Best Actress nominee Michelle Williams struck a classic note in a strapless black-and-white column gown. The polished silhouette and assured styling elicited approving glances, but it was the designers name that drew double-takes: H&M. Could the custom gown indicate that the Swedish high-street retailer is stepping into eveningwear?
Jessica Chastain, nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in The Help, gleamed like an Oscar statuette in a gold lamé Oscar de la Renta prefall 12 gown.
Other red-carpet standouts included Help star Viola Davis, in fuchsia Valentino, and surprise BAFTA Award attendee Penelope Cruz in a wine-red column gown from Giorgio Armani Privé. Best Actress nominee Meryl Streep and Drive actress Christina Hendricks both opted for plunging Vivienne Westwood gowns.
As for the men, Michael Fassbender, George Clooney and Colin Firth chose Armani, while Birdsong heartthrob and Burberry campaign star Eddie Redmayne called in a favour for a polished Burberry velvet tuxedo.