Historical Oscar Dresses We’re Still Talking About

In Hollywood, it seems as though glitz and glamour go hand in hand, especially during the Annual Academy Award ceremony. Each year, celebrities strut their stuff down the red carpet, hoping to make it onto someone’s “Best Dressed” list.

Well, we’re going to take a stroll down a red-carpeted memory lane, showcasing classic Oscar gowns and looks that probably deserve their own Academy Award. Keep on clicking to see who made Oscar fashion history.

Sophia Loren In 1963

Actress Sophia Loren is a classic beauty, so when she stepped onto the red carpet at the 34th annual Academy Award ceremony, it wasn’t surprising to see her in a stunning and unique gown.

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Graphic House/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Graphic House/Archive Photos/Getty Images

When she went up to accept her Oscar for Best Actress, Loren did it with style, wearing a white feather-accented dress that showcased her tiny waist. Tack on the classic updo to allow her feather collar to flow freely, and you have one dress that made Oscar history.

Audrey Hepburn In 1975

Fashion icon Audrey Hepburn took a night off from raising her kids, stepping back into the spotlight, and dazzling the red carpet during the 1975 Academy Award ceremony. And, after a long hiatus from Hollywood, she decided to go with a designer she had previously worked with, Hubert Givenchy.

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Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The designer made Hepburn yet another memorable piece, playing off her classic beauty. The white gown was accented with beads and a subtle cutout tied together with a white bow. Pretty much, Hepburn made accented cutouts cool before they were a thing.

Joanna Pacula In 1984

During the 1984 Academy Award Ceremony, it’s not hard to see why actress Joanna Pacula was named one of the most beautiful people by People in 1990. Not many would be able to pull off her look at the ceremony, especially with the yellow accent jacket.

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Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Designed by Bob Mackie, Pacula’s white and gold-stripped sequined gown was right off the rack from the designer’s spring collection. But paired with the puffy-sleeved yellow jacket, the look made Oscar history.

Raquel Welch In 1979

Raquel Welch didn’t hold back during the 1979 Academy Awards. We think she heard she would be one of the presenters and wanted to make a fashion statement everyone could see. Well, Ms. Welch, it was a success.

Raquel Welch In 1979
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The actress opted to toss aside the typical dress many celebrities wear on the red carpet in favor of a skin-tight catsuit. And if that wasn’t enough, the entire thing was made out of bright blue sequins! The layered gold choker was just the cherry on top of the look.

Lauren Hutton In 1980

Model and actress Lauren Hutton made sure everyone knew when she arrived at the 1980 Academy Award ceremony. The stunner went off-beat in her Oscar look, saying goodbye to the stereotypical red carpet gown in favor of this fun number.

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Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Hutton might have been the first person to rock a romper at the Oscars, but we’re thankful she did. The gold sequined number was designed by Zoran and paired with sheer tights, a gold clutch, and a cheeky grin; it is the perfect look.

Shirley Jones In 1961

Nothing says old Hollywood glamour quite like the dress worn by actress Shirley Jones in 1961. And not only did she win the 33rd Academy Award best-dressed award (well, in our book at least), she also won an Oscar Best Actress in Elmer Gantry.

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Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images; Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images; Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

She was dressed, ready to accept that award. In a champagne tulle dress gown with gold sparkles, a cropped jacket, white gloves, and a classic updo, it was almost as if Jones knew she was going to be up on stage giving a “thank you” speech.

Angie Dickinson In 1981

Actress Angie Dickinson added a big splash of color during the 53rd Annual Academy Award ceremony in 1981. The blonde beauty opted for a vibrant purple floor-length gown. And if the color wasn’t enough to make people stare in awe, the rest of the detailing surely was.

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Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The gown had a thigh-high slit on one side, beaded detailing throughout, and funky sleeves cut to almost resemble something out of a figure skating competition. Even so, so rocked the look!

Elizabeth Taylor In 1961

Actress Elizabeth Taylor pulled out all the stops for her Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in 1961. And it’s a good thing she did because Taylor won and was able to show off her stunning Dior dress and William Ruser earrings.

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Darlene Hammond/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Bettmann/Getty Images
Darlene Hammond/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Bettmann/Getty Images

Taylor’s dual-colored dress sported a yellow bodice and a full white skirt. Of course, the look wasn’t complete without the flower belt and white gloves. The dangling pearl and diamond Ruser earrings are what stole the show, though.

Melba Moore In 1987

Singer Melba Moore stunned the red carpet during the 1987 Academy Award ceremony. With her fabulous gown and “Take my Breath Away” performance that evening, it’s safe to say she pretty much stole the entire show.

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Maureen Donaldson/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Maureen Donaldson/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

But back to this black sequined dress that she wore. The off-the-shoulder gown showcased Moore’s beautiful skin tone while accenting her shoulders with ruffles. The ruffles go on to outline her knees, paving the way for the pink skirt that gives her look a unique touch.

