Playing Dress Up with Oscar's Glamour Girls

Laura Linney/J. Mendel

Cojo and I both gasped at this heavenly confection with layers of raspberry sorbet-hued pleated chiffon punctuated by a three-dimensional cascading strapless neckline and perfectly finished with a flowing satin ribbon. The color is very of-the-moment — berry tones are the height of fashion for Spring 2008. But the subdued softness of this dress is perfect for creating Oscar elegance and Laura's statuesque height is just what it takes to carry off all the flouncy layers. A less fashionable star might not rock this look with the elegance that Linney has mastered and newer stars only wish for.

Marion Cotillard

In years past, months before the Oscar nominations were even announced, there were several clear nominees. However, this year there was only one and it was up-and-coming French ingénue Marion Cotillard for her riveting portrayal of Edith Piaf, a true iconic diva in the world of entertainment. Everyone who has seen "La Vie en Rose" knew Cotillard would be exalted to leading lady status the day the nominations were released. Being French, tall and strikingly beautiful, she has inherited an innate sense of style as well.

Since Hollywood and fashion rumor mills have named Cotillard as the newest disciple to the empire of Karl Lagerfeld and his house of Chanel, I instantly scanned to check out the Chanel couture show, looking for the splendiferous gown Cotillard might select to accompany the ultimate Hollywood accessory (Oscar statue) if she wins. But often in fashion, the couture shows are chock full of daring designs that would have leading ladies crying in the rest room once they read the fashion critics' thoughts on their choices. Often the elements of design that are exciting, dramatic, and creative on the runway are laughable or horrifying on the red carpet. And that's how I felt after perusing Chanel's collection.

But have no fear, Cotillard — I can save you from a worrisome wardrobe malfunction. I rapidly clicked over to my friend Ellie Saab, who has gained international acclaim as the designer of Halle Berry's 2002 Oscar-winning look. His couture show was stunning and I opted to go for this decadent yellow gown.

Marion Cotillard/Ellie Saab

Often yellow is a bright and lucky choice in red carpet Oscar history, from Renee Zellweger's vintage yellow Jean Deses from the ultrachic Rita Watnick of Lilly et Cie to Michelle Williams' dreamy Vera Wang dress. All have been haunting visions of Oscar elegance. Like my friend Keisha Whitaker, Forest's wife, who was as radiant as the sun last year in her Georges Chakra couture dress. And, oh yes, who can forget Blanchett's yellow Valentino? All are fashion favorites from Oscars past.

I'm sure the feeling and cut of this billowing gown will be the fantasy dress for little girls around the world. And with a little bedazzling of antique jewels from Neil Lane or the chicest French jeweler, Cartier, Cotillard will definitely be a dream come true.

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