Oscars 2012 Dress Trend: Black and Gold

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Jessica Chastain, Judy Greer and Sandra Bullock.

Like chocolate and peanut butter, the black (Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace! Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood!) and gold (Meryl Streep in Lanvin! Stacy Keibler in Marchesa!) gowns on display at the 2012 Oscars were delicious on their own. But when the two colors were combined, the midnight-meets-metallic medley proved to be one of the evening's strongest trends.

Exhibit A: Nominee Jessica Chastain, who earned high marks for her strapless bustier-style Alexander McQueen gown custom-designed by Sarah Burton and accessorized with Harry Winston jewels. Though the actress went home without a statuette, the black silk organza number's ornate nature-inspired gold bullion and metal thread embroidery (done by hand, of course) surely supplied more than enough gilded splendor.

Presenter Sandra Bullock's black and white silk crepe Marchesa gown also boasted gold embroidery at the waist and shoulders. Partnered with Lorraine Schwartz jewels and a long, sleek ponytail, the dress dipped low in back for a provocative touch.

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Judy Greer gave the metallic-on-black trend her own spin with a slinky Monique Lhuillier Spring 2012 dress featuring silver beaded panels which created a trompe l'oeil effect.

Last but certainly not least, Melissa Leo also doubled down on the sparkle with a sequined gold and black color-blocked Reem Acra shirtdress-style gown. Perhaps her Oscar from last year's ceremony played style muse?

Who said little black dresses were boring?