Italian Designers Well Represented at the 2011 Oscars


The 83rd Annual Academy Awards was held in L.A. last night, drawing together the who’s who of the movie industry. The King’s Speech was the big winner, taking the awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth) and Best Director, while Natalie Portman took home the statuette for Best Actress for her work in Black Swan. While many tune in to see who wins the awards others are focused on the red carpet and the fashions it offers for dissection and enjoyment. Last night the Oscar’s red carpet offered up a multitude of different looks, many of them courtesy of Italian designers.

Anne Hathaway, the co-host of the show, was the woman in the spotlight last night. Hathaway appeared on the red carpet escorted by the great Valentino Garavani while wearing one of the designer’s vintage red gowns. The strapless dress featured a dramatic skirt and back bustle that was accessorized with beautiful Tiffany jewelry and black Roger Vivier pumps.

Anne Hathaway in Atelier Versace – Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America via

Once inside Hathaway underwent seven more costume changes. The ease with which the actress, who was styled by Rachel Zoe, changed outfits and hairstyles was quite impressive even if some of the outfits were not. Hathaway’s second look, a white number, was from Givenchy Couture followed by a custom-made Lanvin tuxedo and Swarovski-encrusted pumps by Milan-based Brian Atwood. Hathaway then sported a custom-made ballgown by Vivienne Westwood and a 70s-inspired, one-shouldered gold number from Oscar de la Renta. Aside from the Valentino the Oscar host also wore two other Italian designers–Atelier Versace‘s raspberry red strapless gown and a futuristic sapphire, off-the-shoulder Armani Privé–before closing out the show in a crystal-encrusted Tom Ford design.

Aside from Hathaway several other stars turned up at the Oscars wearing Italian designers. Scarlett Johnansson, recently separated from husband Ryan Reynolds, showed up at the awards in a fitted purple lace Dolce and Gabbana gown with a cut-out back. Johansson wore a colorful ring and eyeshadow that matched her gown while accessorizing with a new man on her arm, a CAA talent agent.

Reese Witherspoon was very 60s inspired in a black-and-white strapless Armani Privé and bouffant ponytail hairdo. The simple and elegant number was reminiscent of the vintage Valentino that Julia Roberts wore when she won Best Actress several years back. Celine Dion also wore Armani–a simple white, long-sleeved column gown with a v-neckline that showed off her generous necklace.

Hilary Swank in Gucci Premiere – Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America via

Past Oscar winner Hilary Swank presented an award while wearing a sequined and feathered number by Gucci Premiere.

One of the most dramatic was Jennifer Hudson in Atelier Versace 2008. The plunging reddish-orange gown looking smashing on the singer/actress/Weight Watchers spokesperson. The back of the dress featured an intricate and impressive pleating detail and a sweeping train.

Jennifer Hudson in Atelier Versace – Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America via

Recently Versace also dressed Elisabetta Canalis at the San Remo Festival. Canalis wore two Atelier Versace dresses while presenting (one was red, the other a spaghetti-strapped blue-grey crystal number) as well as three custom-made, cut-out Pucci dresses designed especially for her by Peter Dundas. These dresses, like many of those seen at yesterday’s Academy Awards, personified the sophisticated but sexy aesthetic that many Italian designers subscribe to and stars everywhere clamor to wear.

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