Arguably the most watched red carpet in the world, Sunday's 86th Annual Academy Awards was a whirl of escapist glamour.
Movie stars wafted over the rain-soaked carpet outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood showcasing elaborate evening wear in trend-forward bold colors, exquisite details and timeless silhouettes drawn on a myriad of inspirations.
Gowns came in red, blue and purple. Lupita Nyong'o wore a stunning, slightly sparkly Prada dress in a light blue with a plunging V-neckline and a flowing pleated skirt. The shade of blue, she said, was inspired by her hometown of Nairobi in Kenya.
Presenter Viola Davis wore an asymmetrical Escada gown in her "go-to" emerald green. Amy Adams - who styled herself - wore a strapless Gucci couture in navy blue that captured the bygone 1950s, with turn-back folds at the bust.
A pregnant Kerry Washington was enveloped in orchid. Jennifer Lawrence wore a strapless red Dior dress.
"People like to wear colors, especially if they're nominated,'" says Leslie Fremar, stylist to Charlize Theron and Ask.com contributor. "That's the way to help enhance their moment and make them stand out.
"And sometimes black is color on some people," she adds. "It's about skin tone and what works on that person. Sometimes you wear this magnificent black dress and it really stands out on someone who has fair skin, light hair and even dark hair and light eyes. There's a lot of trial and error to find out what's right for that person."
Theron - who tried on one dress, and one dress only - wore a black gown in a simple 1950s silhouette with invisible straps and draped fabric at the back. A pregnant Olivia Wilde also wore a high-necked, sleeveless black Valentino. Julia Roberts wore a black peplum dress with a piece of black lace.
Actresses embraced surface decorations like beads that often cover the entire gown and touches of lace. Some wore sculpted creations full of drama, including Kristin Chenoweth's gold strapless Roberto Cavalli, Cate Blanchett's flowing nude Georgio Armani covered in beads and applique and Naomi Watts' cap-sleeved white Calvin Klein with all-over beading, and a "spider web" Bulgari necklace. Watts carried a little clutch bag with black and white geometric lines added to that special look. Portia de Rossi wore a patterned nude Naeem Khan dress that had cut outs of stars and various other shapes.
Men usually are overlooked on the red carpet, but not this year.
Pharrell Williams' tuxedo shorts weren't the only head turners. Many leading men rocked on the red carpet in white tuxedo jackets, including Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
Leto came in an old-school shawl collar tuxedo jacket paired with a burgundy bow tie.
"I never really ever wear suits, so it's a fun opportunity to wear an old school classic," he told Ryan Seacrest who wore a similar look by Burberry.
Shawl collars are expected to be a big trend for men this season, says celebrity stylist Jeanne Yang who partnered with Gillette for the Oscars.
"What you're seeing are not the extremes of each decade but rather the most classic, clean, perfect silhouettes," Yang says. "These are pictures that will live forever, so you don't want to take any crazy fashion risks. People want to have something they know will look amazing and that they'll feel comfortable with.
How influential is the red carpet on fashion?
Tremendously, Fremar says.
"It's amazing to see what happens at home when people are watching it on TV, and how women are following these trends or loving what they see," she says. "It's so exciting for me to see that reaction from people. You're reaching a really huge audience."
Follow Sandra Barrera on Twitter: @sandrabarrera18