For Queen and Country
The Oscars spotlight Helen Mirren and Al Gore
The stars of the single-clavicle team included Cate Blanchett, whose pewter beaded Armani Privé gown gracefully hid one of her angular shoulders under a cluster of gunmetal-gray stones. A flowing, Greco-Roman, assertively mint-green Valentino covered one of lead-actress nominee Kate Winslet's. Beyoncé Knowles wore an Armani of a similar shade that had a diagonal band of stones that stretched from her right hip across her chest and over her left shoulder. Proenza Schouler outfitted Maggie Gyllenhaal in an inky blue-and-black dress with its signature fitted bodice, a feathered hemline, and a single black, asymmetrical strapand helped her prove in the process that, yes, stars do lose their baby weight faster than the rest of the world.
On the dual-shoulder strapless squad were Penélope Cruz, who made up for lost award-show time in a gorgeous blush-colored Versace with an ornate fitted bodice and a fluffy, voluminous mermaid-style hem. Cameron Diaz wore a white strapless Valentino that had a distinct origami feel. A vermilion Balenciaga showstopper with a halter neck exposed both of Nicole Kidman's creamy white shoulders, but the right one was nearly obscured by a tremendous bow tied at her neck, and her equally pale curtain of hair covered the other. Reese Witherspoon, meanwhile, scored in another surprisingly sexy strapless Nina Ricci and an equally long cascade of blond locks. Who needs sunshine?
See the list of Academy Awards winners >