It may have been one of the most surprising endings in Academy Awards history, but the red carpet was far less dramatic. Though it was a more subdued fashion moment than years past -- leading ladies generally opted for demure looks that included neutral colors, high necks and sleeves -- there was plenty of pretty to catch the eye.


The most noticeable contrast came in the form of color. Dark and light dresses dominated the carpet, with few colorful confections in between. Starlets like Jennifer Aniston and Taraji P. Henson went for dark glamour, while nominees Emma Stone and Nicole Kidman looked ethereal in flesh-toned gowns. Maybe it was a reflection of the somber nature of this year’s nominated movies, but nonetheless, it didn’t impede on some memorable fashion moments.


Here are my picks for the most award-worthy red carpet styles:


Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo Couture

Sheer perfection! Hailee’s romantic pale lavender Ralph & Russo Couture gown with delicate floral embroidery and the most feminine ruffles was simply stunning. She’s definitely a young style-star in the making and I can’t wait to watch her on future red carpets.


Jessica Biel in Kaufman Franco

Looking like a gilded gold goddess, Jessica brought all the glamour in her Kaufman Franco frock. And, that Tiffany & Co. metallic collar that resembled feathers was the perfect touch of texture to add some edge.


Kelly Ripa in Carolina Herrera

One of my favorite color combinations is black and navy, so I can’t help but love this strapless black and navy number adorned with colorful butterflies.  Kelly has a small frame, but the ballgown style dress is perfectly tailored in a way that doesn’t overwhelm her. Slow clap for Miss Herrera!


Kirsten Dunst in Dior Haute Couture

No “hidden figures” here! Kirsten, who has had some style stumbles in the past, looked exquisite and elegant in her strapless A-line gown that complemented her shape. Blending old Hollywood glamour with modern accessories (and pockets!) is key for Kirsten to be “best dressed.”


Viola Davis in Armani

She was one of my picks for best dressed at the Golden Globes and she “wow-ed” at the Oscar’s, too. Radiant in red, I loved how the bold-hued, cold-shoulder inspired Armani gown popped on her skin. So happy to see her win while looking red-hot!