Women of a certain age need look no further than the beautiful Helen Mirren to understand elegant and appropriate dressing for black tie affairs such as the Academy Awards.
Mirren, who Sunday night was stunning in a fitted gunmetal Vivienne Westwood gown, has been a hit on the Oscar red carpet for three years running, since her win in 2009 for The Queen. She has a fit body and impeccable taste. She also wears her dresses with the confidence that any Oscar winner should.
Mirren, 65, and other acting veterans reigned at the Oscar ceremony, while parading along the red carpet and while winning many of the night's biggest awards. They injected the evening with some time-honored Hollywood glamour and individuality — even if, for the most part, it was understated.
Among the talked about looks of the night was that of TV mogul Oprah Winfrey, who presented a documentary award. Winfrey, 57, wore a Zac Posen gown featuring a very tightly fitted bodice and ombre sequins below that hugged her full figure.
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Jeff Bridges, smart in black tuxedo and traditional bow tie, his wife, Susan, and their three daughters easily take the honors for best-dressed family. Bridges, 61, who won the Oscar last year for Crazy Heart and was nominated for True Grit this year, will soon be a grandfather. Daughter Isabelle (right) is expecting.
Colin Firth, 50, can wear a T-shirt and look gorgeous (which he did in some fair trade coffee ads for Oxfam). But his wife, Livia, gets the fashion props for Oscar dressing; she wore an "upcycled" Gary Harvey gown. "All the pieces we are using are from the era of The King's Speech. Gary is all about authenticity, so wanted to be sure we get the right fabrics and the right vibe," she wrote earlier last week on her UK Vogue blog. "Every element — including zips, corsetry and the original toiles — is recycled. The only thing that we've used that is new is the thread that actually stitches the dress together."
Annette Bening, 52, who was nominated for The Kids Are All Right, got mixed reviews — for fashion, that is. Her gray Naeem Khan wasn't a standout, but the emerald earrings certainly were.
Kathryn Bigelow, 59, last year's winner for best director, draped her statuesque figure in a daring red column dress with a thin gold belt, shoulder cutouts and matching jewelry.