Oscar Nominations 2012: Rooney Mara, Michelle Williams to Battle It Out for Best Dressed

Oscar nominations best-dressed competition

Photos: Jason Merritt/Getty Images | Steve Granitz/WireImage

Rooney Mara in Nina Ricci and Michell Williams in Jason Wu at the 2012 Golden Globes

The 2012 Oscar nominations have been announced, and now we can all focus on the important stuff: Dresses!

Though it looks as though we'll be missing out on a Dior-clad Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara's surprise Best Actress nomination for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will pit her against My Week with Marilyn's Michelle Williams (as well as Meryl Streep, Viola Davis and Glenn Close) not only in the race to Oscar, but in the Best-Dressed stakes as well.

So, which Vogue cover girl will reign supreme? Will the The Year of the Dragon prove lucky for Mara and her gothic getups? Can the fashion-forward Williams score a red carpet hit like her legendary 2006 mustard yellow Vera Wang gown, which she paired with red lips? And is there really a better female face-off than ass-kicker Lisbeth Salander versus bombshell Marilyn Monroe?

While Salander's punk rock tats, piercings and bleached brows have yet to make a red carpet appearance, breakout star Mara has managed to evoke her heroine's hauntingly edgy style offscreen.

Aside from a red Valentino gown in Rome, Mara made her film's premiere rounds in sleek black, white or gray numbers from Rodarte, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci, the latter of which gave us this gorgeous white silk tulle cutout gown

For the 2012 Golden Globes, she again indulged her dark side with a black silk faille Pre-Fall 2012 Nina Ricci mermaid gown with a bow-adorned plunging neckline.

So, what's next? Having seen Mara rock an Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 headpiece for Dazed & Confused, we'd personally love to see her opt for one of the collection's exquisite sparkling gowns, though Sarah Burton's Pre-Fall 2012 assortment of Elizabethan-inspired designs might appeal more to the star's gothic tastes.

Another strong contender? Christian Dior's black sheer Spring 2012 Couture gown—though the blood red or dark plum version could help Mara break out of a color-shy rut.

For her part, Williams may be trickier to pin down. Though she's recreated Monroe's va-va-voom style for every magazine under the sun, the actress's red carpet taste of late has skewed from Old Hollywood (pale green silk chiffon Oscar de la Renta at the New York Film Festival) to modern elegance (navy Jason Wu at the Golden Globes).

That said, our money's on a fitted, body-skimming number—no overly voluminous gowns for this petite platinum pixie—with a belted waist.

And though her beaded Chanel Haute Couture dress for the 2011 Oscars was dreamy, we always prefer to see Williams in a shot of color. Perhaps a scarlet ruffled Pre-Fall 2012 Valentino or raspberry Giambattista Valli Couture will do the trick?

We'll find out for sure when the Oscars air on February 26.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more dress speculation. We want these girls to bring it!  

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