Deena Smith, Staff Writer

Every year at the Academy Awards, E! hosts a red carpet special to watch the stars arrive in their sometimes elegant couture designer dresses and sleek expensive tuxedos and suits.
Certain celebrities always have a particular style, whether it is more sophisticated or sexy, but someone always brings something new.

The red carpet fashions from previous awards shows have been quite disappointing in the shock factor category — except for Lady Gaga and her well-known extravagancies.
But the Oscars are when the gloves come off and the best designs come out. Aside from the Oscar winners, the fashions are the most talked about part of the evening.

“Who are you wearing?” is always the first question asked on the carpet for guys and gals alike, but the women’s dresses always receive the most critiques.

So, starting with the females, in a surprising new trend for the season, fashionistas are rocking bridal couture down the carpet, instead of down the aisle.

Most of them alter the color of the gown, like Glee star Lea Michele who looked sensational at the Golden
Globes in a black Oscar de la Renta bridal gown and, again, in a shorter bridal design dress by Romona Keveza at the Grammys.

One person took it the extra mile and actually kept the wedding gown white and dominated the carpet: Kate Hudson in a stunning white bridal gown by Marchesa at the Golden Globes.

So don’t be shocked if a few other celebs accept their award (instead of their husbands) in bridal gowns.
Some popular designers that will definitely be on the carpet are Stella McCartney, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and YSL. Elie Saab is also a high fashion brand that has been a favorite of previous award winners, such as Halle Berry when she received her Oscar for Monster’s Ball.

The red carpet is also a great place for new, up-and-coming designers to be showcased.
Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of Avatar director James Cameron, announced that she will be wearing a dress by Jillian Granz.

Granz is a student at Michigan State University who won a dress design contest.
Her work may start a new trend, like the one-shoulder craze that began with Jason Wu’s gown that he designed for Michelle Obama to wear to the Inaugural Ball in 2009. As for the color scheme, expect to see silvery tones, pale peaches and the typical black.

As with everything in Hollywood, the red carpet is not only a fashion show but a competition. Actresses and musicians are pitted against each other to see who is the best dressed.

The ever-popular country singer Taylor Swift and pop songstress Miley Cyrus have been compared at previous award shows this season and are expected to be even more scrutinized for the Oscars, even though neither is up for an award.

Some red carpet veterans never disappoint. But this season, former American Idol Carrie Underwood and House actress Olivia Wilde have stepped out in stunning pieces at both the Golden Globes and the Grammys. Look out for actress Sandra Bullock; this is her first year receiving a nod, so she is bound to wear a head-turner.

Now, for the fellas, expect to see lots of the classic black tuxedos by high end designers such as Armani, Versace, Hugo Boss, etc.

The key is to find a sophisticated suit that also matches the personality and style of the person wearing it.
But everyone comes prepared. Even rock stars like the Kings of Leon dressed for the occasion in Burberry suits at the Grammys.

Look out for the gossip on the blogs for who received the votes for best and worst dressed at this year’s 82nd annual Academy Awards.