BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The goddesses ruled the Golden Globes red carpet, with stars like Felicity Huffman, Maria Bello, Hilary Swank and Marcia Cross wearing plunging V-neck halter gowns with draping, fitted waists and billowing skirts.
Huffman and Bello wore ethereal white, which will be a top spring fashion trend. Bello complemented her white beaded Elie Saab gown with white gardenias in her upswept hair.
Keira Knightley also wore a stunning strapless white dress by Valentino with a rope-style belt, and Sandra Oh wore a white gown with a sophisticated scarf-style back.
"White was the big winner," Suze Yalof-Schwartz of Glamour magazine said from the red carpet.
Kate Beckinsale's white dress from the Christian Dior archives was dainty and elegant. She showed a bit of a funky streak with her oversized green earrings.
Reese Witherspoon's short vintage Chanel haute couture was a champagne color with metallic trim on the bust.
Cross' dress, meanwhile, was coral, providing a sharp and stunning contrast to her red hair.
"Marcia looked very goddesslike," said Collier Strong, consulting makeup artist for L'Oreal, who helped Cross get ready. "I knew her makeup had to be lighter and more feminine because the fabric was so billowy. ... It's easy to work with her because she has the most perfect skin you've ever seen."
Red also had a strong presence on the carpet: Scarlett Johansson wore a red scoop neck Valentino dress with soft ruffles on the straps and down the back; Geena Davis wore a strapless Escada with a jeweled bustier top; and Laura Linney had an asymmetrical version.
"Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria complemented her red Grecian wrap gown by Bob Mackie with gold platform shoes to boost her 5-foot-2-inch frame. Longoria told E!'s Isaac Mizrahi that she was sewn into the dress because it wasn't finished until she was walking out the door.
Equally bright was Ziyi Zhang's Giorgio Armani lime green silk tulle gown with a sweetheart neckline and floor-sweeping train.
But some of fashion's favorite faces stuck with classic black -- and proved that it is eternally chic.
Sarah Jessica Parker was in a strapless dress with tiny rows of tulle by Rochas, and Christian Dior's John Galliano designed a custom cocktail dress for Charlize Theron that featured black lace over nude tulle. Swank's black dress by Jean Yu had a sexy back with several straps, and Mary-Louise Parker had a plunging V-front.
Natalie Portman looked Audrey Hepburnesque in a vintage Chanel black lace bustier dress with a ribbon belt and a black-and-white diamond camellia jewel around her waist. Renee Zellweger remained loyal to designer Carolina Herrera, wearing an asymmetrical black silk chiffon dress with rouched detail and a leg-length slit up the left thigh. Zellweger wore a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels brooch pinned to the back of her waist.
Candice Bergen's Michael Kors black turtleneck and ballskirt was a picture of casual elegance.
Nicolette Sheridan and Queen Latifah both choose blue dresses. Sheridan's was an Armani sapphire-blue silk chiffon gown with a deep V-neck and pleated bodice, Latifah's a periwinkle goddess number that she accessorized with 23-carat, round-shaped drop diamond earrings with a fancy yellow pear-shaped diamond drop pendant on a diamond chain by Chopard.
Teri Hatcher wore a body-hugging V-neck bronze halter gown with art deco-style beading, loose hair and a small bronze clutch that held her California driver's license. Hatcher told Mizrahi she was told to bring identification to get in at the door. (She also told him that it was her 8-year-old daughter that warned her about her panty lines, so Hatcher showed up to the Globes without underwear.)
"The Globes set the fashion tone for the rest of the season," designer Randolph Duke told the Associated Press. "It's a very chic show. Some (actresses) wear more cocktail dresses. The Globes are an opportunity to do something other than that classic, glamorous Oscar gown."
Gwyneth Paltrow's overall look was very soft. Her white Balenciaga tiered gown embraced her pregnant belly instead of hiding it and her hair was up with soft waves.
The messy bun worn by so many stars was "crucial," according to Glamour's Yalof-Schwartz, and so was heavy eye makeup, pale lips and big, teardrop earrings.
"I had to find a dress that would glow with me -- that was the main challenge," said Rachel Weisz, who is five months pregnant and looked quite voluptuous in her strapless gold gown by Donna Karan.
"You still see a lot of strapless," observed designer Duke. "There's something very easy about the strapless neckline. It solves a lot of problems. The garment has a foundation -- usually a bustier or corset -- that makes a girl feel more confident."
George Clooney embodied the classic male movie star in his Armani two-button tuxedo with satin lapels and a classic white spread-collar evening shirt and black necktie.
Ludacris, of course, had his own twist on the penguin suit: He wore a black velvet Ralph Lauren jacket with tweed pants. And Johnny Depp -- always a fashion rebel -- had a red shirt under his baggy suit.