Oscars fashion: White and silver, and lots of bead

Oscars fashion: White and silver, and lots of bead
Above: Lady Gaga and Keira Knightly

HOLLYWOOD, United States - Hollywood's A-list actresses oozed old-school elegance in white and glittering silver on the Oscars red carpet Sunday, even as rain tumbled down on Tinseltown's top fashion parade.

Beyond the icy colour palette, another trend for the ladies was lots of pearls and beads. Many of the gowns seen on the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre were embellished to the max.

Julianne Moore, the favourite in the best actress category for playing a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease in "Still Alice," wore a custom beaded white strapless Chanel gown with black accents, her red hair swept back in a bun.

"Karl Lagerfeld made this for me!" she exclaimed.

France's Marion Cotillard, a previous Oscar winner and nominated again Sunday in the best actress category, also chose white - a sleeveless Dior polka dot gown with a geisha-style bustle.

"I dreamed of cinema glory, for sure... but I would have never thought I would be part of this American family of cinema," Cotillard told E! television's Ryan Seacrest.

Best supporting actress nominee Patricia Arquette, the favourite to take home the trophy for her moving portrayal of a single mother raising two kids in "Boyhood," arrived early with several members of her acting family in tow.

The 46-year-old blonde dazzled in a one-shoulder Rosetta Getty gown with a ruched white bodice and a form-fitting black skirt. A simple up-do gave her a bit of a Greek goddess look.

"It's a beautiful story about human beings and kids growing up," Arquette told CNN of "Boyhood," which earned a total of six nominations, including one for best picture.

Lupita Nyong'o - the best supporting actress Oscar winner last year for "12 Years a Slave" and a red carpet darling - wore a custom pearl-encrusted sleeveless Calvin Klein gown.

"The pressure's off," she said. "I can just dress up and enjoy the show." "Wild" nominee Laura Dern - who brought her actor father Bruce to the ceremony - glittered in a fierce silver-studded strapless Alberta Ferretti gown worthy of a warrior princess.

In a pale shade of silvery gray was best actress nominee Felicity Jones, who was resplendent in a hand-sewn, pearl-covered gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, her shoulders bare.

For fashion and jewelry designers, having an A-list star show up on the Oscars red carpet in one of their creations is essentially free advertising - thanks to the global coverage of the ceremony.

For men, pops of colour

For the men, there were lots of classic black tuxedos - best actor nominees Steve Carell and rival Michael Keaton, along with "Boyhood" star Ethan Hawke, a best supporting actor nominee, all kept it simple.

But a few used the red carpet to get noticed, mixing it up with colour.

"Selma" star David Oyelowo - who many observers felt deserved a nomination for playing Martin Luther King - rocked a three-piece burgundy tux from Dolce & Gabbana.

Briton Eddie Redmayne, who many think will take home the best actor prize for his moving, physical portrayal of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, sported a midnight blue Alexander McQueen tux with black accents.

"It's raining, which feels beautifully British," Redmayne told E! television.

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