Oscars Red Carpet: Beyond the Pale

Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and a host of other actresses kept the red carpet light and airy as Helen Hunt donned H&M accessorized with $700K worth of diamonds.

By the time Jennifer Lawrence alighted from her limousine wearing pink, form-fitting Dior Haute Couture, it was obvious that restrained, pale-hued gowns were the big trend on the 2013 Oscar red carpet.

"I'm starving," she told E! News' Ryan Seacrest, admitting that she did not have time to eat before arriving at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Like many gracing the enormous carpet, food was not the focus of the afternoon. Instead, primping, curling and accessorizing held sway.

A prior arrival opting for a delicate shade akin to Lawrence's was fellow best actress nominee Jessica Chastain, who chose a tawny, Armani Prive column embellished with glittering beads and bright red lipstick. Best supporting actress nominee Anne Hathaway was pretty in pale pink Prada - a choice she made a mere three hours prior to hitting the carpet outside the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Also keeping the look light were Amy Adams in lilac Oscar de la Renta, Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen and Octavia Spencer, whose Tadashi Shoji dress was topped with ring of tulle to create an elegant border that framed the actress' face and up-do.

Charlize Theron - sporting a super-short haircut following a close shave for a role - looked stunning in white, layered Dior Haute Couture.

Helen Hunt made one of the biggest statements of the night in her navy gown - by mass-retailer H&M, no less. "Accessible glamor," she called the look. So accessible she chose to pair it with $700,000 worth of diamonds. Now that's mixing high and low.

Another trend to emerge was metallic. Melissa McCarthy came swathed in silvery slate-gray by David Meister while nominee Naomi Watts looked sterling in sculptural Armani Prive. Norah Jones chose glittering, gunmetal Todashi Shoji. Going for gilt was Catherine Zeta-Jones, who looked a true golden girl in beaded Zuhair Murad.

Also in burnished metallic was Nicole Kidman wearing a skin-tight gold and noir sequinned column by L'Wren Scott. Looking every inch the former Bond girl, Halle Berry donned structured, gold sequinned Versace.

Color bursts were few and far between, making them all the more a statement among the sea of pale gowns and traditional black tuxedos.

"Django Unchained's" Kerry Washington dazzled in coral Miu Miu featuring a crystal-encrusted bodice. Jennifer Aniston - making her first Oscar appearance in four years - also chose a vibrant shade of crimson for her Valentino gown. Sally Field went for a draped and gathered Valentino dress in fire engine red as presenter Jane Fonda glided by looking electric in canary yellow Versace.

Wearing plum-colored Gucci, Jennifer Garner told E! that her nominated hubby Ben Affleck ("Argo") spent the afternoon ferrying their daughter to a spelling bee. "She won! Our family has already had a great day, so congratulations to our sweetie," Garner said. "And then she had a basketball game. Life goes on. No one really cares! It's just all about trying to keep the dogs and kids from getting stuff on the stuff."

Reese Witherspoon was a vision in black and blue Louis Vuitton that she said her daughter helped choose. Also in a blue mood was Jennifer Hudson in shiny Roberto Cavalli that took three separate fittings to ensure the perfect look.

Perhaps the wisest words on the red carpet can be attributed to the youngest best actress nominee in Oscar history. Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis chose a cute navy Giorgio Armani dress accessorized with her trademark puppy purse (this time named Sammy after her dog at home). "It has been crazy," the "Beasts of the Southern Wild" star replied when Seacrest asked her opinion of the whole awards season leading up to that moment. "All of it."

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