The many faces of the red carpet |

The many faces of the red carpet

Laura A. Ball
AP file photo Renee Zellweger's inner beauty shines on the red carpet in 2004. She enhances the beautiful gowns' glamour, instead of the other way around. Zellweger won Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Cold Mountain."

RED CARPET – Have you ever noticed that the best-dressed actresses are usually the best actresses?Now, it could be that the best designers want to dress the best actresses. It could be the glowing confidence the actresses carry in the wake of their nomination.Or could it be that the old cliche “dress for success” really has some truth to it.

The real trick to the red carpet is owning the gown you’re wearing, rather than letting the gown own you. Renee Zellweger has displayed this time and time again. Her glamorous style shines on the red carpet without fail. She’s a wonderful actress, too. At last year’s award ceremony she won Best Supporting Actress for “Cold Mountain.” She was stunning in a Carolina Herrera ivory silk draped strapless gown with a dramatic tie-back train.Then there was Halle Berry when she won Best Actress for “Monster’s Ball,” looking gorgeous in an autumn-inspired gown with leaves falling strategically on the right places on the bodice by Beirut’s Elie Saab, ahead of the fashion curve as always.She’s presenting this year, but if the past is any indication, her fashion sense will not suffer.

Of course we can’t forget Nicole Kidman, the movie star every designer wants to dress. In 2004, Kidman slipped on a couture creation from the house of Chanel. The actress collaborated with designer Karl Lagerfeld on her icy-hued crystal beaded gown, said to have taken 400-plus hours to complete. She does not disappoint whether she’s winning an Oscar for her role in “The Hours” or just supporting her fellow actresses.There’s definitely a pattern here, and this year’s gala will be no exception.Hilary Swank, who won best actress in 2000 for her role in “Boys Don’t Cry,” is up for the award again, this time for her role as an aspiring boxer in “Million Dollar Baby.” Swank, who models for Calvin Klein when she’s not acting, manifests an endless amount of class and style. In 2001, the actress not prone to making fashion mistakes, sported an amazing Donatella Versace silk tulle bodice and fitted embroidered skirt. If Swank doesn’t leave with an award, she will arguably be the best-dressed leading lady.Annette Bening for “Being Julia” and Kate Winslet for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” are also nominees for Best Actress.

Neither of which are playing a role when it comes to the red carpet.Bening, who was up against Swank for best actress in 2000 for her role on “American Beauty,” is not afraid to make a statement with her gracious style of sleek black silhouettes and polished hair. Winslet always goes for a classic, feminine look. Most likely, Winslet may not walk away with an Oscar, but she’ll be stunning, reminiscent of old Hollywood.

When Winslet was nominated for best actress for her role in “Titanic” in 1998, she donned an exquisite lace, embroidered gold and green evening gown by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy.Cate Blanchett, nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Aviator” is another poised Hollywood sophisticate, rivaling Swank to top the best-dressed list.Could it be that the best actresses are good at filling the role of being a movie star? Perhaps. But maybe these actresses are just driven in all areas of life to be the best.

The red carpet has become a cultural phenomenon in the United States. Who is more obsessed, the fans, celebs or designers, is not clear. We just like watching the beautiful people get all decked out in designer duds to walk down the star-studded aisle.Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or

Vail, Colorado

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