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Memo to Oscar hopefuls: Top this

The sweeping trains. The plentiful beading and showy earrings. Stars dump casual in favor of glamour.

January 28, 2008|Booth Moore and Melissa Magsaysay | Times Staff Writers

The red carpet may have been a soggy mess, but the stars at the Screen Actors Guild Awards were anything but, upping the glamour quotient to Oscar night proportions. Floor sweeping trains, all-over beading and gob-stopper-sized drop earrings were everywhere as women ditched the show's traditionally casual look for fashion with a capital "F."

There were many hits and few misses. Despite the bad weather outside, the must-have accessory was decolletage, with strapless and bare, one-shouldered silhouettes the rule of the evening.

Jewelry was at a minimum with nary a necklace in sight but plenty of flashy earrings. Many guests seemed to wear their jewelry on their feet or carry it in their hands, in the form of bejeweled shoes and clutches by Daniel Swarovski, Mary Norton or Roger Vivier.

Ellen Pompeo was best dressed in a strapless Nina Ricci gown in a shadowy print evoking the storm clouds swirling outside, paired with diamond drop Fred Leighton earrings small enough not to overwhelm the dress. Fellow "Grey's Anatomy" star Sandra Oh headed to L.A.'s Koreatown, where designer Kim Me Hee created a dramatic black strapless gown with an oversized red bow at the bust, the ends left trailing. Metallics were a major trend on the red carpet, as they have been on the runways. Debra Messing looked chic in a gold embroidered tulle gown with a jeweled collar by Oscar de la Renta, while Eva Longoria Parker wore a white and silver zigzag Naeem Khan gown.

Pregnant fashion plate Cate Blanchett looked stunning in a draped navy taffeta Balenciaga gown by Nicolas Ghesquiere, with silver embroidery. Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie, usually one of the most elegant, wore a shapeless earth-tone ombre tent, fueling pregnancy rumors.

Gray is the new black, so Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton") played the garconne in a gray silk blazer and skirt, and America Ferrera wore charcoal Chantilly lace. Her stunning Monique Lhuillier gown had a lace overlay gathered to the top of one shoulder with a smattering of beads.

A few of the more sensible ladies went for short lengths: Ellen Page ("Juno") in a black Zac Posen dress with origami-like folds on the shoulders and Tina Fey ("30 Rock") in a one-shouldered black Alberta Ferretti frock. Those who did wear color wore it boldly. Kate Beckinsale shone in canary yellow, a huge color for spring. Her floaty strapless Luisa Beccaria gown had soft tiers of ruffles. Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") wore a sapphire blue crepe gown by stylist-turned-designer L'Wren Scott.

As for the men, the bow tie might be an endangered species as guests got creative with long, four-in-hand neckties or no ties at all. Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl") wore an unbuttoned gray pinstripe shirt with a sharkskin gray vest, while Viggo Mortensen, nominated for "Eastern Promises," looked great in a red vest, black shirt and red tie. Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men") looked hot in a black classic Prada tuxedo jacket and pants, his crisp white shirt open to the navel. We were just happy he wasn't sporting a pageboy haircut.

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