Best Trends of 2006

Perfectly Dressed
Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Best Trends of 2006

01 of 20

Retro Glamour

Retro Glamour
George Pimentel/WireImage

They're vamping as if they just stepped out of a time machine and into a flashbulb-popping, klieglight-strafing premiere at a grand and now sadly gone RKO movie palace.

02 of 20

Retro Glamour

Retro Glamour
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

In real life, head-to-toe styling that evokes Old Hollywood screams overkill, so don't try this at home.

03 of 20

Retro Glamour

Retro Glamour
Sean Gallup/Getty

But for these women, it's as much a performance as singing for your supper. So let the crowd roar.

04 of 20

Forward Thinkers

Forward Thinkers
Tony Barson/WireImage

Why go mod when you can go modern?

05 of 20

Forward Thinkers

Forward Thinkers
J. Graylock/JPI

It's no longer novel when a young actress reinterprets what it means to get all dressed up by rejecting the standard big-night-out silhouette for structure and shapes that are freer, easier, not as overt, yet equally flattering.

06 of 20

Forward Thinkers

Forward Thinkers
Lisa O'Connor

By making the unexpected less unexpected, these women generate as much of a fresh breeze as they do a photo op.

07 of 20

Such Romantics

Such Romantics
Janet Gough/Celebrity

Friends, Lovers, Countrywomen! 'Tis nobler to express your inner Austen-stoked dreaminess than to suffer, for there are now ways to do it without looking as if you escaped from a sachet drawer.

08 of 20

Such Romantics

Such Romantics
Janet Gough/Celebrity

Captured in simple forms and contours, the ruffles, ruches and lace insets that whisper romanticism can eschew costume drama for a refreshing loveliness. Just leave off the locket.

09 of 20

Minimalist to the Max

Minimalist to the Max
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Banish brocade, tear off the tiers, and bag the ball gown.

10 of 20

Minimalist to the Max

Minimalist to the Max
Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic

Why retie a ribbon, straighten a bow or fluff a crinoline when you can step into something sleeker than a whippet with a summer haircut?

11 of 20

Minimalist to the Max

Minimalist to the Max
Jane West/INF Goff

There are no pleats to adjust, no big skirt to step on, no cumbersome train to practice kicking. And if you've done Pilates with diligence and avoided that cheesecake, well, ain't you the lucky one!

12 of 20

Worth the Risk

Worth the Risk
Marsland/INF Goff

"Hey, Guys! Over Here!" Since looking good is no longer enough to get noticed, one must consider the merits of sticking one's neck—or something—out.

13 of 20

Worth the Risk

Worth the Risk
Gilbert Flores/Celebrity

One approach remains stunningly effective—taking a plunge.

14 of 20

Worth the Risk

Worth the Risk
Janet Gough/Celebrity

However, Charlize's daring is a stylistic one: Love it or not, her gown is graphic, original and, on her 6-foot-plus-in-heels frame, in proportion. She was riveting. (OK, you had to be there.)

15 of 20

Best at Every Age

Best at Every Age
Sara De Boer/Retna

One heartening evolution is women reveling (sartorially) in their age.

16 of 20

Best at Any Age

Best at Any Age
MJ Kim/Getty

How welcome is the ingénue neither overwhelmed in fabric nor upstaged by carats.

17 of 20

Best at Any Age

Best at Any Age
Jane West/INF Goff

What a pleasure to see the shapely one embracing her arcs; the all-grown-up trusting sleek confidence over divatronics; and the mature woman who knows choosing tailored simplicity no longer means she'll be ignored.

18 of 20

Perfectly Dressed

Perfectly Dressed
Dave Allocca/Startraks

In Hollywood timing is everything. You wouldn't open a serious movie over the Fourth of July weekend.

19 of 20

Perfectly Dressed

Perfectly Dressed
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

If your preview has Oscar buzz, you hold it till Christmas. Any of these dresses would get lost in the shuffle on Oscar night.

20 of 20

Perfectly Dressed

Perfectly Dressed
Jeff Vespa/WireImage

But at an indie première, a press luncheon or an event promoting someone else, they exhibit enough graceful restraint to make photographers strain to get the shot.

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