Noelle McCarthy

Noelle McCarthy is a Herald columnist

Noelle McCarthy: The Oscars that straps forgot

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"Queenly" is the word that comes to mind for Oscar style this year.

The best dresses were column shapes that flowed along the body, emphasising both femininity and strength, as modelled by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sigourney Weaver, Katherine Bigelow and Meryl Streep.

This was the Oscars that straps forgot, most of the best gowns were strapless, or off the shoulder.

If the older women looked regal, the young ones kept it safe. Anna Kendrick, Carey Mulligan, Rachel McAdams all went for classic styles and colours by established designers, and hair and make-up followed a distinctly natural palette.

The honourable exception was Avatar star Zoe Saldana, whose pink and purple Givenchy gown with metallic bodice and pom pom trim was the sartorial equivalent of a cross between Pandora and Acapulco, and all the better for it.

She was a jack-in-the-box pop of colour and excitement on a night dominated by safe choices, and low-maintenance styling. I could have done with a few more surprises like that.

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