Dazzling and debonair, actors and actresses arrived on the 2012 Oscars red carpet looking their very best. Dressed in stunning designer frocks, with brilliant smiles and fluttering hearts, Hollywood's top contenders were thrilled to be at the 84th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

This is our Super Bowl, isn't it guys? asked E! News host Giuliana Rancic.

On Hollywood's biggest night of the year, all eyes were on the red carpet. Celebrities, no doubt, underwent a plethora of preparations and a calming of nerves before hitting the 2012 Oscars. Luckily, the reliable Southern California weather was sunny and warm; droplets of rain would have only wilted hours of primping and prodding.

Many of the dresses came straight from the runways in Paris, New York, London and Milan. Stylists typically present their celebrity clientele with 40 to 80 dress options. The most of-the-moment, wow-factor dress is typically chosen. Glenn Close wore custom-made Zac Posen; Viola Davis chose a brilliantly bright frock.

This year, the Oscars red carpet was just not about superficial beauty. It was also about conscientiousness.

The third annual Red Carpet Green Dress contest took place this year and the winner, Valentina Delfino, got to dress The Artist ensemble actress Missi Pyle's 5-foot, 11-inch frame in an eco-friendly gown. Made from organic silk, hand-dyed mineral pigments and recycled polyester, Pyle made a momentous statement with her attire. The contest was established in 2010 by Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron.

Ultimately, Red Carpet Green Dress isn't about beautiful gowns, Cameron told the Los Angeles Times. It's really about bringing awareness to the fact that we can be kind to the planet and still wear something really gorgeous - and to then take that a step further, for people to think about the carbon footprint of their everyday clothes.

Another trend on the 2012 Oscars red carpet was minimal jewels. Delicate jewelry serves to complement a beautiful actress and her equally beautiful gown. There is no need for chunky, overpowering jewelry when you are wearing Chanel or Versace.

Jewelry should be minimalistic - the dress should be the 'celebrity,' so to speak, fashion designer Allen B. Schwartz told The Jerusalem Post. We're moving towards a very minimal period of accessorization, added designer Marc Bouwer. If people are going to wear something, it's going to be one strong piece or almost nothing at all.

The Oscars have the uncanny ability to turn actresses into princesses for one night. Some are even raised to the level of goddesses. These women are the best dressed. From Angelina Jolie to Jessica Chastain, from Michelle Williams to Bérénice Bejo, a fabulous dress can truly transform its wearer.

Sometimes the red carpet brings shocking fashion surprises. In 1996, Sharon Stone tossed aside what was most likely a mountain of designer dresses handed to her and opted for a GAP turtleneck! Needless to say, Stone did not make any Best Dressed lists.

Check out photos of celebrity arrivals on the red carpet at the 2012 Oscars.