it simple was Jane The Virgin star and Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez, who picked a cobalt blue sustainable silk creation, supporting Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet, Green Dress project. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez was certainly show-stopping in her nude blush Elie Saab gown with huge train, but the singer wasn’t about to go for a demure look.