Actor Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness arrive at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. Click for more photos

Oscars red carpet

Actor Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness arrive at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. Photo: Getty images

Hollywood veterans and newcomers shone on the red carpet at the 85th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night while the usual best dressed suspects looked like their stylists had gone on strike.

Fifty shades of white and deep autumnal hues of magenta, ruby and navy made an appearance via Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Garner and Amanda Seyfried and were offset by the odd flash of bright coral thanks to Jennifer Aniston and Sally Field. While metallic, lace and brocade textures together with form-fitting gowns and fish tail hem lines were as omnipresent as the size-0 waistlines.

A number of ill-fitting gowns appeared to have skipped their final fitting with a seamstress before sashaying down the red carpet. The most noticeable were seen hanging off Reese Witherspoon, in an azure and black Louis Vuitton number, Kristen Stewart, who accessorised her Reem Acra brocade and tulle gown with crutches and Jessica Chastain, in a copper-tone embellished Giorgio Armani gown.  

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts

Donatella Versace pulled some surprises out of the garment bag with Jane Fonda and Halle Berry both choosing to break the Oscars ballgown mould in bold coloured, form-fitting structured gowns. Versace is not a name one would associate with restraint but the dresses on show had just the right amount of sparkle and sex appeal. 

Angelina Jolie’s right leg, the social media sartorial star of the 2012 awards, was upstaged by Best Actress winner Anne Hathaway’s pointy, Prada covered nipples. The Twitter account called @AnnesNipples gained more than 200 followers in under two hours after tweeting “we have a life of our own. Angelina’s leg was sooo [sic] last year.” The Les Misérables star reportedly made a last minute wardrobe switch and passed on wearing something from her close friend Valentino, opting instead for a pale pink Prada column gown with an open back and severe darts.

The Australian style mafia upped the ante this year with Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman and Jacki Weaver all packing glittering heat which impressed the international style watchers.

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

Watts, a regular recipient of the Academy's critical attention, cemented her place on the best-dressed list thanks to her recent experimental looks. The 44-year-old's style evolution has been attributed to her new stylist Jeanann Williams who encouraged the Best Actress nominee to go with a custom made gunmetal grey sequinned Armani Prive gown.

''The day the nominations came out the major fashion houses were all calling, sending sketches and colour options through because the designers love her,'' the fashion publicist turned stylist said

The pair has been working together since August 2012 and for most of that time Williams, who is married to Watts' brother Ben, spent hours, sometimes even entire nights, sourcing inspiration for the dress The Impossible star wore for less than six hours. She said historical photographs of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn provided her with "options" for the shape and colour. Watts’ then undertook three fittings at Armani’s atelier to ensure the asymmetrical gown, which boasted an architectural silhouette, was ready for the red carpet.  

Jacki Weaver

Jacki Weaver

Nicole Kidman knows how to run the awards season race. Even though the Paperboy star missed out on a golden statue she finished with a gold medal for her black and gold figure hugging L’Wren Scott gown. The gothic creation, which would not look out of place in Gotham City, was one of Kidman’s best red carpet looks thanks to the sequins that showed off her amazing physical shape and added sparkle to her megawatt smile.

For her 2011 Oscars debut, Jacki Weaver accessorised her Collette Dinnigan princess gown with Paspaley pearls. Fast forward two years and the Silver Linings Playbook star has evolved into a haute couture wearing butterfly thanks to a flattering burgundy dress by US-born, Lebanese-based designer Rami Kadi which she accessorised with more than $2 million worth of jewels. Weaver, like a number of other Hollywood dames like the Valentino-clad Field, Fonda and 86-year-old Best Actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva, in deep teal Lanvin, all nailed the black tie style brief by looking comfortably chic.

As the Academy’s youngest nominee, nine-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis stole the hearts of the fashion and film critics alike. “I liked it because it was sparkly and fluffy,” she said of her puppy purse which she styled with her custom Armani Junior gown. “I've never seen a prettier dress in my whole life,” she said.