Oscar Fashion: Sign of the Times?

Those deemed best-dressed wore outfits that reflect the recession.

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Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but the verdicts on the Oscar gowns seem to reflect our recessionary times.

The Huffington Post gushes over the "simplicity" that "stole the show," and praises the "minimalist approach to jewelry this year," such as Angelina Jolie's earrings (she focused on a few big pieces, although it's hard to think of those giant emeralds as frugal) and Beyonce's lack of jewelry altogether.

Meanwhile, Slate called out Miley Cyrus for her decadent dress that, according to the magazine, "looked like a tiered cake with those silver beaded things people use to decorate Christmas cookies." Also on the hit list: Sarah Jessica Parker and Penelope Cruz for their sparkly princess dresses. Perhaps the critics just thought the look was over-the-top at time when people are losing their jobs and 401(k)s? For photos, click here (for the best) and here (for the worst).