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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Shimmering metallics, bold jewel tones and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o led the style at this year's Oscars red carpet, as actresses shunned runway trends to showcase colors and silhouettes inspired by Hollywood's golden age.
All eyes were on the year's best-dressed starlet on the red carpet - best supporting actress Oscar winner Nyong'o.
The "12 Years a Slave" star from Kenya wore a custom halter-neck pastel blue Prada gown which she helped to design, saying it was inspired by champagne bubbles and a color that reminded her of Nairobi. She accessorized with Fred Leighton jewels, including a diamond headband. Nyong'o, 31, is the current face of Prada's sister line Miu Miu.
"We were inspired by her family heritage and old Hollywood. We choose a color that was subtle yet vibrant and a classic neckline representative of Elizabeth Taylor," Nyong'o's stylist Micaela Erlanger told Reuters.
Elsewhere, pale golds, grey and cream gowns added a touch of dazzle to the red carpet, with best actress nominee Cate Blanchett leading the way in a blush gold embellished Armani Prive dress.
Angelina Jolie opted for a grey sequined gown by Lebanese designer Elie Saab, while Naomi Watts wore a beaded white form-fitting Calvin Klein dress.
Jessica Biel donned a column Chanel gown beaded with pastel pink and blue sequins and Jennifer Garner picked a pale silver beaded flapper-style Oscar de la Renta dress.
Julie Delpy wore a shimmering silver Jenny Packham dress, while Kristen Chenoweth and Kristen Bell wore metallic beaded gowns by Roberto Cavalli. Bell chose an ice grey strapless dress by the designer, saying "I wanted something dramatic and ice princess-like because I'm here for 'Frozen.'"
Singer Lady Gaga also rocked the trend in a cream detailed Versace accessorized with a scarf around her neck, in a throwback to Hollywood's golden age. Portia de Rossi, the wife of Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres, opted for a cream lace-detailed Naeem Khan dress.
Jewel tones were a favorite for actresses including best supporting actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence, who wore a bright red Dior figure-hugging peplum dress. June Squibb opted for an emerald sequined Tadashi Shoji gown, while a pregnant Kerry Washington wore an amethyst strapless Jason Wu dress.
Viola Davis wore a deep green Escudo dress, saying she picked it for the glamour and time period. Idina Menzel, who will lend her vocal talents to sing the Oscar-nominated "Let it Go" from Disney's "Frozen" on the stage, wore a forest green strapless gown.
Hal Rubenstein, Instyle's editor-at-large, said the actresses this year opted for block color gowns, in an homage to classic Hollywood glamour.
"It's the best way to show off the actresses rather than just the dress. Most of these dresses are incredibly sophisticated, but you focus on the woman," he said.
Rubenstein said the outfits did not reflect current runway trends, but were instead inspired by classic Hollywood styles.
Midnight blues spun a twist on the traditional black dress, as best actress nominee Amy Adams wore a Gucci Premiere couture strapless gown, while her fellow nominee Sandra Bullock opted for a strapless satin Alexander McQueen number.
The men rocked the trend with navy tuxedos, as Jason Sudekis wore a Prada suit, and Kevin Spacey and Jim Carrey were also spotted in blue.
For some actresses, classic black was the choice of the night. Charlize Theron wore a plunging v-neck black Dior gown, while Anne Hathaway wore a dramatic halter-neck black and silver mirrored Gucci gown and Emma Watson chose a black shimmering Vera Wang number.
A pregnant Olivia Wilde dressed her bump in a sleeveless column Valentino, while nominee Julia Roberts opted for a lace peplum Givenchy gown, and Robert's "August: Osage County" co-star and best actress nominee Meryl Streep opted for a white and black Lanvin dress.
Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Baertlein, editing by Jill Serjeant