This story first appeared in the Feb. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Fashion's biggest horse race, betting on what Oscar's finest fillies -- Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Amy Adams and Anne Hathaway -- will wear has begun as the Feb. 24 finish line approaches. Every major designer on the planet is jostling for them. A gown on one of their well-toned backs is worth millions in branding. THR gives the odds on what they'll wear based on recent outings, designer deals and even psychological motivations.
"Something colorful," is how the nominee describes her ideal gown. We expect she's ready to change it up from last Oscar's black and gold McQueen. As the face of YSL Beaute's Manifesto fragrance, she isn't obligated to wear the brand, but the fashion world hotly anticipates anything that YSL designer Hedi Slimane, installed last year, is doing. (Of course, Chastain still could go with McQueen, which she wore to this year's SAG Awards.) Because she's always complaining about being single, odds are on her wearing a fairly sexy, sleek gown.
Higher fashion. "Last time I went for comfort," she recently said of her red unstructured Calvin Klein for the 2011 Oscars. "This time, I'm going to suck it up and wear a corset! I'm going for fashion." Her breakup with actor Nicholas Hoult might push the sexy factor further. Because she is the new face of Miss Dior bags, expect Dior Haute Couture (held firmly in place -- post SAG Awards wardrobe malfunction -- with double-stick tape).
Expect a glam, elaborate dress by Gucci, Marchesa or friend Roland Mouret to counter her battered image in The Impossible. "Her near-perfect physique has allowed us to play around with all types of silhouettes," says her stylist (and sister-in-law) Jeanann Williams. And it might be in the pale or cream shades the actress prefers.
She goes from pale tones to colors that flatter her red hair, including gold, blue or green. She could opt for stylist Cristina Ehrlich's favorite: Giambattista Valli Couture.
The supporting actress front-runner favors Armani Prive or Valentino Couture for big-ticket events. After months of wearing white or black, she could go all-out princess in red or pink.