Sasha Czack Stallone In 1977

During the 1977 Academy Awards, Sasha Czack Stallone walked the red carpet with her then-husband, Sylvester Stallone. But it wasn’t the Rocky actor everyone was staring at. Sahsa made quite a splash at the ceremony, wearing a very funky number.

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Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The black sequined gown featured a low neckline with an attached collar, elaborate embroidery, and, to top off the look, some very funky sheer bell sleeves. Needless to say, she knocked the look right out (yes, that was a poor excuse for a Rocky joke).

Julie Andrews In 1968

Actress Julie Andrews appeared on the 1968 Academy Award ceremony red carpet wearing a perfectly on-trend gown for the 60s. The floor-length gown featured billowing sheer sleeves, a high turtleneck neckline, a velvet bodice, and a full taffeta skirt.

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Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images; Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images; Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The actress accented the high neckline with a silver broach. It was the perfect mixture of edgy while also being timely and just the right amount of girly.

Jane Fonda In 1990

In 1990, Jane Fonda dazzled the Academy Award ceremony’s red carpet in a stunning blue gown. The actress opted for an elegant blue dress with an intricately designed beaded bodice to give it some flare.

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Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The Versace number looked beautiful on the actress, with the dangling ornamentation swaying with every move she made on the carpet. The fact that her lightly tanned skin made the elegant blue color pop was just an added bonus.

Gwyneth Paltrow In 1999

Aside from winning an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1999, Gwyneth Paltrow made fashion history on the red carpet. In 1999, Paltrow wore a pink Ralph Lauren ball gown, a dress that is credited by many to be one of the greatest dresses to grace the red carpet.

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Ke.Mazur/WireImage; Barry King/WireImage
Ke.Mazur/WireImage; Barry King/WireImage

Since Paltrow wore the dress, the style has been mimicked over and over, including young girls’ prom dresses. According to Paltrow, “I just wanted to look very sweet.” Mission accomplished.

Halle Berry In 2021

During the 93rd Annual Academy Awards, actress Halle Berry stunned everyone on the red carpet. For the event, she brought her a-game, wearing a flowy mauve strapless gown with a plunging neckline and accent bow on her waist.

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Lindsay Flores via Getty Images; Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images
Lindsay Flores via Getty Images; Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

But the gown wasn’t the only thing that had people talking. The actress also debut a blunt bob with baby bangs, a totally new look for Berry!

Lizzy Gardiner In 1995

During the 1995 Academy Awards, costume designer Lizzy Gardiner made history with this iconic gold dress. Of course, it’s not just a gold dress, but a dress made out of 254 American Express Gold cards.

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KMazur/WireImage; Barry King/Liaison
KMazur/WireImage; Barry King/Liaison

The only part of the dress not made of cards was the thin straps and the main part of the shawl. But even so, the shawl still had some cards lining it! The Academy Award-winning designer then paired the unique dress with gold platform shoes.

Natalie Wood In 1962

Natalie Wood took the idea of old Hollywood glamour and just rolled with it for the 1962 Academy Award ceremony. Alongside her then-husband Warren Buffet, the actress walked down the red carpet in something that is best described as elegant.

Natalie Wood In 1962
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Her white halter dress was pristine. And with the white fur shawl, white elbow-length gloves, and subtle earrings, her look could not have been better. The classic updo hairstyle completed the iconic look.

Janet Leigh In 1960

In 1960, Janet Leigh showed up to the Academy Awards looking every bit the stunner she is. Wearing a floor-length sequined gown, there’s no doubt that the actress caused every head to turn on the red carpet.

Janet Leigh In 1960
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Daily News said, “It’s made of nude-colored chiffon to which are crocheted 186,000 imported silver-lined bugle beads which give a solid diamond effect.” Oh, and the entire dress, belt included, weighed a whopping 21 pounds!

Rita Moreno In 1962

Actress Rita Moreno stunned in a Japanese-influenced gown during the 1962 Academy Award ceremony. The dress was made in Manila in the Philippines and had a unique fabric. During an interview, Moreno said, “The fabric is obi, which is what the Japanese women use on their kimonos folded over and over.”

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Bettmann/Getty Image
Bettmann/Getty Image

Interestingly, the actress found the fabric herself, commissioning a designer to make her vision come to life. Moreno wore the dress once again during the 2018 Oscars because some things never go out of style!

Anjelica Huston In 1975

In 1975, model Anjelica Huston stunned the red carpet at the Academy Award ceremony in this silver and beige mermaid-inspired number. Ironically, the model didn’t get the Halston gown from the agency at which she worked.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Fotos International/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Fotos International/Getty Images

Instead, she bought it off the rack at Neiman Marcus two days prior to the award ceremony! Obviously, it worked out, and Huston looked gorgeous in the sequined-scale dress, matching clutch, and her bold red lips.

