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Top Fashion Trends From The Red Carpet Over The Years

red carpet trends

The trend: Navy

Sandra Bullock

The celebrities: Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams

The look: Softer than black, navy works as a glamorous addition to the Oscars lineup on no less than two Best Actress nominees, but the dresses couldn’t be more different. Sandra is resplendent in very traditional cascades of navy silk, while Amy Adams goes modern in Gucci couture.

Work it into your wardrobe: A navy blazer or a navy coat is a great choice over black this winter.

The celebrities: Naomi Watts, Maria Menounos
Naomi Watts, Maria Menounos

The trend: Capped Sleeves

The celebrities: Naomi Watts, Calista Flockhart, Maria Menounos

The look: Capped sleeves are back! They balance out a dress so that the shoulders are the biggest thing about the body. Well. On a celebrity that’s true anyway. Perfect to add some edge to an otherwise glamorous night.

Work it into your wardrobe: Choose a cap sleeved t-shirt dress that keeps your body in the best proportions.

Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi

The trend: Lace

The celebrities: Julia Roberts, Portia de Rossi, Elsa Pataky, Bette Midler, Calista Flockhart

The look: Lace hits the red carpet in various incarnations. Traditional lace, like Julia Roberts, Elsa Pataky (she’s carrying twins to the Oscars! Go Elsa!) and Calista Flockhart or a more embroidered lace finish like Portia de Rossi and Bette Midler which I think is much more modern. I particularly love Portia’s and Bette’s looks, they’re very much their own women and these dresses totally showcase that.

Work it into your wardrobe: Lace dresses & tops are everywhere this season. Run, don’t walk, to instantly update your look. This trend is much more  flattering than you think.

Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga, Jessica Biel
Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga, Jessica Biel

The trend: Nude Shimmer

The celebrities: Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga, Sally Hawkins, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Sarah Paulson, Jessica Biel

The look: It was the biggest trend of the night. Nude dresses with shimmering sparkles, a look which can only be described as dewy. Conjures up images of a fresh morning glimmer, doesn’t it? Like most of these dresses. Most surprising of all is Lady Gaga, who actually looks rather lovely. But winner in this category has to go to Cate Blanchett, who outshines even Angelina – a difficult feat, wouldn’t you say!

Work it into your wardrobe: Keep things minimal by adding a shimmy top under a blazer or a sequin skirt to a slouchy sweater. This season is all about contrasting one dressy piece with one very casual piece, and nude shimmer is the perfect way to do it.

Kristen Bellm Lupita Nyong'o
Kristen Bellm Lupita Nyong’o

The trend: Pleats

The celebrities: Lupita Nyong’o, Kristen Bell

The look: Tapping into one of winter’s biggest trends, Lupita Nyong’o looks nothing short of spectacular in her pleated Prada, while Kristen Bell keeps her pleats around the lower part of the legs. It’s an easy way to incorporate glamour and originality into a red carpet affair.

Work it into your wardrobe: Make pleats work for you by investing in a long, pleated skirt which can work for day or night. If you’re unsure about the way pleats will fall over your curves, stick to a pleated blouse or even pleats as a cuff detail on a shirt.

Kate Hudson, Mathew McConaughy and Camilla Alves-McConaughy
Kate Hudson, Mathew McConaughy and Camilla Alves-McConaughy

The trend: Old Hollywood Glamour

The celebrities: Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Jada Pinkett Smith, Camilla Alves-McConaughy

The look: There’s a definite feeling about old Hollywood glamour. It can be the drama of a cape, like Kate Hudson’s big winner, or the softness of a draping dress like Penelope Cruz and Jada Pinket-Smitth. One thing is for sure: the Oscars are the perfect place to pull out this trend.

Work it into your wardrobe: Start with finger waves in the hair, and finish with a dramatic red lip. Capes are huge this season and really draw on that old Hollywood, dramatic feel. They work on everybody but just make sure you keep your lower half quite slimline. You can also try for old Hollywood glamour by adding a stole – faux fur or silky. In fact anything soft and swishy wrapped around your neck makes for a perfect accessory.

Written by Nedahl Stelio

Nedahl Stelio was previously editor of Cleo magazine and has been an editor at Cosmopolitan, Good Food and the Fairfax 'Health' section and a contributor for The Carousel. She wrote the book Mojo Mama Secrets. Now Nedahl is the founder and owner of Recreation Beauty.

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