There were many new fashion faces on the red carpet at the 84th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night, but they brought with them a lot of old Hollywood glamour.
Rooney Mara in white Givenchy, Emma Stone in red Giambattista Valli and Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen were among those making bolder-than-normal choices at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.
"I picked it because I loved it," said Mara of the Riccardo Tisci custom-made gown made of mixed laces and multilayered chiffon.
Stone's gown had a high-neck bow, a trend on the designer runways right now, and Chastain's black strapless gown designed by McQueen creative director Sarah Burton was embroidered with gold bullion and metallic thread.
Some seasoned style stars stepped up their game, too, including Michelle Williams in a bright choral Louis Vuitton covered with delicate details, Jennifer Lopez in a crystal-covered Zuhair Murad, Cameron Diaz in a strapless sand-colored Gucci and Penelope Cruz in a feminine, off-the-shoulder, smoky-blue Armani Prive.
Angelina Jolie did her simple, sexy thing in a black strapless gown with a high slit by Atelier Versace.
Gwyneth Paltrow went sleek and chic in a white Tom Ford that had a matching slim cape, and Stacy Keibler was statuesque in gold lame Marchesa.
Paltrow, who has done the Oscars as a pink princess and Goth rebel in past years, made the best-dressed lists of InStyle fashion director Hal Rubenstein and Louise Roe, Glamour magazine's editor-at-large.
"Gwyneth had the unexpected dress, and I find that very appealing," Rubenstein said.
"Absolute knockouts were the simplest," said Roe, co-host of ABC's live coverage. "I died for Gwyneth in Tom Ford with its elegant cape, Emma Stone in fuchsia halter-neck Valli and chunky-crystal Vuitton clutch. Shailene Woodley was a home run in Valentino and Jessica Chastain in classic gold McQueen. Wow."
Rubenstein said he liked that there wasn't a cookie-cutter look; there wasn't one way to describe this red carpet. "One thing I did love is that it was a night not about one shape -- not just the clothing, but the women."
His "wowza movie-star moment" belonged to Lopez. "Jennifer Lopez did exactly what you want Jennifer Lopez to do," he said.
Viola Davis' emerald-green, corset-style gown by Vera Wang had a little beading on the bustline and a chiffon pleated skirt. She matched her earrings to the jewel tone of the gown, which seemed a popular trend.
Meryl Streep doesn't always do it up for awards shows but she did this time in a gold dress by Lanvin that she paired with antique gold pendant earrings and a 19th-century diamond cluster ring by Fred Leighton.
Milla Jovovich, best known as a model, channeled a screen siren in a one-shoulder, white-beaded Elie Saab gown. "I wanted something very clean, structured, like a statement piece without being overpowered," she said.
"Old Hollywood never goes away, it never goes out of fashion, but 'The Artist' brought it back for a generation that didn't know about Hollywood at that time," makeup artist Julie Hewett said. "It's how we want our stars to look."
AP writer Beth Harris contributed to this report.