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Limited Engagement

With the red carpet at awards shows in peril because of the writers’ strike, there was major star wattage at Sunday night’s Screen Actors’ Guild event, including a pregnant Cate Blanchett, George Clooney and Michelle...

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Christina Applegate in Elie Saab and Neil Lane.

Photo By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

With the red carpet at awards shows in peril because of the writers’ strike, there was major star wattage at Sunday night’s Screen Actors’ Guild event, including a pregnant Cate Blanchett, George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer.

But all eyes were on the possibly expecting Angelina Jolie. If there is, indeed, a baby bump, the star hid it well under a tent-like vintage Hermès gown.

Jolie wasn’t talking with reporters, but many lesser actresses had all their fashion credits at the ready for anyone who would listen. Among them was Becki Newton, who even pulled a handwritten index card out of her evening bag. “I wanted something I could actually move around in,” she explained of her tiered white Elsie Katz couture dress.

Others, such as Ellen Pompeo and January Jones, both in ultracorseted strapless numbers by Nina Ricci and Armani Privé, respectively, threw comfort to the wind in favor of high style. “The only thing that’s a bit of a pain is the train, but it’s worth it,” Jones said of her choice.

While Jones stood out in fuchsia (“It was the color. It was all I saw on the rack of clothes at Armani. I didn’t even know what the dress looked like.”), the dominant hues were silver, blue and white — mimicking the stormy Los Angeles sky. Indeed, several actresses were worried that they had ruined their designers’ couture creations by treading on the rain-drenched red carpet. “It’s soaked now, so I’m in trouble — it’s couture!” said Christina Applegate, who was wearing the Elie Saab gown she had originally reserved for the cancelled Golden Globes gala.

The dearth of red-carpet opportunities — striking writers waved a picket line because SAG has supported them — didn’t push Hollywood in a more fashion-forward direction: the Shrine Auditorium saw the same stream of strapless dresses that appeared at the Emmys four months ago.
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