For Nicole Kidman, having her mum Janelle with her on the red carpet for Wednesday’s AACTA Awards – the Oscar winner’s second Sydney gala in a week – was everything.
“It’s so nice. There she is,” Kidman told The New Daily, pointing out Janelle and her other plus one, niece Lucia Hawley.
“She’s the reason I’m an actor, so it’s very appropriate that she’s here.”
Kidman’s brilliantly boho Valentino gown was easily the standout (perhaps only) couture look at the ceremony at Sydney’s The Star. Her burst of colour was a high point in a night where black played a starring role.
Worn with silver sandals and featuring velvet, sheer panels and sequin swan and butterfly embellishments, Kidman’s dress was both a super modern triumph and something Samantha’s mum would have worn on 1970s series Bewitched for a patio party.
Comedian and actor Celia Pacquola was slightly nervous about the dress code and level of glamour required: “It’s not our sort of area. We’re more comfortable in pubs, doing stand-up in front of 12 people.”
Back in Australia for the premiere of upcoming series Bloom, Phoebe Tonkin – who slayed in sexy Parisian stripes and classic red lipstick – prepared for the night by “just relaxing”, she told The New Daily.
“I wish I’d gone for a swim in the morning, but I couldn’t get to it. My mum was over and we sat eating carob bars.”
Angourie Rice – who was “fangirling” over Pacquola – had one day to pick her dress, and went for pink Gucci. “I feel like a princess,” she said.
Sarah Snook told The New Daily she worked with stylist Stacey O’Connor to choose her pale mint Viktoria & Woods plunging pantsuit. “I’m really interested in more sustainable and ethically responsible fashion,” she said.
Deborah Mailman went regal in gold satin with shawl collar with chandelier earrings.
Nicole Da Silva was mostly business, a little bit party, in a flared black pantsuit.
Tasma Walton went a touch Halloween, a touch ice dancer in a ballgown with licking flame motifs.
Leah Purcell also took the classy route, pairing back a fancy floor-length skirt with classic white shirt.
Susie Porter! Glamour personified and proof shoulder ruffles are a girl’s best friend if you can’t afford diamonds.
Julia Zemiro rocked up in skinny pants and a double-breasted blazer with undone hair. Chic.
E! Australia host Ksenija Lukich was simple and fabulous in a strapless white dress with festive earrings and sandals made from tape measures.
The Obscure actor Kate Cheel was anything but, bringing the drama in a black gown with plunging neckline and swirling tulle skirt.
Simone Kessell (The Crossing) teamed sexy modern Grecian with kinda dated hair.
Isabel Lucas was super modern and retro at the same time, harking back to the 1940s with a head scarf, fitted dress and foxy Mary Janes.
In a mash-up of ringmaster and turn-of-the-century sailor attire, Kerri-Anne Kennerley was bold and flashy. As usual. Thank you fashion god.
Rebecca Gibney also walked on the dark side, channelling a 1980s Joan Collins.
Dear Emma Leonard: Loved the colour, liked the length but something about the bodice (I know, but it has one) looked a teeny bit homemade.
Was she auditioning for a Maleficent stage show? Melina Vidler was all sharp angles, cutaways, shiny surfaces. Needed softer hair.
Gracie Otto was cool. Maybe too casual. But cool.
Jackie Gillies looked rapt, and wrapped in a mid-range curtain.
Marta Dusseldorp did slinky European style with plain dress, statement earrings and clutch.
Celia Massingham: Seriously ethereal. Age appropriate and beautiful.
Sigrid Thornton went showbiz to the hilt. Come to the cabaret!
Shaynna Blaze threw everything at this. Including possibly the kitchen sink hidden under the Darrell Lea bow and ruffles.
Couples goals: Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward. Looked like they could just as easily have been dropping by a suburban solicitor to sign some papers. Effortlessly stylish.
With reporting by Matilda Dixon-Smith