LOS ANGELES (AP) _ In traditional Oscar night high-style, the stars came out dressed to the nines - with diamonds, silk and black tie - and the Academy Award winners walked out on clouds with the same number.

The performers' grand entrance has been a tradition for the 61 years since Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Cecil B. DeMille founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and introduced the golden Oscar.

''This is my 26th time,'' Comedian Bob Hope said Wednesday night as he walked through the throngs in front of the Shrine Auditorium. ''I'm learning to do it.''

The fans seemed to recognize the hot young stars first, and especially turned up the volume when a long-haired Don Johnson and his ex-wife-''best friend''-fiance Melanie Griffith stopped to chat in front of the grandstands.

Ms. Griffith looked like a fairy-tale princess in a long, full white gown with a diamond and pearl choker at her neck.

One of her competitors, Sigourney Weaver, elegant in a white Yves St. Laurent gown, arrived on the arm of her father, TV executive Pat Weaver.

''He's my good luck charm,'' she said.

Not good enough.

Miss Weaver missed in her double nominations for best actress in ''Gorillas in the Mist'' and supporting actress in ''Working Girl.''

While the men were limited to classic black dinner jackets, the women were the prime attraction to the fashion conscious, and they did not disappoint.

Goldie Hawn wore a golden dress with a plunging neckline designed by designer Bob Mackie, most recently noted for the revealing dress he designed for Cher last year when she won as best actress for her role in ''Moonstruck.''

This year, Cher was more subdued for her role as presenter of the best picture Oscar, and arrived wearing a strapless fringed mini-dress in black.

One tradition was upheld by eternal ''sexploitation'' starlet Edy Williams, who wore her customary, barely-there ''dress.'' This year's was strategically applied designs that looked like they were glued to her body.

She occasionally dropped her sheer shawl for the TV camera to display her structural integrity. In addition, she carried two puppies and led a pit bull named ''Bad Rap'' on a leash.

It's equally traditional for first-time Oscar winners to be a bit dazed by the suddenness of their triumph.

''I'm nervous. I'm shocked. It's like a nightmare but good. Do these people speak English?'' said deadpan comedian Steven Wright, who had just won an Oscar for ''The Appointments of Dennis Jennings,'' a live action short film.

''I wonder what I do with this the rest of the night,'' said best supporting actress Geena Davis of ''The Accidental Tourist'' as she hefted her Oscar. ''Do I carry it around or what?''

Best supporting actor winner Kevin Kline of ''A Fish Called Wanda,'' was asked what he planned to do next. ''Oh, go to a ball, or something,'' he said.