Though some feared the economy would cast its gloomy shadow over the red carpet, if anything, stars glittered even more last night, as if to spite the recession.
In statement necklaces with fat jewels that couldn't be ignored. With shoulders bared. With hair pulled loosely into seductive buns. With flamboyant sequins, luxe beads, compelling architectural details and fabric pleated in delicate wedding-cake layers.
Some chose vibrant jewel tones - notably Amy Adams in a fitted ruby gown by Carolina Herrera, Freida Pinto in a sapphire, Bollywood-inspired dress by John Galliano and Heidi Klum in a bright rose Roland Mouret.
Others opted for regal shades of cream - Anne Hathaway in a silvery concoction of paillettes that flashed like mirrors, Penelope Cruz's embroidered vintage gown and Taraji P. Henson in a strapless, tiered Roberto Cavalli.
But Kate Winslet didn't follow any of the evening's trends and ended up with one of its most memorable looks. Her gray-and-black gown was by Atelier Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati.