Kim Basinger's stunning Oscar outfit -- The actress hits all the right notes with her dress, bag and makeup.

Reviews for Basinger’s celery green Escada rival those of L.A. Confidential — simply breathtaking. ”She’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Grace Kelly,” says Schwartz. Joan Rivers finds the ”Mamie Eisenhower fabric” frumpy, but Melissa disagrees, saying Kim ”looks like a movie star again.”

Hair and Makeup

Basinger’s subtle, wavy tresses resemble those of her Confidential character, while her makeup is remarkably understated thanks to a peaches-and-cream palette. ”Peach really brings out the blue of her eyes,” explains makeup artist Ronnie Specter.

The Dress

”They just finished my dress about an hour ago,” said Basinger on the red carpet, and she wasn’t kidding. A comedy of errors preceded her appearance. It began when her stylist, Jessica Paster, contacted Escada about creating a dress inspired by an old Grace Kelly publicity still. No problem, responded the German fashion house, but the first dress designed for the actress got sidetracked because of a strike in Paris. Three more were completed and shipped, but Basinger rejected them because the colors weren’t right. Escada’s head seamstress finally flew to L.A. March 19, where a fifth dress took shape during a 78-hour sew-athon at the Peninsula Hotel. The last fitting was on Sunday. Says Escada’s international publicity director, ”It was a miracle they did it.”

The Bag

Basinger’s beaded Kathrine Baumann bag proved to be her lucky charm. Look closely, and you might just make out a tiny little boat among the precious stones. According to Paster, Basinger felt ”Gloria Stuart was the Titanic, and she was the dinghy.” Turns out, she was the lifeboat.