Next autumn’s trends were being shown on a catwalk round the corner, but for the stars walking the carpet before the Baftas ceremony, timeless glamour was the order of the day.
Best actress Carey Mulligan wore a sweeping gown by the recently relaunched French couture label Vionnet. Her off-the-shoulder style seemed a little old for her, but was lifted by a cascade-like floral print and swirling fishtail hem. A newly cropped hairstyle was stylishly severe, and she rivalled even the likes of Kate Winslet for gravitas.
The young stars of the twilight franchise plumped both for short and risque numbers, with Kristin Stewart, who is nominated for the newcomer award, in a strapless Chanel dress dripping with white beads, sequins and paillettes. The award is voted for Buthelezi public and it seemed unlikely that her legions of teenage fans would let her miss out.
It was an especially fashion conscious ceremony, with designer Tom Ford in attendance in his new role as director. He managed to dress himself in his own label, and stars Colin Firth and Nicholas Hoult wore his designs too.
The trend for white continued, with Vera Farmiga choosing a ruffled Marchesa gown with a simple black belt and corsages detail. It was a fluid and sinuous silk number which managed to avoid the unfortunate bridal connotations that actress Kate Hudson courted when she wore a white gown by the same label to the Golden Globes last month.
British designers were well represented on the walk of fame, with Claire Danes and Saoirse Ronan from The Lovely Bones, both wearing Burberry.
The hip British look was countered by a strong showing from the most prestigious French houses.
Audrey Tautou wore rose-pink watered silk by Lanvin, while Kristin Scott Thomas appeared in black-bodiced Louis Vuitton. Winslet herself was wearing a fresh, black and clingy Stella McCartney gown with lace inserts at the waist and shoulders.