See the dress the superstar nearly wore instead to Hollywood's biggest night

Kevin Mazur/WireImage, Courtesy Versace

Anne Hathaway wasn’t the only star making Oscar dress decisions down to the wire: Jennifer Hudson also was choosing between two looks she loved up until the last moment, her stylist Eric Archibald tells PEOPLE.

From 12 dresses, Hudson and Archibald narrowed it down to the shimmering, textured navy Roberto Cavalli Couture gown she ended up wearing and an architectural pale gray Versace with sheer lace inserts at the legs.

“We saw the Versace on the runway in the fall couture 2012 [shows], but it didn’t transfer as well as we would have liked.” Archibald said of making the dress decision. “We really loved [the dress], but in the end, those alterations didn’t work out.”

And when Hudson stepped into the blue Cavalli, “We all stopped and there was a pause and there were a bunch of emotions running through the room,” Archibald said. “We knew at that moment that her favorite was our favorite also.”

Archibald, who says that Versace and Cavalli give the star “first pick of the litter,” thought the final result (down to the Naomi Campbell-inspired “supermodel” hair and makeup) couldn’t have been better. “I thought the dress really showed off all of her curves and she felt comfortable in it,” he says. “At the end of the day it’s all about her confidence.”

Tell us: What did you think of Hudson’s finished look? Would you have liked to see the Versace gown?

–Alex Apatoff, reporting by Jessica Herndon