(Reuters) - Hollywood stars sparkled on the Oscars red carpet on Sunday with plunging necklines and vibrant bursts of color, throwing off the fashion constraints of the Golden Globes, where women protesting sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry wore sober black.
Instead, the film world’s glitterati chose what made them feel best in a celebration of fashion diversity, whether classic shapes or edgier, flesh-baring looks.
From the Louis Vuitton black trousers worn by Emma Stone to the electric pink Michael Kors gown wrapped around Viola Davis, this year’s Oscar runway was a study in contrasts that celebrated individual flair.
The #Metoo movement against sexual harassment did not appear to be taking away from “having fun with fashion,” said Leslie Price, digital director for Instyle, noting: “The two aren’t mutually exclusive.”
Many of the stars wore “Time’s Up” buttons, in solidarity with victims of the sexual abuse that has roiled the entertainment industry.
“There is diversity everywhere - there is no formula anymore,” said Rickie De Sole, W magazine’s fashion director. “It looks like people are embracing personal style more than just wearing a typical dress. It’s kind of whatever goes.”
Presenter Salma Hayek, wearing a lilac Gucci dress with tiers of sequins and rhinestones worthy of “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights,” cited the female solidarity that was changing how Hollywood was run.
“Here we are to celebrate the fact that women will not have to struggle as hard together,” said Hayek. “I know that future generations will have it easier.”
Celebrating her first Oscar nod for her performance in “I, Tonya,” Allison Janney, who went on to win the award for best supporting actress, made a statement in a scarlet red gown from Reem Acra with a deep V neckline and dramatic flared sleeves.
“Get Out” star Allison Williams chose dusty pink with sparkles, a decidedly demure princessy look amid the sea of low-cut gowns. Her co-star Betty Gabriel’s teal Tony Ward bodice left little to the imagination.
Threatened by possible showers, the red carpet instead proceeded under sunny skies, where a host of bold colors in emerald, purple and shocking pink appeared to glow.
Jennifer Garner and Nicole Kidman opted for royal blue, and Ashley Judd wore a strapless amethyst dress. Best-director nominee Greta Gerwig chose orangey-mustard, while Meryl Streep wore classic vermillion.
“I’m humbled by the whole thing,” said Mary J. Blige, nominated for two Oscars for “Mudbound,” wearing a form-fitting white gown with cap sleeves and sequins.
The first Hispanic actress to garner an Academy Award, 86-year-old Rita Moreno returned to the red carpet on Sunday, wearing the same strapless black gown with a ballooning skirt that she wore in 1962 when she won for “West Side Story.”
Celebrating her African heritage was actress Tiffany Haddish, who appeared on the red carpet in an ivory dress embroidered with a geometric pattern and black jacket she described as an “Eritrean authentic princess dress.”
“My father is from Eritrea. He passed away last year and he said one day I would end up here, and if I ever end up at the Oscars, to honor my people, so I’m honoring my fellow Eritreans,” Haddish told ABC, before beginning to ululate.
U.S. skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu brought Olympic flair to the runway, with Rippon giving a nod to bondage with his Moschino tuxedo with leather straps. Neutralizing his edgy look was Nagasu on his arm in a light blue romantic lace look.
Reporting by Alexandra Sage in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Henderson, Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney