Actresses go for gold with Oscar dresses

Sandra Bullock, left, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz and Miley Cyrus (Getty)

Bullock, Winslet, Diaz, Cyrus choose statuette's color

Sandra Bullock dressed the part at Sunday's Academy Awards: She wore a gleaming, metallic, slim-fitting gown that seemed fashioned after the Oscar statuette itself.

The dress was a winner, declared designer Patricia Field, who said it was "simple, classy -- it looked good on her."

Bullock was among many who stepped up their style on what is considered Hollywood's most important fashion runway, with many stars choosing bold colors and strategic sparkle to get them noticed. (Click here for a gallery of photos from the red carpet.)

Gold was a huge trend, with Kate Winslet looking like an old-school movie star in her sleek, strapless gold gown. Cameron Diaz, with bold red lips, was another screen siren in a gold strapless gown with metallic ribbons and pailettes by Oscar de la Renta; Miley Cyrus wore a bustier-style strapless gold number by Jenny Packham; and Sarah Jessica Parker chose a custom Chanel with silver flowers around the bustline.

Flowers were another theme at the Kodak Theatre, with the delicate floral embroidery on the front of Bullock's Marchesa gown and Mo'Nique complementing her electric blue Tadashi Shoji asymmetrical dress with gardenias in her hair. She said she did it in the spirit of the Hattie McDaniel, who had done the same in 1940. Gabourey Sidibe's blue dress was decorated with silver beads in a floral pattern, and fashion designer-turned-director Tom Ford stuck a gardenia in his lapel.

Jennifer Lopez's sculpted, strapless pale-pink Armani Prive had a dramatic slit on one side and an exaggerated modern train that jutted from her hip. Armani said the dress was inspired by the romance and mystery of the moon. Charlize Theron also had a futuristic vibe in her gown by John Galliano for Dior with two folded rosettes not on the bustline but on the bust itself.

Those are two of the gowns that will probably generate a lot of chatter because they weren't standard-issue, red-carpet styles.