Looking back in style

THE FLAVOUR of the Oscar evening was "retro," with most stars wearing long, straight dresses. Charlize Theron sizzled in a sequined, metallic silver Gucci sheath, airbrushed with fake tan to show it off to perfection. Angelina Jolie in oyster silk satin halter-neck gown, Naomi Watts in a strapless, pale gold, sequin-encrusted Versace number and Samantha Morton in a vintage (1951) metallic brocade Givenchy gown were all glittering tributes to an era when stars were stars.

Siren gowns in shades of honey, white, cream, silver and chocolate (Sofia Coppola chose Bournville-toned satin) were highlighted by the deep red of the carpet at the Kodak Theatre. Vanessa Paradis looked delectable in a white, flapper-style, layered Twenties dress, which she accessorised with her dashing beau, Johnny Depp, and a pearl cluster brooch pinned to the hip.

The youngest Oscar nominee, Keisha Castle-Hughes, 13, showed a refined sense of style for one so young. The New Zealander star of Whale Rider, who was pipped by Theron to the Best Actress award, not only looked her age but her understated, icy pink, straight dress with pretty chiffon cape, by Liz Mitchell, confirmed that this stylish young lady is one for fashion followers to watch.