CNN  — 

The red carpet at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre shimmered on Sunday, as the stars arrived at the Oscars in a flurry of sequins, sparkles and striking metallic gowns.

Lupita Nyong’o’s Armani Privé dress, Gabrielle Union’s bedazzled Carolina Herrera number and Michelle Yeoh’s custom Balenciaga gown were among the glittering looks on display during an elegant — if somewhat unadventurous — evening of red-carpet fashion. (Indeed, a fair number of attendees opted for monochrome black, white or black-and-white ensembles.)

Elsewhere, “Barbie” actor America Ferrera gave the metallic trend a pop of color in a pink chainmail design by Atelier Versace, while co-star Margot Robbie took a rare break from Barbie-pink in an equally glistening black Versace dress. Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande also opted for color-coded dressing, with the former’s emerald-green leather Louis Vuitton dress and the latter’s pillowy pink custom Giambattista Valli gown nodding to their roles in the forthcoming movie adaptation of “Wicked.”

Michelle Yeoh stunned in a custom Balenciaga gown, sleek black opera gloves and Cindy Chao earrings made from diamonds and sapphires.

This awards season has provided plenty of florals, cut-outs and sheer gowns, but the Oscars heralded a new theme altogether: mermaid chic.

Sunday’s red carpet was awash with gowns channeling scallops and shells, from Anya Taylor-Joy’s Christian Dior Haute Couture gown, inspired by Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” to Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan’s custom Balenciaga look featuring an elegant mermaid skirt. Elsewhere, Emma Stone wowed in a shell-inspired custom Louis Vuitton dress with a flared peplum waist, and Hailee Steinfeld looked ethereal in a sea foam green Elie Saab Couture design.

The evening’s menswear was relatively pared back, on what is usually the most formal of Hollywood red carpets (though that didn’t stop Simu Liu and “Young Royals” star Omar Rudberg from turning up shirtless). Even actors known for colorful suiting like Colman Domingo and Ryan Gosling, who arrived in Louis Vuitton and Gucci, respectively, stuck to a largely black palette, though many accessorized with broaches, bracelets and pins. Gosling did, however, make the change into a hot-pink number for his performance of the Best Original Song-nominated “I’m Just Ken” during the ceremony.

Ramy Youssef, Mark Ruffalo, Mahershala Ali and Finneas meanwhile used their lapels to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. They were joined by a handful of other attendees — including Billie Eilish, Ava DuVernay and Quannah Chasinghorse — wearing red pins as part of the Artists4Ceasefire campaign.

