Keira Knightley proved to be fashion royalty at the Academy Awards. She wore a wine-colored, one-shoulder gown by Vera Wang that hit the right balance between youthful funkiness and movie-star glamour.
The 20-year-old wore her strawberry blond hair in a loose ponytail, and she had on a one-of-a-kind necklace with emeralds, rubies and diamonds from the 1960s she chose from the Bulgari archives.
Michelle Williams modeled herself after classic screen sirens, wearing a yellow chiffon gown with tulle pleats surrounding the V neck.
On her arm was Heath Ledger in a classic bow-tie tuxedo, down to the white pocketsquare.
The other Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe looked like a superstar couple -- she wore a gown with rows of silver beads and he was dressed in a three-piece suit with a black tie.
Felicity Huffman wore a supersexy black gown by Zac Posen with a plunging V neck, keyhole back, sheer panels on the side and pleated bodice and hem.
For Rachel Weisz, who is 7 months pregnant, comfort was important in picking her long, slinky black gown with cap sleeves -- which also showed off significant cleavage. "My friend Narciso Rodriguez made me three dresses and I chose one this morning," she said. Her Chopard emerald-cut diamond demi-drop earrings had round white diamond studs.
Jessica Alba, who was caught by the cameras touching up her Dior lipgloss, chose a tight gold Versace halter gown with floral beading that she said "fit like a glove," and Jane Seymour was in a champagne satin halter gown with jeweled accents on the bodice by Pamella Roland.
Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams both picked gowns with pockets. Bullock's navy gown was by Angel Sanchez and Adams' chocolate brown gown with ribbon applique was by Carolina Herrera. Adams even borrowed Herrera's own aquamarine dangling earrings.
Charlize Theron's forest-green, handpainted gown with a bow on one shoulder was designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior. She said the leather silk satin fabric was "insane" -- but some might have said that about the too-big bow.
Jennifer Lopez was in a lighter green gown with a fitted bodice that laced up in the back like a corset.
Ziyi Zhang picked a Giorgio Armani gown fresh off the runway: a black scalloped seashell-shaped lace bustier with jet beading worn with a gray Swarovski crystal encrusted full crinoline skirt. Hilary Swank was in a sweetheart-style black strapless gown by Versace.
Jennifer Aniston was in a black tank gown by Rochas with a long train and a vintage platinum-and-diamond Bulgari necklace from the 1930s. Makeup artist Angela Levin, calling Aniston "a sun-kissed angel," emphasized her eyelashes with a not-yet-available Chanel mascara.
Nicole Kidman was in a cream-colored strapless gown with beautiful delicate embroidery, and Naomi Watts wore a nude-colored, one-shoulder gown with frayed fabric on the top by Givenchy. As the model in jeweler David Yurman's new ads, Watts' rose quartz-and-diamond earrings and a rose quartz ring were made especially for her.
Jennifer Garner wore a halter-style, hand-embroidered Michael Kors gown in nude-colored tulle featuring Swarovski crystals and sterling silver flowers.
Jada Pinkett Smith was in a bright blue strapless column gown by Roberto Cavalli. "I just wanted to be a little vibrant and a little sexy on the carpet," she said. Husband Will Smith chimed in, "That's my wife in the dress. It becomes difficult to notice the dress itself."
Salma Hayek had on a slate blue gown, and her hair was long and loose.
One of the biggest misses of the night was Helena Bonham Carter. Her off-the-shoulder, tea-length blue satin gown was fine but her bed-head hair and clunky white shoes were not.
Oscar.com fashion analyst Tom Julian was a fan of Meryl Streep's plum V-neck gown with long sleeves that she wore with dangling earrings. Julian also noted that the shape of the Oscar gowns shifted to full skirts from the more formfitting styles at the award shows earlier in the season.
As for the men, George Clooney was trying to be sarcastic when he told E!'s Isaac Mizrahi "I'm very stylish," but he indeed was in his Armani two-button peak lapel tuxedo.
And the directors of "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," Nick Park and Steve Box, wore oversized striped bow ties, which somehow seemed a perfect fit.
The Oscars were presented at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.