Charlize Theron, Taraji P. Henson, Isabelle Huppert, Naomie Harris, Jessica Biel, Karlie Kloss.

They were the best dressed on the red carpet at the Oscars Sunday night.

Why? Because there was a simple elegance to their gowns – no mashup of beads and fringe, sequins and feathers, appliqués and peplums and lace and tulle.

Gold fading to nude was the colour of the evening, led by Emma Stone in a beaded and fringed number from Givenchy Haute Couture. Yes, she looked divine – with metallic eye makeup to die for and a Planned Parenthood pin – and as the favourite for best actress, she certainly had to bring it up a notch. But the Valentino starry romance worn at the Golden Globes hit the right notes, while the Givenchy had one too many elements. Pick the beading or the fringe and run with it.  

Theron was a goddess in bronze lamé Dior Couture, with utterly mismatched honking Chopard earrings.

I also didn’t quite get the spiky Tiffany collar paired with Biel’s gold sequin dress by Kaufmanfranco, but I just love the covering up and the rough sequins – in fact, any sequins.

Nicole Kidman went goldish nude in Armani Privé with a Lion-appropriate beaded pattern.

Then there was Dakota Johnson in buttery gold satin Gucci, covered up in all the wrong ways, with big shoulders and a fan-like appendage at the waist. Very 40s. Meh. Bad hair, too.

Pale fire is often the way of Hollywood stars – many with a princess or prom vibe. Felicity Jones in Dior’s nude sequined tulle, for instance. Pretty, though. Or Hailee Steinfeld in sheer floral appliquéd Ralph & Russo.

But Isabelle Huppert was the epitome of French insouciance in an Armani Privé pale beaded gown, belted with long sleeves. This is the gown I want to wear to my next gala. Haha.

Also beaded, and superbly minimalist, was the white high-low dress by Raf Simons for Calvin Klein worn by Naomie Harris.

Taraji P. Henson and Kirsten Dunst got Olde Hollywood right, Henson in a navy velvet off-shoulder sweetheart neckline gown by Alberta Ferretti, Dunst in a standard-issue, curve-enhancing Dior strapless.

Janelle Monae topped the over-the-top list – so much so that criticism is pointless and absurd.

And what about Halle Berry’s big hair? Hmmm.

Accessory of the evening? The ACLU blue ribbon.