The world's most-watched stretch of red carpet seized the spotlight in Hollywood on 28 February as stars in luxurious gowns, glittering sequins and daring necklines strutted and twirled on their way into the Academy Awards. Fashion designer Nick Verreos applauded stars for their strong colour choices, on a carpet filled with jewel tones.

"I think that you will find three definite colour palate trends for the Oscars. And I would say first white. We saw with Lady Gaga, Rooney Mara in Givenchy as well. And then we also saw green, emerald green. We saw Saoirse Ronan wearing green and we also saw a little bit of a mint green with Cate Blanchett as well. Then we also saw a lot of purple. Tina Fey wore purple, Naomi Watts wore purple. I think those three colours: green, white and purple. Those are the colour trends for the Academy Awards," he said.

Best actress nominee Cate Blanchett wore a sea-foam Armani Prive gown adorned with a profusion of hand-sewn flowers and feathers. "I would say that Cate Blanchett went a little, almost Edwardian, like a painting by John Singer Sargent. I expected to see her a little more robotic looking; structured shoulders and very 'huh huh', but no, she went soft with the petals and the flowers and the sequins. A lot of sequins on Cate Blanchett."

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara brought va-va-voom to the red carpet in a plunging Marchesa dress in midnight blue, while Star Wars star Daisy Ridley sparkled in silver sequins in a V-neck Chanel. In a similarly skin-baring dress, best actress nominee for Brooklyn Saoirse Ronan channelled her inner mermaid with a sparkling emerald Calvin Klein dress with an open back and dramatic V-neck. Verreos picked Brie Larson's blue silk Gucci gown with cascading ruffles as a standout.

"I thought she did a very softly elegant look. It wasn't structured. A lot of the women we saw a lot of structure. But with her it was soft, delicate, very feminine, with the cascade chiffon folds and that jewelled belt. I thought she looked very pretty," he said.

On the men's side, Verreos said Eddie Redmayne's tuxedo choice was lean and elegant. "Eddie Redmayne, I have to say, looked amazing. I thought he looked great. He knows his body. He's tall, he's lean and it's all about the skinny suit. And that's another way you can update a tuxedo, get the skinny suit. I love when the men's pants are lean. Not too skinny, but just lean," he said.

The only negative for Verreos was the lack of fashion risk. "The Oscars has been recently known to be very safe in terms of fashion. I lament it a little bit. As a fashion designer, I miss the days of Cher with Bob Mackie, I miss Bjork. You want a little bit of fun. You want somebody to cause a sensation. Nobody wants to go there now. Nobody wants to fear the wrath of the red carpet experts or everybody talking about it the next day," he said.