April 08, 2002 12:00 PM

The point of pulling out all the stops for the big night? “You’re going to be photographed, that photograph will be what defines you fashionwise for the year, and shame on you if you don’t look fabulous!” says Los Angeles-based stylist Cary Fetman, who has dressed the likes of Melissa and Joan Rivers and Sting for the Oscars.

Over the years, most attendees have had little about which to be ashamed. They’ve given their ensembles plenty of thought, choosing from among myriad designer creations before pondering which hairstyle might best complement their selection. A lot of work for one event? Sure, but it is the ultimate red-carpet appearance. “No one is scared of looking too dressed up,” says Fetman. “Win, lose or draw, you better look fantastic.”

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