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Tuesday, 24 March, 1998, 12:59 GMT
In fashion, everyone's an Oscar winner
Above: Judi Dench and daughter
Judi Dench and daughter were fashion winners
Not everyone can be a winner at the Oscars. Great films and great performances are often passed over or go unrecognised completely.

Basinger:  acting and fashion success
Basinger: acting and fashion success
But even those who fail to walk away with a golden trophy can make a splash in the fashion parade. This year was no exception.

If anything, the 70th annual Academy Awards will be remembered for the sparkling array of tasteful dresses that made the actresses - winners and losers alike - shine at Hollywood's glitziest event.

The long, slinky dress was "the look" at the awards. Many of the attendees chose airy, spring colours such as green, lavender and icy blue.

Kate Winslet: all smiles
There was Geena Davis in a pink sequined number, Linda Hamilton in a light blue slip idea and Oscar nominee Julie Christie in a glittery, short-sleeved pastel sheath.

Kim Basinger, who won the first award for best supporting actress, wore a floor-length spring green gown. It could have been a dress right out of LA Confidential: seductive yet understated and alluring.

Helena Bonham-Carter looking angelic
British actress Kate Winslet also looked glamorous in a green and gold brocade.

But she was outshined by American actress Helen Hunt, who beat out the British competition to take the prize for best actress for her role in As Good As It Gets.

Minnie Driver
Minnie Driver: a lady in red
The British nominees showed up in a dazzling display of dresses. Helena Bonham-Carter, nominated for her role in the historical drama Wings of the Dove, looked ethereal in a gauzy lavender shift and sparkling stole.

Minnie Driver, nominated for best supporting actress for her role in Good Will Hunting, wore a floor-length, spaghetti-strap crimson gown that showed off her creamy skin and dark hair.

Cher
Cher: always outlandish
But not everyone won high praise for their fashion sense. Perhaps not unsurprising, the two women who elicited the most whispers were singer-actress Cher and pop superstar Madonna.

Cher turned up in a champagne dress and a typically bizarre hat.

Madonna took three hours to get ready
Madonna took three hours to get ready
Madonna wore a black floor-length gown that revealed her muscular upper body and her eyes were dotted with glitter.

Although she said that it took her three hours to get ready, those working backstage said that she looked like a "vampire."

Never mind. The dress still made a splash. And after all, that's what the Oscar fashion is all about.

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