Oscars fashion 2016: This year's red carpet winners – and losers

Bright colours, backless gowns and embellishments galore held strong as red carpet trends at the Oscars this year, but, as always, there were standout surprises in store from some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters.

From leather and lace to bath loofah-chic, the stars surprised us with standout styles at the 2016 Oscars

Canadian actress McAdams stunned in an on-trend emerald green August Getty Atelier gown, while actor Jared Leto was nicknamed "hipster Dracula" on Twitter. (Left: Jason Merritt/Getty Images, Right: Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

The 88th Annual Academy Awards are underway in Tinseltown tonight, bringing film's finest professionals under one roof to celebrate all they've achieved.

Also present at the ceremony? One of the largest collections of beautiful, expensive, contemporary designer clothes on Earth.

Fortunately for us, few of said stars can actually get into the Oscars without cameras capturing the process – for better or for worse, depending on how they look.

Bright colours, backless gowns and embellishments galore held strong as red carpet trends at the Oscars this year, but, as always, there were standout surprises in store from some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters.

Here are some of this year's best – and worst – style choices, based on the reaction of critics, audience members, and CBC News staffers.

The winners:

Alicia Vikander in custom Louis Vuitton
The Danish Girl's Alicia Vikander was nominated for (and won) Best Supporting Actress at the 88th Annual Academy Awards. (Jason Merritt/Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander was pegged as one to watch on the awards show circuit early this season, and the ingenue-turned-Hollywood 'it girl' has yet to disappoint with her red carpet choices. The custom Louis Vuitton gown she wore to the 2016 Oscars, combined with a chic, on-trend half-up top knot, had Twitter talking about the overall look's Beauty and the Beast vibes –  and hailing the actress for channeling her inner Disney Princess (in a good way) to accept the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in The Danish Girl.

Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein
Saoirse Ronan, nominated in the category of Best Actress for her role in Brooklyn, stunned in Calvin Klein at the 88th Annual Academy Awards. (VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan turned heads and dropped jaws when she arrived to the 2016 Oscars in this sparkling green stunner by Calvin Klein. The 21-year-old star of Brooklyn told E! that she wore green (as she has in the past) to represent her home country – though her look this year was decidedly sexier than it was a few years back. As New York Times style editor Stuart Emmrich put it, "That Atonement girl is all grown up."

Kerry Washington in Versace
Actress Kerry Washington was a presenter at the awards show. (FREDERIC J.BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

True style stars stay away from the tried and true, because who's there to set trends if everybody follows them? Kerry Washington opted for a modern look to present at the 88th Annual Academy Awards with this black and White Versace number comprised of leather and chiffon. "I really respect and actually admire some of the people who are not here tonight, I really get it, but for me, I felt like my voice — in my heart — my voice is best used at the table," said the actress when asked on the red carpet about boycotts over diversity at the Oscars. "As a new member of the Academy, I really want to be a part of the conversation so there is institutional change so we never have this again."

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture
Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence, who stars in the film Joy, wore Dior Haute Couture to the 88th Annual Academy Awards. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

J-Law missed her chance for a big red carpet entrance by arriving just as the show was beginning, but her style was too good for photographers to miss. The Joy actress stuck with Dior, once again, for the Oscars this year, which proved to be a solid choice – critics and casual movie fans alike are still raving over this sheer, lace gown and it's long, black feather train. This look is as fresh as her chic, platinum lob (long bob hairstyle, for the uninitiated.) Better late than never, indeed.

Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad
Bollywood film actress, singer and producer Priyanka Chopra stole the show in Zuhair Murad, where she presented the award for best film editing with Liev Schreiber. (VALERIE MACON/AFP/Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra had many on Twitter asking "who's that girl?" when she hit the red carpet in this spectacular white gown by Zuhair Murad. The "naked dress" trend may be over, but if reaction to Chopra's glam take on it is any indication, we could be seeing even more sheerness on starlets in the future. Chopra, who stars in the ABC television series Quantico, has been documenting her first-ever Oscars experience on Instagram and Twitter since arriving in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Honourable Mentions:

Cate Blanchett in Armani

​Olivia Wilde in Valentino Haute Couture
(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier
(Kevork Djansezian/Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell
(VALERIE MACON/AFP/Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Orlando Jones

The losers:

Heidi Klum
(Jason Merritt and Mark Davis/Getty)

What she wore: Marchesa
What people thought she wore: A bath loofah, a rejected bridesmaid's dress, something from the set of Golden Girls...

Rooney Mara in Givenchy
(Christopher Polk/Getty)

What she wore: Givenchy Haute Couture
What people thought she wore: Grandma's tablecloth, a paper snowflake, a piece of dental floss...

Brie Larson
(Christopher Polk/Getty)

What she wore: Gucci
What people thought she wore: A prom dress... purchased at Stitches... in 1999​.

Jared Leto

What he wore: Gucci
What people thought he wore: Cherry tomatoesDIY stationary, a hipster Dracula costume, and more.

Reese Witherspoon and Tina Fey
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

What they wore: Separate purple dresses.
What people thought they wore: The exact same dress.

See more standout looks from the 2016 Academy Awards red carpet here:


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