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Whites, brights and lights on the Oscar red carpet

Is wearing white the new black?The 84th annual Academy Awards red carpet showcased celebrities in elegant, interesting fashion choices. A-list stars Gwyneth Paltrow and J.Lo led the trend of wearing pure whites, while Berenice Bejo of "The Artist" and Shailene Woodley of "The Descendants" were among several who chose modest, long-sleeved gowns in a variety of colors. Sequins certainly aren't goin
Rooney Mara, Gwyneth Paltrow and Milla Jovovich at the 84th annual Academy Awards.
Rooney Mara, Gwyneth Paltrow and Milla Jovovich at the 84th annual Academy Awards.AP, Getty Images, Reuters / Today

Is wearing white the new black?

The 84th annual Academy Awards red carpet showcased celebrities in elegant, interesting fashion choices. A-list stars Gwyneth Paltrow and J.Lo led the trend of wearing pure whites, while Berenice Bejo of "The Artist" and Shailene Woodley of "The Descendants" were among several who chose modest, long-sleeved gowns in a variety of colors. Sequins certainly aren't going anywhere, with "Bridesmaids" stars Rose Byrne and Ellie Kemper opting for the sparkling award show staple.

As for the color of seduction? Red showed up on several celebrity favorites including Hollywood sweethearts Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman.

Old-school glamour — it's back.

Whites

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E! host Giuliana Rancic dazzles in a glowing white, beaded Tony Ward couture gown featuring intricately designed shoulder details.

Michael Buckner / Getty Images / Today

Taking flight: Gwyneth Paltrow looks like a queen in a dress and cape by Tom Ford.

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Milla Jovovich was one of the first celebrities on the red carpet. The “Resident Evil” actress wore a one-shoulder Elie Saab gown and Jacob and Co. jewels, with a plastic clutch by Edie Parker. TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas described it as “a pretty modern-meets-old Hollywood” ensemble.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images / Today

Usually clad in black, Rooney Mara of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" opted for a crisp white Givenchy gown.

Today

J. Lo brought some sexy to the red carpet, with help from a revealing number by Zuhair Murad.

Brights

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Ever the red carpet sweetheart, Michelle William wears a cute and saucy peplum gown by Louis Vuitton. "I love the tiny bow on Michelle Williams' dress," says Bobbie Thomas.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Actress Viola Davis arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress Viola Davis arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Jason Merritt / Today

Viola Davis wears a custom emerald green Vera Wang dress, complete with an elegant chiffon skirt.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images / Today

Emma Stone of "The Help" in a red  Giambatistta Valli dress that's "very Nicole Kidman," commented Bobbie Thomas.

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Natalie Portman manages to look both sexy and demure in vintage Christian Dior.

Sequins and sparkles

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Actress Ellie Kemper arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress Ellie Kemper arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Jason Merritt / Today

“I love everything about this,” Ellie Kemper told  told Ryan Seacrest of E! of her glittery rust gown by Armani Prive. “It’s a posture protector.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Actress Rose Byrne arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress Rose Byrne arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Jason Merritt / Today

Rose Byrne of “Bridesmaids” wears a Vivienne Westwood sequin gown and Jimmy Choo heels, a departure from her jumpsuit at the SAG awards.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images / Today

Lea Thompson of "The Artist" in a silver sequined gown.

Metallics

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Jessica Chastain, nominated for best supporting actress in "The Tree of Life," went for regal drama in an embroidered gold and black silk organza bustier gown by Alexander McQueen.

Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S. / Today

Miss Piggy shines in a Zac Posen dress and Fred Leighton jewelry.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images / Today

The beloved Meryl Streep of "Iron Lady" goes for gold in Lanvin.

Sophisticated sleeves

Chris Pizzello / AP / Today

French actress Berenice Bejo of “The Artist” wears an intricately designed, mint green gown by Elie Saab.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images / Today

Melissa McCarthy, nominated for best supporting actress in “Bridemaids,” wears a blush-colored custom Marina Rinaldi dress and Brian Atwood heels, which the designer signed on the bottom.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Actress Shailene Woodley arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress Shailene Woodley arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Jason Merritt / Today

Shailene Woodley of “The Descendants” takes a cue from the ’60s in couture vintage Valentino. “It’s so incredibly different,” she told Ryan Seacrest. “It’s so classy.” Many fans on Twitter, however, thought the choice too mature for her age.

What do you think of the gowns so far? Keep up with TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas, who is live-Tweeting the red carpet at @bobbiethomas and join our Oscar party! Share your favorites on Facebook.

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