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Oscar's best and worst dresses

Oscar’s best and worst dresses — In a night of greats and gaffes, we call everyone on the carpet

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The great ship ruled fashion on Oscar night, too, leaving an entire tide of turn-of-the-century styles in its wake. Kate Winslet’s bottle green hourglass-shaped Givenchy gown looked straight out of a 1912 London modiste’s. Cher perched an elaborately beaded headpiece over a costume inspired by a 1919 original. ”It’s my tribute to the Titanic,” the always outre actress proclaimed of her retro costume. ”It just makes me feel like me.” Of course, neither outfit could compare — at least in price — to the blue sapphire Asprey pendant adorning the slender throat of Celine Dion. ”The necklace came first, and we built my outfit around it,” the Titanic songstress said of the $2.2 million bauble. (So that explains the 12 bodyguards.) Not all of the evening’s trends were so ostentatious. A wave of conservative but chic satin dresses hit the stage — and for both Kim Basinger and Helen Hunt, who harked back to the glamour days of Grace Kelly, the choices proved winning.

But which outfits from the evening were first-class, and which should have been consigned to steerage? We asked a panel of critics — our own Degen Pener; E! Entertainment’s mom-and-daughter team Joan and Melissa Rivers; Katherine Betts, fashion news director for Vogue; Laurie Pike, fashion analyst on KTLA’s syndicated Oscar preshow; and designer Allen Schwartz,whose ABS clothing company makes a killing knocking off Oscar wear — to grade and comment on the night’s fashion statements. Here are outfits they say sparkled — and sank.

The Dresses

Barrymore in Eduardo Lucero

Betts: B
Pener: B
Pike: C
Rivers: D
Schwartz: B
Average: C+

We love her. We love her not. Barrymore drew pans from the Riverses for the daisies. But Pike (like EW) loves the flower power: ”On Helen Hunt it would be weird, but this is Drew.” Still, Pike finds the off-the-rack black dress ”completely boring.”

Bohnam Carter in Deborah Milner

Betts: A+
Pener: A-
Pike: A
Rivers: A
Schwartz: B
Average: A-

Bonham Carter’s lilac gown, based on a vintage Dior of her mother’s, lands her ”the ethereal Uma Thurman award of 1998” from Betts. Says Joan: ”She’s like an English rose.” Sadly, without an Oscar, she got lost in the crowd.

Cher in Bob Mackie

Betts: —
Pener: F
Pike: A
Rivers: F
Schwartz: F
Average: D

An homage to her former, gloriously tasteless self (and the Titanic), Cher’s concoction put her in deep water. Says Schwartz, ”She should have worn a boat.” Betts refuses to give a grade, saying the star belongs ”in a league of her own.”