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BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - Hollywood's top actresses strode down the Golden Globe Awards' red carpet in vibrant gowns on Sunday as stars sought to boost spirits after the deadly tragedy in Haiti and brighten a gloomy rainy day.
Many stars, like Nicole Kidman, pinned ribbons of yellow, blue and red to dresses and tuxedos in a show of support for victims of the massive earthquake that rocked the Caribbean nation last week.
Nominated actress Glenn Close noted the irony of celebrating their industry's achievements against the backdrop of such hardship, but said performers have the unique ability to rally and make a difference in these times.
"My profession has always been sensitive," said Close on the red carpet, in a dark sequined strapless gown.
Style insiders said the awards show displayed deep and rich colors as stars and designers offered film and television fans Hollywood-style escapism from the realities of the Haiti quake, economic gloom and heightened security fears.
"A lot of people wore color but they were not flamboyant. There was a lot of attention to feminine details and not a lot of va va va boom," said InStyle fashion director Cindy Weber Cleary, who gave high marks to actress Kate Hudson in her pale structured gown.
There were some eye-popping moments though. Mariah Carey's black, tight-fitting, plunging neckline gown was deemed a show stopper.
Rain fell on the first major fashion parade of the Hollywood awards season and soaked the red carpet, a showcase for the entertainment industry's top talent and a perfect launch pad for designers. But under umbrellas, the A-list celebrities still managed to dazzle.
Sandra Bullock, nominated for two Golden Globes including best actress in a film drama for "The Blind Side," wore a deep purple, strapless gown because it "made me feel good."
"Every single person here has Haiti on their mind," said Bullock.
Lawrence Zarian, a TV Guide Network fashion expert, said he saw lots of jewels, one shoulder dressing, tighter fitting bodices, flowing skirts and cascading fabrics.
"Sexy, sexy and sexy. Due to the recession, we're trying to escape more so than ever, and Hollywood is just knocking it out," he said.
As always, black gowns were out in full-force, on the likes of leading actresses like Julia Roberts and Penelope Cruz.
Most of the men stuck to black as well, although some like Mickey Rourke embellished their suits with some fun touches, such as a black leather snake-like lapel.
But Ali Rahimi of Mon Atelier, who designed gowns for Jane Lynch for both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards, said he was glad to see color come out.
"Stars are a little happier about wearing color and recognize it makes them cheerful with all that's going on in the world," he said.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Mary Milliken