Looks in neutrals, reds and purples brought the drama on the Oscars carpet on Sunday, along with a healthy dose of shiny gold, but Nicole Kidman stood out in stunning cobalt blue at Hollywood's biggest fashion show.
Kidman, a presenter, was among the last to walk in Los Angeles when she showed up with a wave to the cameras in her power look, a strapless gown with a huge bow in front. Sandra Bullock brought the strength in a gold Louis Vuitton custom halter dress that draped at the waist and went black at the hem.
Salma Hayek looked like exotic royalty in a custom Gucci gown in lilac. It was heavily jeweled and had a busy, ruffled tiered skirt. Rita Moreno, meanwhile, honored Academy Awards history by donning the same gown (with a bold-pattern full skirt) she wore in 1962, when she won an Oscar for "West Side Story."
"It's been hanging in my closet this whole time," Moreno said.
A few recently returned Olympians showed up on the red carpet, including skier Lindsey Vonn in a fringed black gown and diamond choker with statement red stones. Figure skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu walked together. He wore belt-leather straps that crossed his chest and she chose a sheer, long-sleeve gown in soft blue.
Allison Williams of "Get Out" went for neutral. So did Gina Rodriguez in a nude sheath with silver embellishment, a plunging neckline and full princess skirt, courtesy of Zuhair Murad.
But those princess moments were at a minimum, in favor of reasonably safe and easy looks.
"It wasn't about elaborate or embellished tonight. The winners in the fashion stakes kept to the simple, sleek and gorgeous, and still packed the wow factor," said Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor for Harper's Bazaar U.S.
Among those who said it in red was Allison Janney of "I, Tonya," with long sleeves that fell to the ground. Sofia Carson wore a red cape gown with 26.10 carats of diamonds in her Chopard choker. Meryl Streep also wore red, a Dior with a deep plunge at the neck. Last year's best actress Emma Stone chose skinny trousers and a pink-belted, red tuxedo jacket.
The purple peeps also included presenter Ashley Judd, who went strapless in a dark shade by Badgley Mischka, accompanied by diamond strands.
There was an abundance of white, including fitted looks worn by Margot Robbie (in Chanel Haute Couture), Jane Fonda (in Balmain), Laura Dern (in Calvin Klein) and Mary J. Blige. One actress, Taraji P. Henson, was all leg in ethereal black with a high slit.
"In general, as we typically see with the Oscars, women played it safe in beautiful styles that are a little less risky," said Rachel Torgerson, fashion editor for Cosmopolitan.com. "
She counted Stone among those who went outside the box.
"Those pants were amazing and such a departure from the typical floor-length gown," she said. "You hardly ever see that."
Among the standout guys: "Get Out" writer-director Jordan Peele, in a creamy white tuxedo jacket, and Chadwick Boseman, who honored his kingly T'Challa character in "Black Panther" with a long embellished coat.
Boseman's co-star, Lupita Nyong'o, repped Wakanda in royal, one-sleeved gold with a studded sash element that had black detailing.
One of the evening's brightest pops of color came on Viola Davis in electric pink from the Michael Kors Collection, hoops in her ears and a clutch to match. "Lady Bird" star Saoirse Ronan wore soft pink from Calvin Klein, while Greta Gerwig, who wrote and directed the coming of age film, offered another bright pop — hers in marigold yellow.
In beauty, a side-part trend took hold, both in updos and loose.