February 20, 2014 02:45 PM

Jason Merritt/Getty; Jason Merritt/Getty; Fernando Allende/Broadimage

The Showdown: Mila Kunis in 2011 vs. Anne Hathaway in 2009
The Editor’s Pick: Anne Hathaway
Who Made the Call?: Bronwyn Barnes, Senior Style Editor
Why She Chose It:
Anne wins, hands down.

I realize that’s like announcing the name of the winner without the dramatic tension of “And the Oscar goes to…” but my decision was a gut reaction.

When Mila wore this gown to the Oscars in 2011, she was my pick for best dressed. The silhouette was ultra-feminine and unrestrained, the pale lavender hue gave her skin an ethereal glow and the strategic draping of the delicate chiffon made the diminutive actress appear to be inches taller. But in the two years since then, there have been so many copycat dresses — if I see one more lace panel, I’ll scream! — that when I look back, Mila’s frock seems almost too familiar. ( Now this is a truly unforgettable Elie Saab gown. )

Check out the full Oscars Gown Showdown bracket here!

On the other hand, although I’ve seen countless metallic dresses over the years, I experience the same visceral reaction every time I see Anne in this Armani Privé column gown; I wish I’d been there in person so that I could have admired how divinely radiant she looked in it… and then knocked her to the ground and stolen it right off her back.

Up close, the diagonal cascade of iridescent paillettes circling down to the hem conjures visions of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. From a distance, those shimmering scales and Swarovski crystals morph into designer armor, accentuating Anne’s womanly curves and transforming her into a red carpet gladiator. The gown was heavy — weighing in at 15 pounds — and constricting, but Anne made it look effortless.

Voting is now closed but click here to see who came out on top — and to weigh in on today’s matchup: Michelle Williams vs. Reese Witherspoon!

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