There were two notable themes on the 2019 Oscars red carpet: Pink, and underwhelming.
Old hand A-listers including Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Brie Larson and Laura Dern were a total snooze fest and looked like they had either sacked or angered their stylists.
One person who more than fulfilled the Oscars brief to be traffic- stoppingly original? Actor and singer Billy Porter, who pushed the envelope in a Christian Siriano velvet tuxedo ballgown.
Ending her A Star is Born season, Lady Gaga was one who took the chance to indulge her love of a good costume drama. In structured black Alexander McQueen with oversized corset waist detail, she paid homage to Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s look.
Gaga took her role as the red carpet’s leading lady so seriously that she became just the third person in Tiffany & Co’s 142-year history to wear the 128.54-carat, $30 million Tiffany Diamond.
It’s been stashed in the jeweller’s vault since Hepburn wore it in 1961 for publicity photos.
But pink was the order of the day, in all shades from palest seashell to lipstick bright. The red carpet looked like a wedding where the bridesmaids are told to pick their own dress in a certain colour.
Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) totally stole the show in a lollipop Maison Valentino confection with ruffled neck, ruching, tiers and pockets that was literally the pinnacle of casual luxe couture.
Apart from the black pumps, Linda Cardellini (Green Book) made a statement that screamed ‘The party is here, people’. From the bouffant hair to the Zsa Zsa Gabor boudoir style, she was bold and fabulous and rose to instant obsession status.
Lord knows we love Maya Rudolph but this is what happens when very cool people want to be even cooler by being deliberately daggy and end up looking like scary strange ladies who smell like old talcum powder.
The Grammys’ big winner Kacey Musgraves was one out of the box in a froufrou Giambattista Valli tulle gown which, depending on your thought processes, is either completely perfect or totally wrong. Terrifying hair and Stepford Wives stare.
Actress Meagan Good was bad. Thigh-high split and tacky sheer panels that made her look like the third best performer on a Florida cruise ship.
Angela Bassett (in Reem Acra) was on the money with the hot pink, out of date with the 2004 budget-conscious styling. Enough of the split already, ladies.
Helen Mirren chose candy Schiaparelli with a tangerine and silver lining.
Sarah Paulson wore a super weird dress that looked somehow like a homemade cushion. The diamonds are impressive but incongruous.
If Beale Street Could Talk star KiKi Layne was amazing in a structured musk stick column of a dress with sweeping shoulder ruffle detail.
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) went for sophisticated metallic lavender Balmain. The fashion equivalent of a worthy novel.
Rachel Weisz was interesting. Childish headband (girly!) with rubber top (dominatrix!) and floral skirt (lady!) Beautiful in an unapproachable Snow White way.
Emma Stone was original – graphic print, brown, zero accessories – but the local zoo might be looking for an escaped giraffe.
From her undone hair to her barely-there sandals and cheongsam-style mesh dress, Brie Larson was a modern woman slash stunning robot.
Time for blunt truths: Jennifer Lopez’s take on the metallic sheath is predictable and too showgirl, and her hair looks staid and too long. Time for a JLo rebrand.
Molly Sims completed the glamorous human snake trifecta and prompted an unsettling rumour of a Brigitte Nielsen comeback.
Bohemian Rhapsody star Lucy Boynton was part modest, part sexy and completely impressive in regal purple.
Constance Wu’s super pretty Atelier Versace was toughened with matching canary yellow platforms (having a moment) and made less fussy with her sleek ponytail.
Awkwafina cemented her ruling of the Total Banger Club with a silver pantsuit, pussy cat bow shirt and attitude. Love!
Yes, yes, Charlize Theron’s periwinkle Dior gown was elegant and high fashion, but with her stark new dark bob and serpent necklace she looked like she was auditioning to play a scheming widow in a 1940s melodrama.
Glenn Close’s tuxedo-bodice Carolina Herrera gown was covered in four million beads and weighed 19kg, including the terrific Darth Vader cape.
Tina Fey was meh in a Grecian-inspired dress that smacked of being spotted in the front window of a Texas mother-of-the-bride shop.
Roma’s Yalitza Aparicio enjoyed her spotlit moment in spangled Rodarte.
Songwriter Diane Warren (showing for her 10th Oscar nomination) wore a Sergeant Peppers-inspired pantsuit with white boots. Her best accessory? The Ruth Bader Ginsburg figurine in her jacket pocket.
Despite falling for the thigh-high split cliche, Regina King was both contemporary and timeless in a strapless white column with train.
Amy Poehler was a fun blend of aspiring magician and captain of industry.
Olivia Colman wore a British racing green sleeveless dress with sheer bedazzled cape tied into an oversized bow at the back. This is one woman you’d want to have a gin and tonic with.
Melissa McCarthy went full superhero, including the first cummerbund seen in captivity for decades.
Laura Dern. Laura Dern!
Danai Gurira came as a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
Amy Adams was perfectly appropriate and a tiny bit mermaidish. Great hair and looked like she was having the best time.
Jennifer Hudson slayed in asymmetrical Elie Saab with the night’s best architectural ruffles.
Then there were duos who made a splash. Nicholas Hoult (with Joe Alwyn) was arguably the best dressed man, in a sash tuxedo from Dior.
Mahershala Ali wore a beanie with his suit and his partner Amatus Sami-Karim went for a galactic look, which was the fashion version of a burger with the lot plus sides.
Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and wife Lisa Bonet were matchy match, he in a dusky pink velvet tux designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld and she in an embellished Fendi Couture tea-length gown. Comedy and tragedy in one hit.
Tonya Lewis Lee and Spike Lee went off script in the best way.
And nominated singers David Rawlings and Gillian Welch were in a league all of their own.