Oscar gowns in a rainbow of gorgeous colors

A stunning medley of colors took over the red carpet last night as actresses walked into the 88th annual Academy Awards. Here: the best and brightest of them all.

Photo by Jeffrey Mayer | WireImage

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron in dior dress at Oscars 2016

Photo by Jeffrey Mayer | WireImage

The lead actress of Mad Max: Fury Road (which took home an astounding six Oscars last night) wore a daring red Dior number with a long Harry Winston diamond necklace to present the award for Best Original Screenplay at the show. Her hair was swept to one side in a stylized pixie, and she sported perfect smoky eyes. The presenter took to Instagram just before she left home for the show: “Huge thank you to my incredible team today – So much love for you guys,” she posted, tagging her makeup artist Francesca Tolot, among others.

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney at the Oscars 2016

Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Wearing an asymmetrical Stella McCartney gown that draped beautifully over her curves, the presenter took the stage with Jason Segel to talk about the Sci-Tech Academy Awards. Earlier in the evening, the actress, who has been busy training for her role in X-Men Apocalypse alongside Sophie Turner, told reporters that she takes her work home with her at the end of the day: “I have a closet just for my swords,” she said with a mischievous smile.

Alicia Vikander

Alicia vikander in Louis Vuitton at Oscars 2016

Photo by Jason Merritt | Getty Images

The Best Supporting Actress winner was a bright spot on the red carpet in diamond earrings, metallic sandals, and a custom Louis Vuitton design that took months to create. “I love the color … it’s a dusty yellow,” The Danish Girl actress, who is also set to star in the next Bourne movie with Matt Damon, said of her gown. Many spectators were surprised by how feminine and youthful the dress looked, compared to Alicia’s Golden Globes and SAG appearances in the same designer. “It feels very different for Vuitton,” Stylist Brad Goreski commented during his E! Red Carpet coverage.

Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier at Oscars 2016

Photo by Todd Williamson | Getty Images

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars for her performance in Spotlight (which won Best Film of the year), wore a silky August Getty Atelier gown with a high slit. She paired the jade colored gown with silver Stuart Weitzman strappy sandals and a Salvatore Ferragamo clutch.

Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein Collection at Oscars 2016

Photo by George Pimentel | WireImage

The Brooklyn star and Best Actress nominee, proudly represented her home country of Ireland by wearing a sparkling green Calvin Klein Collection gown with a deep V-cut. “It’s emerald green with ribbons at the back,” the 21-year-old star explained as she showed off the back of the dress to reporter Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet. The actress paired her outfit with two different colored drop earrings, one green and one white.

Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Kevin Mazur | WireImage

“Everything I’m wearing is sustainable,” the Game of Thrones star said of her pale green Galvan gown that matched the color of her eyes. “That wasn’t planned,” she told red carpet reporter Giuliana Rancic with a laugh. What was planned is that her dress was chosen to support an initiative called the “Red Carpet Green Dress” challenge, sponsored by Earth Friendly Products. The idea is for actresses to wear a dress that’s both sustainable and beautiful on the red carpet. But the red-haired starlet didn’t stop there: her Tiffany’s jewelry and Louboutin heels were also sustainable.

Brie Larson

Brie Larson 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Jeff Kravitz | FilmMagic

The Best Actress winner of the night stole the show in a ruffled, floor-length Gucci gown with a floral jeweled belt. Her hair was worn down, but swept back from her face with sparkling hair pins that echoed her gown’s jeweled details for a simple but elegant look. The rest of the Room star’s sparklers were made by Niwaka. Her nine-year-old castmate, Jacob Tremblay, high-fived and encouraged Brie at every turn until her victory later that evening: “I want Brie to win,” he told reporters on the red carpet, while crossing his fingers.

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Perhaps the most unique gown worn on the carpet last night was this Armani creation worn by the Carol actress. Similar to her wardrobe choice at the BAFTA’s, the light blue design she chose for the Oscars was covered in 3D flowers made of crystals and feathers. The Best Actress nominee will be taking the Broadway stage soon, in a production of The Present, directed by John Crowley, who most recently directed the film Brooklyn.

.

Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Jason Merritt | Getty Images

The 45 Years star and Best Actress nominee chose an understated and chic blue sequin patterned Armani dress with long sleeves and pockets at the chest. Though her misunderstood comments about race issues at the Oscars a few days before the event created a stir, the 70-year-old clarified them before walking the red carpet. “In an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration,” she said.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Jason Merritt | Getty Images

Walking the red carpet on the arm of husband Liev Schreiber, who acted in Best Picture-winner Spotlight, the actress turned heads in a shining strapless purple and blue ombre Armani Prive gown. She paired the dress with a heavy Bulgari statement necklace, its diamonds crafted into a leafy design. “My girl knows how to work the carpet,” her stylist, Jeanann Williams said on social media.

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Steve Granitz | WireImage

The pregnant Sicario actress attended the Oscars in order to present the award for Best Original Screenplay with Charlize Theron. Her choice of a pale pink Prada gown, embellished with bursts of crystal, fit her baby bump perfectly. Her eye-catching diamond earrings were made by Niwaka jewels, and her clutch was a silver Judith Leiber Couture design.

Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

The Brothers Grimsby star walked the red carpet with her husband, Sascha Baron Cohen, in an airy floral-patterned Marchesa gown. She paired the look with a matching Salvatore Ferragamo clutch and Jimmy Choo sandals. The finishing touch? Norman Silverman diamond jewelry. Her comedian husband later took the stage as one of his satirical personas, Ali G, and had the audience rolling in their seats.

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Kevork Djansezian |Getty Images

The mother of three who is currently filming The Tribes of Palos Verdes stunned on the red carpet in this black single-strap Versace Atelier gown. The bodice, sparkled on just one side, elegantly modernized an otherwise classic Oscars choice.

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore 2016 Academy Awards Oscars

Photo by Kevin Mazur | WireImage

The actress who took home gold last year for her performance in Still Alice, chose a black gown hot off the Chanel haute couture spring runway. Seemingly the pride of Karl Lagerfeld’s new collection, this dress was previously worn by model Kendall Jenner at the fashion house’s Paris show. The dress performed just as well for actress and mother Julianne Moore during the ceremony last night: it sparkled elegantly as she handed over the Oscar for Best Actor to Leonardo DiCaprio at the end of the night.

Natalie van der Meer
Natalie van der Meer
Senior Editor Natalie van der Meer is a former editor for Redbook, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest and Allure, covering fashion, beauty, travel, family, book reviews, and much more. She lives in New York City.