Kerry Washington, Lupita Nyong'o, Naomie Harris, Angela Bassett

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If there was an unofficial dress code for Thursday's Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards luncheon it was something along the lines of: No LBDs allowed. A seemingly unwritten rule that more Hollywood events could stand to follow.

You see, most of the stars that attended the L'Oreal Paris sponsored fête opted for brights, whites, and pastel prints—making it probably the most cheerful red carpet of the year thus far.

Kerry Washington led the bold-color-clad-charge in a vibrant blue Calvin Klein Collection dress. The Scandal star's sheath was made of silk fabric, which draped nicely over her growing baby bump.

Meanwhile Naomie Harris and Lupita Nyong'o both went for all white frocks. The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom star donned a sheer West Gordon number while the 12 Years A Slave actress stunned in a crop top and skirt combo by Giambattista Valli. Inside the event while accepting her Breakthrough Artist award, the Oscar nominee gave an incredibly moving speech that left not one dry eye in the place—so now we really can't wait to see what Sunday might hold!

Brandy Norwood, Tamara Mowry, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

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But back to the red carpet and onto the warmer color palette. Brandy Norwood turned heads in a cheery red Elena Reva sleeveless pantsuit with matching suede Christian Louboutin pumps. But it was Tamera Mowry who truly sizzled in an orange Victoria Beckham dress. And although she didn't walk the carpet Oprah Winfrey glowed in a neon yellow ensemble.  

It should be noted that there were a few ladylike prints at the annual luncheon as well. The two standouts were Angela Bassett's printed sheath and British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw's floral Vivianne Westwood frock.


Which luncheon look was your favorite?

PHOTOS: More recent red carpet looks

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