Lighter hues for Oscar

Bright colors yielded to ecru, but the dazzle was still there.

The color of the night at the 84th annual Academy Awards was winter white, as celebrities from Jennifer Lopez to Octavia Spencer worked the red carpet in delicate and sparkling ecru gowns.

After a 2012 award season that popped with saturated reds, greens, and blues, Sunday night's gown choices were on the pale side. But on Hollywood's classiest night of the year, we'd expect nothing less. The Oscars are about playing it radiant but low key, so nudes and creams are the obvious choice.

That doesn't mean the gowns weren't smashing. Overall, we give them a B+ because celebrities were able to turn demure silhouettes alluring.

At the Ritz Oscar party, Philadelphia's most fashion forward, blogger/stylist Jimmy Contreras, boutique owner Joan Shepp, jeweler John Wind, and Accessories Council president Karen Giberson were abuzz.

We love the way young starlets like Shailene Woodley are embracing the leave-more-to-the-imagination, demure, covered evening look.

"I love the long-sleeved look. It's so classic and simple," Woodley told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.

Spencer finished out this red carpet season loyal to Tadashi Shoji, who dressed her in pastel, figure-friendly dresses the entire season. And, of course, JLo maintained her rocking fashion cred with a deep-V, sleeved custom Zuhair Murad, complete with cutouts.

But when celebrities rocked color, it was amazing.

Viola Davis shone in her perfectly pleated green Vera Wang. She looked so elegant and classy with her - yes, ladies - natural baby fro. "She's lovely," our Oscar watchers gasped with approval, although we aren't too sure we loved the reddish color.

And we swooned over Michelle Williams' fiery red-orange Louis Vuitton. That peplum detailing is right on target with next year's trends.


For more celebrity fashions and coverage of the Academy Awards, go to

Contact fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington at 215-854-2704,, or follow on Twitter @ewellingtonphl and on her blog at