Actress Jaimie Alexander arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Picture: AP

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) movie wins at the weekend offered a rare moment of clarity as the highly unpredictable awards season enters its final stretch, culminating with the Academy Awards on February 24.

A SAG win does not guarantee Oscar gold, but history suggests it’s nearly impossible to win an Academy Award in the acting categories without a SAG nomination.

However, in the fashion stakes there’s far less pressure than at the Oscars which allows the stars to take a few more risks on the red carpet.

This year, all eyes were on the fashion troika of Jennifer Lawrence, nominated for Silver Linings Playbook, Anne Hathaway, nominated for Les Misérables; and Jessica Chastain, given the nod for her role in Zero Dark Thirty.

Anne Hathaway chose black with sheer accents, a big trend. Her Giambattista Valli gown had a fairy-tale look, with a sleeveless bodice of embroidered sheer tulle, and a full sheer skirt revealing a shorter skirt underneath.

Julianne Moore, nominated for Game Change, can do no wrong when it comes to the red carpet. She wore a white Chanel couture gown with black and white floral embroidery on the skirt. Moore’s side parted, side-swept Veronica Lake hair was the style of the evening, seen on several other stars, including Seyfried and Chastain.

January Jones wore a black and white Prabal Gurung gown, her blond hair sculpted into a pompadour-mullet like David Bowie from his Aladdin Sane days. Designer Zuhair Murad had a decidedly more low-key moment on the red carpet than at the Golden Globes. Amy Poehler’s simple black jersey gown was a 180 from Jennifer Lopez’s Globes gown, a blush-coloured lace style that was about as sheer as you can get without risking an FCC fine. Marion Cotillard wore a navy blue Dior gown with a white bodice and high-low hem. Her short bob hairstyle was the epitome of French chic.

There was a lot of dark blue and black on the carpet.

Tina Fey looked as good as ever in a strapless black Oscar de la Renta gown with a sparkly belt. Nicole Kidman wore anything-but-basic-black, sheer Vivienne Westwood gown with delicate floral embroidery on the front. Seyfried wore a Zac Posen navy blue fishtail gown.

Ralph Rucci is one of the most talented American designers working today, but his name is more typically associated with socialites than starlets. Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) looked smouldering in a vintage black Ralph Rucci gown with sheer cut-outs.

Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy had a major score on the red carpet too. Kerry Washington wore a white strapless gown with a structured bodice by the Pasadena-based sisters. White gowns have been everywhere lately, but this one was something special.

The SAG Awards red carpet was awash with bad bridesmaids dresses too. Hollywood has gone crazy for mermaids. Katrina Bowden (30 Rock) wore a celadon green tulle and chiffon fishtail gown by Badgley Mischka, and Ellie Kemper wore a sea-foam green Reem Acra dress with sparkly floral embroidery and a giant half bow at the waist. Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) was in blush Oscar de la Renta, and Ariel Winter was in peach.

In terms of winnings, the CIA thriller Argo continued to steamroll through awards season, winning the top honour for overall cast performance. SAG’s lead-acting honours went to Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War epic Lincoln. – LA Times and Sapa-ap