Oscar red carpet is bright in year of somber films

Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:44pm EST
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By Alexandria Sage

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Gloomy movies may have seized the spotlight at this year's Academy Awards, but it was bold, vivid red that reigned on the Oscar red carpet and cut through the cold gray of a rare rainy day in Hollywood.

Under plastic sheeting above the red carpet, stars like Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Miley Cyrus, Katherine Heigl and Heidi Klum stood out with varying hues of crimson on their elaborate gowns.

Many of the dresses were in deep, dramatic red, evoking the brooding themes of revenge, despair and doomed love in best film nominees like "Atonement," "Michael Clayton" and "There Will Be Blood."

A crippling writers' strike had also cast a pall over the entertainment industry in recent months, and fashion watchers wondered how that would play out on Oscar's big day.

Hathaway chose a crimson Marchesa gown, its lone shoulder covered with silk roses. The draped dress, fitted with a long train, was a liability in the rain, the actress said.

"I have a lot of fabric to be responsible for. I didn't want it to get wet," Hathaway said.

Supermodel Klum, host of television's "Project Runway," wore a scarlet Galliano gown to raise awareness of women's heart disease.

Mirren, last year's best actress winner, opted for a George Chakra gown the color of garnets with sparkling, beaded sleeves and back.   Continued...

<p>British actress Helen Mirren poses on the red carpet at the 80th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars, in Hollywood, February 24, 2008. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>