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June 07, 2012  | by: Latonya Darrisaw

Womenswear Designers of the Year Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen with Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Tommy Hilfiger

Let’s be honest for a moment and admit that while we watch award shows to see who wins, loses and performs, what we really want to see is what the celebrities are wearing. The 2012 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards (CFDA) celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York on Monday night. The best in fashion design were honored while celebrities wore some of the most fashionable gowns and cocktail dresses of awards season. Here are a few of our picks for best dressed and a look at some of the recurring trends of the night.

Dakota Fanning and Kate Bosworth in graphic prints (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

There were a lot of patterns and prints on the carpet. Some were more subtle than others, however. Actresses Dakota Fanning and Kate Bosworth were the most daring with the trend. Both wore bold prints and interesting silhouettes. Dakota went for a more oriental-inspired style in this Proenza Schouler kimono-style dress and platform boots. While the boots may be a bit too heavy for the dress, she still looked amazing. The black piping and metallic clutch really tied the look together. And for once, we’re super excited she went for a classic chignon rather than wearing her hair down as she usually does on the carpet.

Kate Bosworth’s style was very boho-luxe, and this Altuzarra dress was very gypsy-esque with its coin embellishments. The print was beautiful along a sarong shape and flared hem. Kate also wore another popular trend this season: cutouts. She showed just enough skin without looking too vulgar and over-the-top. She completed the look with black and velvet Altuzarra ankle-strap heels.

Zoe Saldana and Solange Knowles (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Zoe Saldana and Solange Knowles were polar opposites, yet both looked impeccable from head-to-toe. Zoe wore a black custom-designed Prabal Gurung floor-length gown with sheer panels and long sleeves. She was wise in choosing minimal accessories so the beautiful, plunging neckline could be on display. This was a very sexy choice for the actress, and the dress moved beautifully on the carpet. Solange picked a brighter and shorter dress. A ray of sunshine, the singer and DJ knows how to work colors. She wore a bright yellow and white, heavily adorned Marni dress along with a patterned oversized clutch. Her Lucite and yellow sandals were the perfect complement to the mid-length shift dress.

Julianne Hough in red and Lily Collins in metallic gold

Footloose actress Julianne Hough has had a couple of hits and misses on the red carpet lately, but her Kaufman Franco gown at the CFDA awards more than made up for those mishaps. Julianne was perfection in this red, draped gown. With just enough sass and sensuality in the plunging neckline, she kept the styling simple and the shape flattering for the petite star. Her gold metallic clutch and belt buckle added enough style to keep this look from being a total snooze fest. Speaking of gold, Mirror Mirror actress Lily Collins shined in this Marchesa frock. The length of the A-line dress provided just the right balance to the high collar and cap sleeves. In addition to the great color, the gold eagle on the front added an oomph of edge to the flirty, feminine mini.

Did you miss one of the biggest nights in fashion? Well, Style.com is airing a live broadcast of the show. Head over to Harper’s Bazaar website for a full list of the nominees and winners.

What did you think of the CFDA awards? Did the right designers win and who made your top choice for best-dressed of the night?

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