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Oscars nominees choose to wear pink, red and blue on the red carpet over black gowns

Los Angeles Times photograhper Jay L. Clendenin gives us a first-person view of the 2018 Academy Awards red carpet.

This year’s awards season started out with the Golden Globes’ all-black dress code in support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. On Sunday, it culminated in a sea of white, with swaths of bright colors as well as plunging necklines at the 90th Academy Awards.

A dip in L.A. temperatures didn’t deter several stars, including Gal Gadot in Givenchy Haute Couture and Gina Rodriguez in Zuhair Murad, from revealing their décolletage with plunging necklines. Up-and-comers Kelly Marie Tran and Betty Gabriel also dared to wear low-cut looks. Taraji P. Henson’s black gown by Vera Wang used a keyhole for a peekaboo effect.

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Gal Gadot, from left, Kelly Marie Tran and Betty Gabriel on the red carpet.
Gal Gadot, from left, Kelly Marie Tran and Betty Gabriel on the red carpet. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times; Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images)

Allison Janney elevated the trend for plunging necklines by adding a bright pop of red in her custom gown by Reem Acra with angel sleeves that dramatically skimmed the floor. Sharing her rage for red were Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Leslie Mann and Maya Rudolph.

Blue was another primary color that dominated the red carpet. Helen Mirren picked a slate blue column gown by Acra. Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Garner selected royal tints of blue, with Kidman in Armani Privé and Garner in Atelier Versace.

Allison Janney, from left, Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Leslie Mann and Maya Rudolph.
Allison Janney, from left, Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Leslie Mann and Maya Rudolph. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times; Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Zendaya’s natural beauty was enhanced by the chocolate-brown tint of her one-shouldered Grecian gown by Giambattista Valli Haute Couture.

Pink looked pretty on Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein By Appointment and past winner Viola Davis in Michael Kors. Ashley Judd looked regal in her purple gown with a sweetheart neckline, and Greta Gerwig practically glowed in a marigold-colored dress by Rodarte.

Agnès Varda and JR on the red carpet at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday.
Agnès Varda and JR on the red carpet at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Agnès Varda, the esteemed French director who was nominated for the feature documentary “Faces Places,” pulled out all the stops not only for her two-toned bowl-cut hairdo but also for her suit festooned with vibrant roses and preppy red and navy stripes.

The men didn’t shy away from wearing color either. Daniel Kaluuya donned a Brunello Cucinelli jacket in a plush sepia tint, and Armie Hammer sported a made-to-measure Bordeaux velvet evening suit from Giorgio Armani.

“Armie can totally pull off a strong color, is down to play and [to] have fun with his style, so we went for it,” said Ilaria Urbinati, Hammer’s stylist. “I asked the Armani team to skip the usual contrast black lapel and to skip the black tux stripe on the pant. I felt it was cleaner to stick to all red velvet.”

Laura Dern, from left, Margot Robbie, Timothée Chalamet and Mary J. Blige on the Oscars red carpet.
Laura Dern, from left, Margot Robbie, Timothée Chalamet and Mary J. Blige on the Oscars red carpet. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times; Frazer Harrison / Getty Images; Mike Nelson / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

Shades of white also popped against the Oscars red carpet, including presenter Laura Dern’s Calvin Klein by Appointment white silk crepe dress with a draped tie at the shoulder, worn with crystal sandals. “I, Tonya’s” Margot Robbie hit the carpet in a custom, figure-hugging strapless ivory Chanel gown in a similar hue, festooned with tiers of tinsel-like embroidery, while double nominee Mary J. Blige of “Mudbound” chose a beaded white Versace gown.

The guys also got in on the action. A standout was lead actor nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), who stepped up the old Hollywood glamour while still looking fresh. The young actor wore a head-to-toe Berluti look, complete with an ivory collar jacket, Japanese wool pants and a white cotton bow tie.

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