From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
CUSTOM TAILORED!

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

in Zuhair Murad

Stylist Nicole Chavez requested this hand-beaded gown "immediately" upon seeing it on Zuhair Murad's runway in January, but it didn't arrive until a week before the show. Why the wait? The skirt was completely revamped. "It was originally a straight dress, and we worked with Zuhair to create a fuller look," says Chavez. The custom underskirt was flown in from Paris and sewn in by an L.A. seamstress. "I wanted more of a train-more drama-for the Oscars."

HAD IT LINED!

SANDRA BULLOCK

in Elie Saab

Why did the flawless, 48-year-old presenter have a nude lining sewn into her embroidered lace cap-sleeve gown? "On the runway, it is completely sheer, and clearly we were not putting her on the red carpet in a completely sheer dress," says her longtime stylist Deborah Waknin, who called dibs on the "edgy T-shirt dress" even before it was shown in January. Once the wardrobe malfunction-preventing underlay was in place, adds Waknin, "everybody had a good laugh."

SPIED IT 3 YEARS AGO!

KRISTEN STEWART

in Reem Acra

"Kristen had a roomful of dresses from current collections, but once she tried this one on we knew," says her stylist Tara Swennen, who spotted the Spring 2009 bridal gown years ago. "I told Kristen then, 'Someday you will wear this to the Oscars!'"

CHOSEN BECAUSE IT MATCHED HER HAIR!

JESSICA CHASTAIN

in Giorgio Armani

Though she ultimately chose her copper-colored gown to complement her tresses, the color "was inspired by a shirt in my closet!" says her stylist Elizabeth Stewart. But the custom creation (see sketch, left) was not her only choice. "We had an incredible dress in place that needed a bit more work," says Stewart. "So this dress stepped up."