Beverly Hills, Calif. – The stars pulled out their party clothes for the Golden Globes (search) Sunday night, with on-screen boxer Hilary Swank (search) looking like a bronze goddess in a simple-yet-slinky Calvin Klein gown, and all the "Desperate Housewives" in sexy dresses instead of twin sets and jeans.
Among the ABC series' fashionable stars were Teri Hatcher (search) in a multi-metallic stretch Donna Karan gown with a very low back, braid detailing and hand-cut embroidery, and Felicity Huffman in a formfitting, bronze-beaded gown with a deep V-neck.
Co-star Eva Longoria said she wanted to "do pretty" in a black, cocktail-length dress by Oscar de la Renta with the designer's signature pouffy skirt, since she spends so much time in "va va voom" outfits on her show. And Marcia Cross wore one of the night's biggest trends: a fishtail train.
Cate Blanchett (search) kept the train of her lilac Jean-Paul Gaultier gown under control by holding the end in her hand. The dress, with its floral appliques and asymmetrical shape, fit the carefree mood of the Globes.
"This event is a lot more playful than a lot of the other awards. It's loose and lighthearted, and the dresses reflect that," said designer Monique Lhullier, who made Diane Lane's jade chiffon gown with jade organic stone clusters at the neckline.
Lhullier said silk chiffon, soft colors and metallics were popular.
Nicole Kidman (search), however, went bright in a Gucci dress with a blue peacock feather detail on her shoulder, and Charlize Theron wore a structured dark teal gown by John Galliano for Christian Dior that played up her new short dark hair.
"The dress is such an amazing color," said Shane Paish, makeup artist for Dior. "I didn't want to do anything too strong. I wanted to keep her looking like herself," he said, which was done with dewy skin and peachy colors.
Emmy Rossum (search), who plays Christine in "Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera," wore a sophisticated Ralph Lauren with tiers of tulle but also looked her age — 18 — thanks to loose hair, delicate Harry Winston drop earrings and the light color of the dress. Meanwhile, Natalie Portman (search) picked up on one of spring's major fashion trends — bohemian chic — in a billowing tank dress with a black beaded cummerbund.
Jennifer Garner, with wavy hair held back with a 12-carat diamond crescent by Harry Winston, had on a siren-red, scoop-neck vintage Valentino that showed off her slim and well-toned back.
Many gowns had draping and delicate details that will translate well to clothes for average women, said Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive.
Leive particularly liked Halle Berry's one-shoulder, nude-color gown. "She really looks great. That looks like a dress that'll be knocked off and in the mall in three and a half days."
Swank's gown came to a gathered V in the back. She wore a pony tail, simple Chopard conical diamond drop earrings and sheer makeup.
"We didn't go overboard. ... She looks like a bronze goddess who has the most beautiful skin and who just walked off the beach," described Dior makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who worked with Swank. The only strong makeup is her mascara, which is complemented by praline-colored lip gloss, Dubroff said.
Mariska Hargitay (search) preferred pink. She wore an asymmetrical, dusty-rose satin gown by Vera Wang and soft rose makeup.
A good black dress always looks great, and among the standouts was Renee Zellweger in a strapless Carolina Herrera dress reminiscent of the 1950s.
Julianna Margulies (search) wore a long, black skirt with a layer of beaded tulle and a white wrap top. "I saw the skirt and I fell in love with it," she said. "It was about trying to find the shirt. I feel glamorous."
Star Jones Reynolds (search) used the word "glamazon" several times as she offered fashion commentary for E! on the red carpet. It's how she described Minnie Driver in a silver, V-neck gown with floral embroidery by Randolph Duke.
TV Guide Channel's Joan and Melissa Rivers (search), Jones Reynolds' on-air rivals, wore black. The elder Rivers' strapless gown featured fur around the bust and white embroidery on the bodice, while her daughter's gown had a bustier top and jeweled straps.
Most of the red carpet's bling came from dangling earrings, but Jones Reynolds wore a $7 million diamond brooch from Chopard that was sewn directly onto her sea-foam goddess gown by Kevan Hall.
For men, the most popular look was pairing a regular tie with a tux; it was worn by Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor and Denis Leary, whose purple Hugo Boss tie matched the purple gown worn by his wife, screenwriter Ann Lembeck. Jamie Foxx, meanwhile, skipped the tie altogether and wore his midnight-blue shirt open at the collar, and fashion rebel Johnny Depp wore a blue suit and pink tie.
"This is men saying, 'This isn't the Oscars, we're trying to keep this in perspective,'" said Glamour's Leive. "It's the evening version of men wearing their shirts untucked during the day."