Red ruffles, pink tulle, and even gold gowns inspired by Oscar himself overran the Academy Awards red carpet on Sunday, as Hollywood glitterati showed off their fineries during cinema’s biggest glam-fest.
Matching the colour of the world’s most famous carpet was the attention-getting choice for many attendees. Call it crimson, scarlet or vermillion, the red gowns popped under sunny skies and a mild California breeze, as a steady cavalcade of stars entered Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
Lady Gaga brought old Hollywood glamour – and the bling to match – in an Alexander McQueen black gown, leather gloves and a 128 carat diamond from Tiffany, as Emma Stone’s coppery Louis Vuitton gown with futuristic shoulders was covered in sparkling paillettes resembling modified scales.
Frontrunner to win Best Actress, "The Wife" star Glenn Close chose a shimmering gold Carolina Herrera tunic dress – with four million beads, the actress noted – with a heavy flowing train, setting the evening off on the right note in an ode to Oscar, the coveted gold statuette.
"My God, how much does it weigh?" gasped E! host Ryan Seacrest, who struggled to lift her train.
"42 pounds (19 kg)!" enthused Close.
While pink made a major play, red ruffles were the choice of a bevy of actresses, including Best Supporting Actress nominee for "Roma" Marina de Tavira. But the theme was taken to the next level by "Green Book" star Linda Cardellini whose oversized flounce of red ruffles cascaded in layers down her body, cinched together with a pink belt.
Singer Jennifer Hudson’s elegant Elie Saab gown featured a red ruffle that slithered from one shoulder down to a slit at the side.
Recent Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves also chose oversized ruffles in her princess-like Giambattista Valli, with two poofs of pink tulle at the shoulder and a skirt covered in layers of tulle in Barbie-doll pink.
"Make way for the dress, I need about ten feet (3 meters)," Musgraves warned.
Angela Bassett was easy to spot in an electric pink gown by Reem Acra whose gargantuan bow at the shoulder was worthy in itself of an award.
"The biggest thing tonight is pretty in pink," said celebrity stylist Sam Saboura, who noted the color made a splash at the recent spring shows in Paris.
"Another big, big trend is exaggerated volume, ruffles and feathers, ruffly feathery things," Saboura said.