Rather than giving in to the pressure of dumping their designer dresses when war broke out a few days before, red carpet habitués instead dumped their megawatt diamonds, scaling back on necklaces and rings, and then scaling back on big hair in favor of sleek chignons. Still, they managed to make Oscar’s 75th birthday colorful, as almost every actress opted for a strong striking color all her own, with shapes staying mostly close to the body — but not too close.

Instead of the usual sea of black — or last year’s sea of nude pinks — J. Lo opted for mint green, Julianne Moore for bottle green, Jennifer Garner for sky blue, Marcia Gay Harden for turquoise, Renée Zellweger for crimson, Hilary Swank for ombréd pink, and Queen Latifah in beaded blue. The dress hues were so strong that they begged for bare necks, and the understated up-dos that emulated old movie stars’ style begged for those long dangly chandelier earrings Nicole Kidman has made so popular.

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