THE FRENCH CONNECTION

LOS ANGELES — Not so long ago, Italian designers ruled the Oscars. But this year, the City of Light swept the City of Angels, as French houses carried off the top honors in the most important sweepstakes of the Academy Awards, the fashion competition. After the designers had spent weeks and months dueling to dress the top stars, on the big night, many of the best looks came from Paris. Here, two illustrations: Nicole Kidman in Dior couture by John Galliano and Julianne Moore in Chanel couture by Karl Lagerfeld. For more on the style of the ceremonies, and all the behind-the-scenes action leading up to the big moment, see pages 5 to 35.

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