Oscars 2013: Black stars shine in glamorous style at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

SLIDESHOW - There were not many African-American stars in conspicuous attendance at the 85th Annual Academy Awards, but those who did make a red carpet appearance did so in glamorous Old Hollywood style...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

There were not many African-American stars in conspicuous attendance at the 85th Annual Academy Awards, but those who made a red carpet appearance did so in Old Hollywood style. Many chose metallic designs to give pop to their entrances, while others went soft and feminine.

Halle Berry definitely used a striking amount of shine to stand out. She “turned heads wearing a custom Versace dress, Adeler earrings, a Le Vian ring and Jimmy Choo’s ‘Vibe’ platform sandal,” according to Us Weekly. Her dress of bold silver stripes outlining the silhouette of her body made her look like a statuette for a futuristic fashion awards ceremony.

Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis was not to be outdone in her “navy blue dress by Armani with black tulle and sparkly rhinestone accents and a matching shawl,” reports The Huffington Post. Even though she went more traditional with her look, her fresh personality in addition to her cute stuffed animal purse gave her an aura of distinctive fun.

Queen Latifah wore a “white V-neck tank dress by Badgley Mischka,” relates the Associated Press, a simple look that was pure and clean — a definite style evolution for a woman who often wears more complicated pieces.

Kerry Washington has been playing it playful and edgy lately, with daring ensembles that are still sweet. Her pinkish-red Miu Miu gown with an encrusted bodice was a perfect blend of the youthful modernism she has embodied recently with the refined high style required for the Oscars. Of course, there was also plenty of dazzling bling to draw the eye.

Jennifer Hudson embodied what some are calling a trend of the night in her royal blue Roberto Cavalli gown matched with nearly electric blue peep-toe heels. Royal blue was also worn by Robin Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, and Helen Hunt in addition to adorable little Quvenzhané.

Octavia Spenser went more romantic than many of the other black stars of the evening in a frothy tulle confection by Tadashi Shoji, a designer she frequently selects for his ability to flatter her full-figured form. And flatter her he did, as she stood out from the sea of other women in attendance, even when sitting in her seat. Each time the camera panned the crowd, her pretty gown with its pop of peach gave you a friendly reminder that Octavia was giving fabulousness.

The men of the night were fairly subdued. Denzel Washington wore standard fare, while Jamie Foxx chose an interesting two-tone tuxedo of black and grey with a black shirt. The Oscars are not typically a night for experiments in fashion, yet Foxx kept his departure tasteful and definitely made it work. Samuel L. Jackson’s maroon jacket was similarly unique yet well-suited to the occasion.

While all of these black stars looked wonderful, perhaps the style prize of best in show should go to Dame Shirley Bassey, whose James Bond tribute is being lauded for literally, “saving the Oscars,” the Los Angeles Times raves.

The grande dame of Bond music, now in her seventies, was as showstopping as many of the entertainers who graced the stage that night — and are more than half her age. She wore her slinky golden gown for her performance to perfection, working the metallic theme of the night effortlessly — in fact, in a way that sometimes only a woman of maturity can really pull off.

Bassey’s simple black red carpet gown with a bottom fringe sounds dated but looked enchanting with its lace-trimmed neckline drawing attention to her still-stunning smile.

I’ve cast my vote. Who do you think had the most glamorous Academy Awards look?

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.