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The Oscar red carpet can be a career-defining moments for actors and fashion designers. As these leading ladies fret about finding just the right dress, The Globe plays stylist to the stars

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Rachel McAdams in Giambattista Valli The Canadian star tends to favour airy, almost ethereal, gowns. And while this couture creation would overwhelm many women, she’s cute enough to shine through.

Chris Pizzello/AP and Benoit Tessier/Reuters

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Meryl Streep in Carolina Herrera Full skirt. Check. Pockets. Check. Arms covered. Check. You’re welcome, Meryl.

Danny Moloshok and Samantha Zelnik/Reuters

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Michelle Williams in J. Mendel Hi, Michelle. Remember when you wore that stunning mustard-coloured gown to the 2006 Golden Globes? Can you try that again, please?

Gus Ruelas and Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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Bérénice Bejo in Dior Word on the street is that Bejo will be wearing Elie Saab. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing. But how fabulous would she look in this gown? If anyone should go for old Hollywood-style glamour, it’s her.

Danny Moloshok and Benoit Tessier/Reuters

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Jessica Chastain in Elie Saab More often than not, Chastain goes for slightly awkward dresses in drab colours (see above). This delicate yellow number, on the other hand, would be stunning with her red hair and green eyes.

Mario Anzuoni and Charles Platiau/Reuters

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Viola Davis in Giambattista Valli Davis went for a plunging neckline at a recent awards show, and while there is nothing wrong with showing off the girls, perhaps the Academy Awards is not the place to do it. She’s looked smashing in one-shoulder dresses before.

Fred Prouser and Benoit Tessier/Reuters

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Melissa McCarthy in Carolina Herrera This beautiful dress keeps with the funny lady’s trend of dark colours and deep necklines. But the flowing material and dramatic pattern provide extra visual interest. Knockout.

Danny Moloshok and Samantha Zelnik/Reuters

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Emma Stone in Atelier Gustavo Lins The hair, the skin, the body – Stone looks good in just about everything, but truly shines in jewel tones. This emerald gown is a little out of the box, but she’s been known to push boundaries. And that slit? Oh, maybe it’s a bit much. But she’s young. Flaunt it while you’ve got it.

Danny Moloshok and Charles Platiau/Reuters

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Angelina Jolie in Stephane Rolland The actress-turned-director has been rather boring this red-carpet season, one column dress after another. It’s enough to make one long for her crazy Goth days. Hence this little number. The ‘breastplate’ is intense. But then again, so is Jolie. And if anybody’s ever going to pull it off, it’s her.

Danny Moloshok and Benoit Tessier/Reuters

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Penelope Cruz in Dior The actress is always a red-carpet favourite because she goes all out with rich fabrics and big gowns. This couture masterpiece would be perfect.

Lucas Jackson and Benoit Tessier/Reuters

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Rooney Mara in Giorgio Armani Even if you are nominated for a movie about a serial killer, that’s no reason to dress in black all the time. f you don’t want to do the whole poofy princess thing, that’s fine. But this is the Oscars. Do something interesting. Like this dark, moody, almost reptilian gown.

Danny Moloshok/Reuters and Christophe Ena/AP

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Stacy Kiebler in Marchesa It’s pretty much a given that Kiebler (George Clooney’s squeeze of the moment) will wear Marchesa. She always wears Marchesa. And, hey, if you’re a trophy girlfriend, why not play the part? There’s a good chance it’s the only gold Clooney will be going home with anyway.

Lucy Nicholson and Kena Betancur/Reuters

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