Old-school glamour on Oscars red carpet
Hollywood: Best actress nominee Jessica Chastain, a frontrunner for Oscars gold for her role as a CIA agent tracking Osama bin Laden in 'Zero Dark Thirty', sparkled in a strapless beaded flesh-colored Armani gown, her red tresses flowing.
"It's a 'Happy birthday, Mr President' kind of dress," Chastain said, referring to a classic Marilyn Monroe fashion moment. "It's an honor to wear a dress that evokes old Hollywood."
But she told CNN her chances to win were slim: "I just don't think it's my year... I don't think I'm going to win."
Chastain's main rival, 'Silver Linings Playbook' star Jennifer Lawrence, strutted her stuff in a strapless cream Dior gown with a full puffy skirt.
"This was such a passion project for all of us," she told E! television on the red carpet, referring to the romantic comedy with an edge that earned a total of eight nominations, including one for best picture.
Nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest ever best actress nominee, for 'Beasts of the Southern Wild', wore a bejeweled navy blue Armani dress -- accessorized with an age-appropriate fluffy puppy purse.
"It has been crazy!" Wallis said of all the attention given to her breakout performance, adding that her fellow nominees were "more sophisticated."
Amy Adams, a best supporting actress nominee for her performance in 'The Master', was on trend in a strapless pearly gray Oscar de la Renta princess gown with soft layers of tulle floating to the ground.
Reese Witherspoon got the strapless memo, but changed up the color palette in a cobalt blue and black Louis Vuitton, and glammed it up with some old-school Veronica Lake curls tumbling down.
'Les Miserables' star Amanda Seyfried opted for a pale purple halter neck Alexander McQueen with a sexy keyhole neckline and upswept hair.
Best supporting actress nominee and two-time Oscar winner Sally Field, who starred opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in 'Lincoln', made a bold statement in a signature Valentino red dress with sheer long sleeves and a train.
And she definitely won the award for best accessory of the night -- she arrived with 'Lincoln' co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays her son in the film, on her arm.
For fashion and jewelry designers, having an A-list star show up on the Oscars red carpet in one of their creations is worth more than any print advertising -- thanks to the global coverage of Tinseltown's biggest night.
Last year, Angelina Jolie's leg-popping appearance in a strapless black velvet Versace gown with a thigh-high slit went viral -- and gave the Italian fashion house unbeatable media exposure.
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