Celebrities conceal their bunions under floor-sweeping gowns at 2012 Oscars

I expected the 2012 Academy Awards to be the climax of award season fashions, as they usually are. So imagine my disappointment when, after kicking back with a glass of chardonnay and strapping on my bunion splints, I saw nothing but floor-sweeping gowns walking the red carpet, concealing the designer-made footwear.

Well, at least Angelina Jolie did it right in a voluminous black velvet Versace gown with a thigh-high slit that revealed just one leg and a pair of black peep-toe pumps. The actress wasn't recognized by the fashionista bible Vogue, but was named best-dressed by The New Yorker's Judith Thurman.

"That is more like it: something to die for! She resembled Sargent’s Madame X," Thurman wrote.

If Jolie was the black swan of the evening, then Gwyneth Paltrow was her counterpart, donning a white Tom Ford column sheath with an asymmetrical neckline and sculptured cap sleeves – not to mention a rather puzzling cape and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Personally, I favored Jessica Chastain's black and gold baroque-style gown from Alexander McQueen. Also, Vogue tells me that she wore Brian Atwood shoes, though you'd never know it from the photos. Luckily, the dress is gorgeous enough for me to forget about the shoes, which is something I never thought I'd say.

Melissa McCarthy also wore Brian Atwood pumps, and these we saw during a segment in which she hoists her foot up on the wall in an effort to seduce the show's host, Billy Crystal. The silver, sparkling peep-toed heels made my bunions ache just looking at them, but my heart was warmed by her revelation that she and Atwood were childhood friends in suburban Illinois.

McCarthy's Bridesmaids co-star Rose Byrne also went the peep-toe route, donning head-to-toe black in a one-shouldered sequined Vivienne Westwood gown. In the photo featured in Vogue, it looks as though her toes are overlapping her shoes – could someone have bunions?

You may have noticed that Halle Berry was missing from the ceremony. Well, E! Online reports that the Oscar-winning actress was absent due to a broken foot, which she reportedly sustained chasing her daughter Nahla, who was scampering after a goat while the two were on vacation in Spain last fall  – a likely story.

Any celebs who are dealing with the pain of bunions, hammer toe or bunion surgery (I'm looking at you, Berry) should consider using bunion splints or orthotics as a conservative means of bunion correction or to promote proper healing following an operation.