Scroll down to see the best looks from the 96th Academy Awards.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph, who went on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, wore a custom Louis Vuitton gown with hand-embroidered tulle and oversized fringe sleeves.
Cillian Murphy wore a custom Atelier Versace suit topped with a gem brooch designed by Hong Kong-based designer Bertrand Mak’s jewelry brand Sauvereign.
Greta Lee, styled by Danielle Goldberg, wore an elegant black and white Loewe gown.
Lily Gladstone, nominated as Best Actress for "Killers of the Flower Moon,” paid tribute to Native American design in a blue velvet Gucci gown that was created in collaboration with Indigenous artist Joe Big Mountain.
Taking a rare break from Barbie pink, Margot Robbie stunned in a shimmering black Versace dress with Fred Leighton jewelry
Ariana Grande nodded to her role as the good witch in the forthcoming movie “Wicked” with her pink Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown that featured pillowy waist attachments and a trailing train.
Carey Mulligan’s custom Balenciaga gown featured a classy flared mermaid skirt. The Best Actress nominee accessorized with Fred Leighton jewelry and was one of several stars to wear black evening gloves.
Riz Ahmed arrived in a black ensemble by Marni featuring a knee-length coat.
Melissa McCarthy channeled Old Hollywood glamour in a red Christian Siriano gown with magenta sleeves. The actor accessorized with Dena Kemp jewelry.
Director of the Oscar-nominated “Barbie,” Greta Gerwig, dazzled in a champagne-colored Gucci gown and a diamond-encrusted Boucheron necklace.
“Dune” star Florence Pugh turned heads in a silver Del Core gown with floating straps. The actor paired the dress with shimmering Bulgari jewelry.
Sterling K. Brown wore a Dior Men navy suit with a black satin scarf, bow tie and a pair of Bruno Magli Oxford shoes.
Regina King wore an eye-catching orange Atelier Versace gown with Pomellato jewelry.
Ryan Gosling, nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Barbie,” arrived in a custom Gucci suit lined with silver sequins.
Emma Stone, nominated as Best Actress for her performance in “Poor Things,” wore a custom Louis Vuitton gown with a flared peplum waist and shell detailing.
Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper kept it classic with a custom Louis Vuitton suit and Tambour watch. Cooper arrived alongside his mother, Gloria Campano.
Ava DuVernay wore a baby-blue custom Louis Vuitton dress with buckled straps over the shoulders. The filmmaker accessorized with REZA jewelry and a red pin signaling support for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Set to perform Oscar-nominated song "The Fire Inside,” Becky G arrived in a Vera Wang gown with a mid-thigh slit and cascading train. The singer completed the look with opera-style fingerless gloves.
Jennifer Lawrence crossed the carpet in a retro polka-dot custom look by Christian Dior Haute Couture. Her Swarovski<strong> </strong>necklace and bracelet were made using lab-grown diamonds
Lupita Nyong'o took to the red carpet in a dazzling Armani Privé gown featuring feather-like embellishments at the waist and hem. The actor accessorized with white gold De Beers jewelry.
Emily Blunt wore a head-turning Schiaparelli gown with floating straps. She was pictured alongside husband John Krasinski in an off-white tuxedo.
"Barbie" actor America Ferrera arrives at the 96th Academy Awards wearing a pink custom Atelier Versace pink gown and bold Pomellato jewelry.
Nodding to her forthcoming appearance in the movie adaptation of “Wicked,” Cynthia Erivo wore an emerald-green leather gown by Louis Vuitton.
Best Supporting Actress nominee Jodie Foster (pictured right alongside wife Alexandra Hedison) looked graceful in a satin Loewe gown that flowed into a shimmering floor-length skirt. The actor accessorized with jewelry by Kwiat and Fred Leighton.
Anya Taylor-Joy wowed in a Christian Dior Haute Couture gown with bedazzled petal layers inspired by Botticelli's “Birth of Venus.” The look was accessorized with Tiffany & Co jewelry.
Danielle Brooks arrived in a bedazzled satin dress with exposed metal boning detailing, by Dolce & Gabbana.
Andrea Riseborough wore an eye-catching long-sleeved Loewe dress with a tartan print.
Billie Eilish, nominated for Best Original Song, arrived at the ceremony in Chanel.
Hailee Steinfeld looked a dream in an Elie Saab Couture gown featuring golden floral embellishments on the bust and wrists and a trailing floor-length neck sash.
Ke Huy Quan wore a double-breasted deep red Giorgio Armani suit styled with amber-tinted shades.
Kirsten Dunst, who arrived alongside husband Jesse Plemons, wore a classy Gucci dress with a sharp-edged neckline and a sleek floor-length silhouette. The actor completed the look with Fred Leighton jewelry.
Best Actor nominee Colman Domingo wore a black Louis Vuitton double breasted suit with statement bowtie and jewelry by David Yurman. "I wanted to just shine like a diamond," he told Laverne Cox during E’s red carpet coverage.
Issa Rae, who featured in two nominated movies ("Barbie" and "American Fiction"), stunned in a plunging AMI Paris dress paired with Gianvito Rossi shoes.
South Korean actor Teo Yoo wore a custom navy double-breasted Louis Vuitton suit. The “Past Lives” star finished off the look with a turtle pin honoring his late pet tortoise Momo, he told Variety on the red carpet.
Best Original Song nominee (for “I’m Just Ken”) Mark Ronson wore a classic double-breasted Gucci suit. His wife Grace Gummer opted for a plunging Gucci red gown and Briony Raymond jewelry.
Vanessa Hudgens, wearing a form-fitting Vera Wang gown, debuted her baby bump on the red carpet. She completed the look with Chopard jewelry.
“Barbie” actor Simu Liu wore a black Fendi tuxedo with a low-cut tank top underneath.
Sean Lennon, son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, arrived with partner Kemp Muhl in matching black ensembles.
Best Actress nominee Sandra Hüller paired a structural custom Schiaparelli gown with Cartier jewelry.
Justine Triet, who later picked up the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for “Anatomy of a Fall,” wore a sparkly striped Louis Vuitton suit with a satin top and black pumps.
Gabrielle Union, pictured with husband Dwyane Wade (in custom Atelier Versace), turned heads in a bedazzled Carolina Herrera gown layered with a matching floor-length skirt. She completed the look with a diamond necklace from Tiffany & Co.
Composer Ludwig Göransson, nominated for Best Original Score for “Oppenheimer,” wore an all-black suit with an eloquent silver brooch pinned to the lapel.
Winners of the Best Visual Effects award for "Godzilla Minus One," Masaki Takahashi, Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya and Tatsuji Nojima matched in all-black ensembles. They all completed their looks with shoes featuring heels resembling Godzilla’s hands.
Eva Longoria’s dynamic Tamara Ralph dress featured a dramatic off-the-shoulder neckline and a sweeping train.
Ninety-two-year-old actor Rita Moreno wore a black hour-glass gown by designer label Badgley Mischka and a pair elegant evening gloves.
"Reservation Dogs" actor D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai wore a double-breasted Dolce & Gabbana suit, while model and activist Quannah Chasinghorse opted for a look by Native American fashion line Red Berry Woman.
Jamie Lee Curtis looked elegant in a flowing black gown by Dolce & Gabbana.
“Young Royals” star Omar Rudberg wore an open double-breasted blazer with a silver brooch pinned to the lapel.
Sean Wang and Sam Davis, nominated for their short documentary “Nai Nai & Wai Po” (or “Grandma & Grandma”), pose alongside the film’s subjects, Chang Li Hua and Yi Yan Fuei — both of whom wore custom Rodarte.
Leah Lewis, star of Best Animated Feature “Elemental,” looked dreamy in a layered Lever Couture gown featuring a whimsical train.
“The Holdovers” star Dominic Sessa wore a custom double-breasted Tom Ford suit topped with an oversized bowtie.
“Past Lives” director Celine Song wore a classy Loewe that paired an elegant blazer with a pleated skirt.
Marlee Matlin, who in 1987 became the youngest ever winner of the Best Actress Oscar, dazzled in a custom purple Rodarte gown with shimmering sequins. She completed the head-turning look with sparkling Briony Raymond jewelry.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan arrived in a classy black and white Zuhair Murad princess gown and Wempe jewelry.
Taylor Zakhar Perez popped on the red carpet with a blue Prada suit styled by leading celebrity stylist Jason Bolden. He paired the look with a Vacheron Constantin watch.
Preshow co-host Julianne Hough arrived in a strapless Alexandre Vauthier number with an embellished silver and gold bust and flowy white pants so wide they looked like a gown.

CNN’s Alex Rees, Christy Choi and Jacqui Palumbo contributed to this story.