Hollywood's stylish stars got right back to their red carpet routines Sunday night, even if they'd been a bit out of practice. Glamorous gowns -- especially strapless and metallic ones -- dominated the fashion show that preceded the Screen Actor Guild awards.
Debra Messing literally sparkled in a beaded bronze Oscar de la Renta gown with a jeweled halter neck, and Teri Hatcher wore an oyster-colored Badgley Mischka gown with antique crystal embroidery.
Christina Applegate wore a glittering, V-neck dress covered in silver sequins by Elie Saab. "We don't know if we get to wear our dresses anywhere else," she said, referring to the writers strike that has shut down most award shows.
The Golden Globes red carpet was a victim of the strike earlier this month, so the SAGs, which normally are a less publicized event, received lots of attention and actresses pulled out dresses by top-tier designers.
"In times of doldrums, bring on the glitz," said Tom Julian, the fashion analyst for Oscar.com.
Cate Blanchett embraced her pregnant figure in a navy strapless gown by Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, and Ellen Pompeo said she picked her sculpted silver gown by Nina Ricci from an issue of Vogue magazine.
But there also were some new fashion names making an impression on the carpet, including Juliana Cairone, who dressed Angelina Jolie. The loose shape of Jolie's mahogany-colored gown with an abstract version of the Hermes horse print from Cairone's one-of-a-kind Rare Vintage collection was sure to fuel talk that the star is pregnant again.
Angel Sanchez put Sara Ramirez in a purple strapless gown with a train. "I like the way the light bounces off the material. I've never really worn purple before except for the Emmys last year," Ramirez said.
Vanessa Williams told E! that her oldest daughter picked her bright yellow Escada gown with a black waistband, and Kate Beckinsale said she wore a tiered strapless gown in buttercup yellow to bring a little sunshine to a particularly dreary day in Los Angeles.
Rebecca Gayheart wore a bold red strapless gown by Marchesa that was made more delicate with tulle around the bustline. Sandra Oh wore a couture version of a traditional Korean dress that featured a hot pink bow as the bodice and a black ballskirt.
In the blue camp were Nikki Blonsky and Marcia Cross, who wore a turquoise gown with a floral jewel at the bustline. She took no credit for her striking look: "I just wear what my stylist tells me and walk out the door."
Jamie Lynn Sigler gave a preview of a hot spring style: colorblocking. She paired a cream-colored body suit with a bright blue skirt by Calvin Klein.
Jane Krakowski took a risk in a green Catherine Malandrino gown with a halter neckline decorated in chunky green and yellow beads. The jury is still out on the look.
Classic black dresses had their fans, too, with Nicolette Sheridan in Marchesa representing the trend particularly well. Ellen Page, 20, looked lovely and age-appropriate in a black cocktail-length dress by Zac Posen with a cowl neck. Tina Fey also went with a shorter length in a one-shoulder dress by Alberta Ferretti.
Leading the simple and stunning category were Kyra Sedgwick, in a strapless electric blue dress by L'Wren Scott, and Michelle Pfeiffer in form-fitting bronze dress.
Marion Cotillard was among the many in shades of gray. Her Nina Ricci gown had a corset-style bodice, while America Ferrera chose a darker gray Monique Lhuillier dress with delicate lace covering one shoulder.
Most of the actresses took the weather into consideration in planning their hairstyles, with many favoring loose looks that wouldn't be as affected by a little drizzle.
Harry Josh, the creative consultant for John Frieda and Pompeo's hairstylist, said she wanted to be more hip than old Hollywood. "She wanted it to be cool and runway," Josh said of her messy side bun, "but the weather was an issue."
Eva Longoria went the opposite route, conjuring up a sexy retro look in beaded Naeem Khan dress with a cowl front and deeper cowl back that she complemented with a curly updo.
A trend that carried through the night were statement earrings, including Hatcher's darkened diamond flower earrings by Neil Lane and Blanchett's natural jade and diamond drop earrings.
Ryan Gosling might have worn the accessory that most will remember, though: a black ribbon on his lapel that he said was to honor the memory of fellow actor Heath Ledger, who was found dead last week in New York.