The Top 20 Best Dressed Celebs at the 2012 Oscars

Rooney Mara, Maria Menounos, Milla Jovovich (Getty Images)

The red carpet at the 2012 Oscars was sea of decadent dresses, from Gwyneth Paltrow's multi-functional caped perfection to Cameron Diaz's fitted gold number. We picked the best 50 looks from the evening and put them head-to-head in a fashion faceoff game. Here are StyleBistro readers' favorites!

20. Sandra Bullock in Marchesa

The gilded Marchesa number Sandra Bullock wore to the 2010 Academy Awards was hard to top, but the beloved funny lady made a valiant effort in this black-and-white gown. With its luxe gold beadwork and a sexy draped back, this elegant look proved popular with readers (although honestly, it'd be hard to hate anything on someone as down-to-earth as Sandra).

19. Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji

Octavia Spencer has had a winning year. The star of The Help nabbed the Best Supporting Actress Award in elegance, sporting a figure-flattering Tadashi Shoji gown paired with a sleek updo, a dainty silver clutch, and diamonds. It was the finest in an impressive sartorial streak for the longtime character actress.

18. Penelope Ann Miller in Badgley Mischka

Penelope Ann Miller isn't quite the red carpet fixture that many of Sunday night's attendees are, but she still managed to impress readers with her retro-inspired Badgley Mischka gown, which she whimsically paired with a delicate headband and dainty drop earrings.

17. Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen

Jessica Chastain is a bit of a renegade in the style department, which is why our readers were delighted to see her take the red carpet like a gold goddess in this imperial Alexander McQueen creation. The intricate embroidery paired with tousled curls made for red carpet perfection.

16. Rooney Mara in Givenchy

We weren't the only ones thrilled to see Rooney Mara ditch her moody black frocks for Oscars night. The breakout star of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the center of attention in an art deco mermaid gown by Givenchy. Mara's signature blunt bangs and red pout were somehow softened by the romance of the dress.

15. Berenice Bejo in Elie Saab

It was no surprise Berenice Bejo chose an Elie Saab gown, considering the starlet was seated front and center at the designer's recent couture runway show. Saab's ultra-feminine collection was a resounding hit, as was Berenice's red carpet turn in this opulent beaded mint green gown.

14. Kristen Wiig in J. Mendel

Let there be no doubt: Kristin Wiig loves her neutral hues. While some of her past red carpet choices have been fashion misses, the  J. Mendel gown the funny girl chose for this year's Oscars was a hit. Come spring, we'll be replicating this tiered ruffled confection faster than you can say "Scorsese."

13. Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Michelle Williams's coral dress was a favorite among StyleBistro editors and readers alike. The dress would have been beautiful on its own, but styled with an adorable diamond bow brooch and a baby pink box clutch, it was easily one of the finest ensembles of the evening. If only we could all pull off that adorable pixie cut.

12. Stacy Keibler in Marchesa

We knew this Marchesa gown was destined for the red carpet the second we spotted it on the runway. George Clooney's tall, willowy girlfriend might have resembled a trophy in her golden gown, but sculpted detailing perfectly played up her statuesque figure, while the gold sheen played off her glowing complexion.

11. Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli

After Emma Stone's uh-mazing Golden Globes Lanvin gown, we couldn't wait to see what the fashion newcomer would wear to the Oscars. Fans loved Emma's bright red gown, despite its resemblance to a gown previously worn by Nicole Kidman and the fact it made the actress look a little like a Christmas present.

10. Natalie Portman in Vintage Christian Dior

Last year, all eyes were on Natalie Portman and her arresting fuchsia gown as she accepted her award for Best Actress. This Sunday, however, the new mother downplayed her look in a relatively simple vintage Christian Dior gown with playful polka dots. Glitz isn't always a prerequisite for glamor.

9. Li Bingbing in Georges Chakra Couture

Li Bingbing's white gown was goddess-worthy. Fashion critics went gaga over its textured detailing and subtle sheer panels. Li wisely kept her accessories simple, adding a touch of shine with a simple cuff bracelet.

8. Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

No stranger to fashion controversy (see: that infamous Versace gown from the 2000 Grammys), Jennifer Lopez showcased her famous curves in this fitted number, complete with a plunging neckline (of course). The dress was so sexy, it sparked a rumors of a nip slip while the singer presented on stage. Eat your heart out, Marc Anthony.

7. Giuliana Rancic in Tony Ward

Further proving that Tinseltown is in the throes of a retro revival, television personality Giuliana Rancic turned on the glamor in this sensational beaded gown that recalled the decadence of Old Hollywood style. Paired with a sleek bun and classic makeup, this look was a shoo-in for the top ten.

6. Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

We get it, Angelina Jolie—your dress has a thigh-high slit. How novel. We hoped that Hollywood's many-babied empress of darkness would wear color, but she dashed expectations in a highly dramatic Atelier Versace gown. But while Angie plays favorites, she never plays boring: Her pointedly exposed leg became such a hot topic, it now has a Twitter account (and thousands of followers, natch).

5. Maria Menounos in Maria Lucia Hohan

Former StyleBistro guest editor Maria Menounos has a special place in our hearts. The Access Hollywood hostess showcased her ridiculously fit figure in this draped chiffon gown, which revealed a surprising but elegant amount of skin with its peek-a-boo bodice.

4. Penelope Cruz in Armani Privé

Penelope Cruz is a regular on all the Best Dressed lists, as she gravitates towards the timeless over the trendy. This periwinkle Armani Privé frock was Grace Kelly perfection when paired with retro waves and classic jewels.

3. Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

As soon as Gwyneth Paltrow arrived at the Hollywood & Highland Center, style critics hailed her daring Tom Ford gown and its matching cape as the look to beat. A less seasoned star might have been overwhelmed by all that cool, sleek minimalism, but not Our Lady of GOOP.

2. Cameron Diaz in Gucci

StyleBistro readers were completely enamored with Cameron Diaz's pale gold frock, and it's no secret why. The actress looked fresh and youthful in this fitted Gucci gown. We also loved the bright tangerine Victoria Beckham dress Diaz wore to the Vanity Fair after party.

1. Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab

Model-turned-actress Milla Jovovich showed up all the Oscar nominees in this white beaded gown by Elie Saab. The Resident Evil star couldn't have looked more heavenly in the one-shoulder gown, which she wore with a short curly 'do and a bright red pout.

Also on StyleBistro:
Best and Worst Dressed at the 2012 Oscars
Hollywood's elite brought out their most spectacular dresses for the biggest red carpet night of the year. See who sizzled and who fizzled at the 2012 Oscars.

I am an Associate Editor at, a self-declared shopaholic and suffering from major wanderlust tendencies. Follow me: Twitter