There are many reasons to watch tonight’s Oscar telecast.
Host Seth McFarlane will be witty and clever and madly mischievous.
Angelina Jolie may affect another crazy red carpet pose — remember last year when she thrust her leg through the waist-high slit of her dress, baring her thigh for all to see?
And there will be all sorts of seemingly heartfelt and dramatic speeches as winners try to thank the Academy, their managers, parents, significant others, co-stars, hairdressers, drycleaners and just about everyone else on the planet before being escorted from the stage.
But the biggest and best reason to watch the telecast (red carpet coverage starts at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC) is for the gowns and dresses — the glorious hits and the sometimes even more delightful misses that will be the subject of Twitter feeds and Facebook commentary and snarky remarks for years to come. (My friends and I are still talking about the ill-fitting pink prom-style dress the usually perfect Gwyneth Paltrow wore in 1999 when she accepted her best actress award for “Shakespeare in Love.”)
Good, bad or ugly — many of us love a glimpse into the world of celebrity.
So, what to expect from this year’s Oscar nominees?
What to expect from Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Naomi Watts, Amy Adams, Helen Hunt and all the rest of the women who will attend?
Christos Garkinos — who owns Decades, a Los Angeles store that specializes in vintage couture and is a favorite of celebrities, stylists and fashionistas everywhere — has an idea about a couple of the actresses.
He says representatives for two nominated actresses have been shopping his store for the stars’ Oscar night attire.
He won’t reveal their identity — “we sign confidentiality stuff” — but he does offer a hint.
Both of the women won Golden Globes this year.
Garkinos won’t know for sure if they actually wear something from his store until the very last minute. “They never tell you,” he says. “We have no idea. It’s the Hollywood waiting game.”
This year, fashion experts say we can expect to see a selection of gowns from the spring and fall 2013 runway shows by designers such as Nina Ricci, Dior, Elie Saab, Marchesa, Chanel, YSL and Oscar de la Renta.
Based on those shows and what stars have worn to awards ceremonies earlier this season, the experts say we can bet on more black gowns and more white gowns than we might normally see.
They also say vibrant greens, blues, and maybe some bright yellow will make an appearance as will pastels and blush tones.
Bright pink, a fun element in the fall 2013 runway shows, could make an appearance, too.
Also big: lace and sheer details. Think: Amy Adams at the BAFTAs earlier this month.
“Plunging necklines, we’re going to see them really severe,” says Anna Roselli, owner of Roma Sposa, a Birmingham, Mich., boutique that carries dresses from many of the designers we can expect to see on the red carpet. But the necklines, created by mesh, are an illusion.
As for the specific actresses, experts offer these predictions:
• “Jennifer Lawrence (best actress nominee for “Silver Linings Playbook”), I think she’ll be in Dior again,” says Cheryl Daskas, co-owner of Tender, a Birmingham boutique that carries clothing from some of those designers. Not coincidentally, Lawrence is the face of Miss Dior handbags.
• Daskas predicts Jessica Chastain (best actress nominee for “Zero Dark Thirty”) will wear color because she’s favored a bold red and bold blue at other award shows this year. She has, however, been known to wear vintage couture — from Garkinos’ shop.
• Anne Hathaway (best supporting actress nominee for “Les Mis”), will wear something classic with a slightly modern twist. The vintage Chanel gown she wore for the Golden Globes was notable because it was white — a trendy color right now.
• Naomi Watts (best actress nominee for “The Impossible”) wore an on-trend red dress with high neck and plunging back for the Golden Globes and has a tendency to favor old-style glamour and will likely do the same at the Oscars.
• Look for Helen Hunt (best supporting actress nominee for “The Sessions”) to wear a column-style dress in a blush color or metallic tone.
As for me? I’ll probably be wearing jeans and a big, comfy sweater — and thanking my lucky stars all eyes won’t be on me as I watch the Oscars.