Brooke Shields In 1979

When people think of historic dresses worn to the Academy Awards, no one thinks of the children’s outfits. But Brooke Shields changed that with her angelic appearance at the 1979 Oscar ceremony where she presented the award for Actress in a Supporting Role.

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Saxon/IMAGES/Getty Images; Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Saxon/IMAGES/Getty Images; Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The then-13-year-old model and Actress wore a loose floor-length white dress, but that wasn’t the jaw-dropping part of her look. That came with her sweet updo, which consisted of crimped hair and a flower crown.

Nicole Kidman In 1997

Nicole Kidman has always dazzled on the red carpet of the Academy Awards. But one of her more unforgettable gowns came in 1997 when she still was walking around on the arm of Tom Cruise.

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Ke.Mazur/WireImage; S. Granitz/WireImage
Ke.Mazur/WireImage; S. Granitz/WireImage

The actress wore a satin yellow John Galliano for Christian Dior gown with flower detailing and a knee-high slit up one side. Ever since she wore the dress, it has appeared on a few “Best Oscar dresses of all time” lists.

Sally Field In 1980

Actress Sally Field did something a bit different for the 1980 Academy Awards. Instead of going all-out, wearing a lavish ballgown, she decided to wear something a bit more subtle. But, believe us, it was no less beautiful.

Sally Field In 1980
Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Barbara Rosen/IMAGES/Getty Images

The Academy Award-winner opted to wear a two-piece Bob Mackie creation. It included a knee-length white dress with a sheer floral pullover which tied at the front. The look was innocent, and Field’s looked stunning.

Sharon Stone In 1998

During the 1998 Academy Awards, actress Sharon Stone opted for something a bit more casual than the typical evening gown. That year, she wore a white button-down shirt with a high-waisted skirt.

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Ke.Mazur/WireImage; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc
Ke.Mazur/WireImage; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

The best part was that the shirt was nothing special, just something she picked up from the Gap while the skirt was Vera Wang.

Renée Zellweger In 2001

At the 73rd Academy Awards, actress Renée Zellweger stunned on the red carpet. While yellow is definitely an interesting color choice, Zellweger totally rocked the statement dress.

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Iris Schneider/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Iris Schneider/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The strapless piece was a vintage number from designer Jean Desses. The actress stole the show that year, even if she didn’t win an award!

Julia Roberts In 2001

In 2001, Julia Roberts not only won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Erin Brockovich, but she also looked stunning at the ceremony. That year, she wore a vintage Valentino column dress with amazing back detail.

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Chris Weeks/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage
Chris Weeks/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage

In an interview with People magazine, Roberts said she still has the dress and is saving it for her daughter.

Kate Hudson In 2003

During the 2003 Academy Awards, Kate Hudson arrived on the red carpet wearing a gorgeous lace embroidered Atelier Versace gown. The pale gold color made her skin glow, while the lacy train was the ultimate statement.

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SGranitz/WireImage; SGranitz/WireImage
SGranitz/WireImage; SGranitz/WireImage

Hudson opted to wear her hair in a loose bun, accenting the soft neckline of the gown.

Charlize Theron In 2004

In 2004, Charlize Theron walked the red carpet in this stunning Gucci gown. The sparkling number was the perfect choice for the actress who was about to win her first Academy Award.

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Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

That year, Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her epic performance in the thriller film Monster.

Michelle Williams In 2006

In 2004, actress Michelle Williams pulled off a mustard-colored dress on the red carpet. Designed by Vera Wang, Williams looks stunning with her classic-looking low-slung bun and bright red lipstick.

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Chris Polk/FilmMagic; Chris Polk/FilmMagic
Chris Polk/FilmMagic; Chris Polk/FilmMagic

That year, Williams was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Brokeback Mountain. Sadly, she lost to Rachel Weisz for her performance in The Constant Gardener.

Reese Witherspoon In 2006

In 2006, Reese Witherspoon waked on the red carpet in a stunning vintage Christian Dior dress. She pulled her hair back to showcase the accent sleeves.

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Dan MacMedan/WireImage
Dan MacMedan/WireImage

That year, Witherspoon was honored with the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Walk the Line. It was the perfect dress to accept the prestigious award.

Penelope Cruz In 2007

Actress Penelope Cruz walked the red carpet in 2007 in a show-stopping Atelier Versace gown. The blush-colored dress featured a silk chiffon bodice and a silk chiffon train, organza, and tulle. According to People, Cruz kept “heads turning in her wake.”

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

That year, Cruz was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Volver. She lost to Helen Mirren.

Sandra Bullock 2004

For the 76th Academy Awards ceremony, actress Sandra Bullock teamed up with designer Oscar de la Renta. For the prestigious awards show, Bullock wore a white gown with a whole lot of detail.

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; L. Cohen/WireImage
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; L. Cohen/WireImage

Right above her knee and surrounding the bottom trim were white feathers, while her hips adorned two bows on either side. It is a fabulous dress that only she could pull off on the red carpet.