Celebrities light up the Academy Awards red carpet

Charlize Theron wore a metallic gown with black tulle overlay to the Oscars on Feb. 26. (ABC / Tyler Golden)

As highly anticipated as the Oscar winners are, the fashion and red carpet trends at the Academy Awards are iconic, fascinating and divisive in their own right. Here are the highlights from this year’s celebrity looks on the Oscars’ red carpet.

Several trends emerged at this year’s Oscars, but the trend of the night was, unquestionably, gold dresses. Charlize Theron wore the look best, in a Grecian-style, metallic gold gown covered in a thin layer of black tulle, designed by Christian Dior Couture. Runner-up was Halle Berry, whose one-shouldered column dress also had a gold base with black tulle detailing. The dress, designed by Atelier Versace, was beautiful on its own but was intensified by the beaded hem and train on bottom and by Berry’s wild, gorgeous head of corkscrew curls.

Actress Dakota Johnson was less successful with her take on the trend. She wore a very light-colored gold Gucci gown with long sleeves, shoulder pads and a bow tie ruffle in the front, oddly placed right below her belly button. Johnson’s makeup was minimal and classy, but the plastic-looking fabric and bulky structure did little to heighten her natural beauty. Jessica Biel also wore gold, in a long-fitted gown by KaufmanFranco. Biel is known for her fashion mishaps in the past, but this look proved to be an improvement. The fit was flattering, and her Aztec-style gold necklace was gorgeous, even though its shade clashed with that of the dress. Other fantastic gold looks included Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad and Auli’I Cravalho, the young lead voice actress in “Moana,” (2016) in Rubin Singer.

Predictably, black gowns also showed up on this year’s red carpet. Kirsten Dunst looked very comfortable in her dramatic black fit-and-flare gown by Dior, which had no embroidery or embellishment but was nevertheless livened by Dunst’s beautiful diamond necklace. The dress also had a lifted hem in the front and, as an extra bonus, pockets.

Last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner, Alicia Vikanderalso wore black with a lifted front hem, in a tiered lace Louis Vuitton gown. Although the dress was pretty, Vikander’s black gladiator heels were not worth showing off under the lifted hem. Her bun was messy enough to veer into the sloppy category instead of the fashionable, and her tan was overdone. Brie Larson went back to the 80s for her look, wearing a black velvet Oscar de la Renta gown with a fitted silhouette, plunging neckline and ruffled front and train. She completed the look with slicked-back hair.

Several men wore blue suits or jackets, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chris Evans, Riz Ahmed, Matt Damon, Viggo Mortensen and Samuel L. Jackson. Messy hair was a popular style for both men and women, worn by Taraji P. Henson, Dev Patel, Casey Affleck and Kirsten Dunst.

Another interesting trend was the American Civil Liberties Union blue ribbon pin, which several stars wore in support of the organization’s commitment to human rights. These stars included Ruth Negga, Karlie Kloss, Busy Phillips, Rosemarie DeWitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda with his mother Luz Towns-Miranda.

Although the fashion choices were pretty safe this year, there were some significant mishaps. Ryan Gosling wore a standard grey Gucci tuxedo with black trim, but his white shirt underneath showed black-trimmed ruffle along the buttons, making his outfit look like a costume. Gosling’s “La La Land” (2016) co-star Emma Stone also stumbled, wearing a sparkly yellow dress by Givenchy Haute Couture. The gown had a fitted bodice that abruptly shifted into a tasseled flapper-style skirt, making the dress look like two pieces sewn together instead of one complete outfit. Casey Affleck’s tuxedo looked good, but his crooked, messy and uncombed hair part ruined the look. Michelle Williams, who is usually no stranger to fashion risks, was a little lackluster in a two-toned black and pale yellow dress by Louis Vuitton, which boasted a plunging neckline but little else in terms of detail or structure.

The Oscars’ best looks, however, belonged to Henson, Hailee Steinfeld, Janelle Monae and Mahershala Ali. Steinfeld once again took a successful fashion risk in Ralph & Russo Couture. She wore a modern and romantic silver-blue gown, with a long train and metallic lazar-cut flowers covering the bodice. Monae wore an Elie Saab gown covered with beads, spikes, sequins, mesh and several different patterns on her wide skirt. Henson, her co-star in “Hidden Figures” (2016) took a different but still successful approach. She wore a dark blue velvet Alberta Ferretti gown with a deep neckline, high leg slit and off-the-shoulder sleeves, giving off classic Hollywood glamor. Finally, Ali wore a classy all-black ensemble by Ermenegildo Zegna Couture. Whatever mishaps “Moonlight” (2016) suffered that night, the look of its supporting actor, Ali, was not one of them.