Lawrence wore a strapless coral organza gown and metallic belt, and Cotillard was in an orange velvet bustier dress with a silver belt.
With all the pressure to strike the right style note at this kickoff to the Hollywood award season, Lawrence broke the ice: “I don’t really know what ‘haute’ means,” she told E!
Hal Rubenstein, editor-at-large of InStyle, said designer Raf Simons did enough to differentiate them. Cotillard’s had an asymmetrical hemline and was more ethereal, while Lawrence’s was a more structured ball gown.
There were many stars in fiery hues as they chatted through chattering teeth at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Temperatures were in the 50s, hardly the norm in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Zooey Deschanel wore a strapless red Oscar de la Renta, and Claire Danes showed off a post-baby body in a red, V-neck halter by Versace.
“That red on a blonde: You don’t get better than that,” said Joanna Douglas, senior fashion and beauty editor at Yahoo! Shine.
Danes said she had some challenges getting dressed for an awards show a month after giving birth to her son. “I am very strapped into this dress. It’s Versace and they are masters of illusions,” she said after her win.
Also in Versace but without the love from Douglas was Halle Berry, who wore a one-shoulder printed gown with a fuchsia-and-blush print. The floral ballgown by Carolina Herrera worn by Lucy Liu was a more interesting choice, but, she said, it will probably be up for watercooler debate.
Jennifer Garner had on a burgundy-sequin strapless gown by Vivienne Westwood, and Taylor Swift had on a square-neck, deep-plum gown by Donna Karan. Naomi Watts wore a long-sleeve, open-back gown by Zac Posen, who called the color “Bordeaux.”
Long sleeves seemed to be a trend of the night — perhaps a nod to the unlikely weather. Nicole Richie had on a blue, beaded Naeem Khan gown.
But Rubenstein said this red carpet wasn’t about trends. He was impressed with the diversity.
“You had Sienna Miller’s girlie Erdem, Julianna Margulies’ sheer Pucci, and Jessica Chastain in that stunning seafoam green Calvin Klein — there wasn’t one trend there,” he said. “They all stand out on their own.”
Chastain’s halter gown was custom-made for her by designer Francisco Costa, and Julianne Moore said she sent an email request to friend Tom Ford to make her gown. She wore a black gown with an open cowl back and contrasting white around the waistline.
Show co-host Tina Fey showed up in a L’Wren Scott-designed cream gown with black-lace embroidery, and her on-camera partner Amy Poehler wore a black tuxedo suit — with a neckline that showed off an 83-carat diamond lariat necklace by Chopard.
Adele wore a black gown with a hand-beaded neckline by Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, and Rachel Weisz’s black Louis Vuitton dress had a sheer peek-a-boo neckline and hemline.
The best black might have belonged to Katharine McPhee. Her modern black high-slit gown with a plunging V-neck was by Olivier Theyskens for Theory.
Adding sparkle to anything-but-basic black was Kate Hudson, wearing a high-neck, sexy keyhole black gown with gold embroidery, and Nicole Kidman, in a gown with a stretch-mesh bodice and gold beading. Both were by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
Anne Hathaway went in the opposite direction in an unfussy beaded white look by Chanel.
Douglas was underwhelmed by Hathaway, who looked, she said, “a little blah.”
Jennifer Lopez’s champagne-colored lace gown by Zuhair Murad was just what you’d expect from J.Lo: a second skin. Sofia Vergara veered a little from her signature mermaid gown in a black sparkly strapless with a straighter skirt, but she didn’t lose any va-va-voom. The glitzy platinum-and-diamond earrings by Lorraine Schwartz didn’t hurt, either.
Megan Fox in Dolce & Gabbana, Amy Adams in Marchesa and Hayden Panettiere in Roberto Cavalli went with more delicate blush-colored gowns. Amanda Seyfried struck a vintage vibe in the same palette in a high-neck gown covered in lace by Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Vera Wang sweetheart gown was delicate blush covered with black lace and a floral Chantilly lace overlay.
“I’d rather be nippy than boiling hot. No, I’m not wearing any leggings or long underwear,” she said.
She also said she purposely picked simple jewelry — including 11-carat diamond drop earrings and a diamond, onyx-and-ruby ring by Fred Leighton — because she wanted to honor the craftsmanship of the dress.
Debra Messing said it was the New York setting of her show, “Smash,” that influenced her selection of a black Donna Karan strapless gown.
The women of “Girls” are wading their way through their first year of the circuit: Lena Dunham’s tattoo peeked out of her Zac Posen off-the-shoulder gown, and Alison Williams showed a sophisticated side in J. Mendel’s black halter-neck gown.
Michael J. Fox’s family had a unified look — all in Ralph Lauren. Of course, it’s Tracy Pollan’s one-shoulder purple dress that set the standard.
But InStyle’s Rubenstein, who says himself that he doesn’t pay much attention to men’s fashion at awards shows, gave a shout-out to the Golden Globes guys, especially Hugh Jackman, in Louis Vuitton, and Damian Lewis, in Burberry.
“They are worth talking about,” Rubenstein said.