The Best Oscar Dresses EVER From Audrey Hepburn, Gwyneth Paltrow And More!

21 February 2014 by

GALLERY>> The Best Oscar Dresses Ever

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Jennifer Lawrence in Dior - 2013

Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein - 2011

Beyonce in Atelier Versace - 2005

Grace Kelly - 1956

Mila Kunis in Elie Saab - 2011

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta - 2013

Halle Berry in Elie Saab - 2002

Charlize Theron in Dior

Julia Roberts in Vintage Valentino - 2001

Natalie Portman in Rodarte - 2011

Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive

Cate Blanchett in Valentino Couture - 2005

Jessica Alba in Versace - 2006

Reese Witherspoon in Christian Dior - 2006

Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab - 2009

Grace Kelly by Edith Head- 1954

Anne Hathaway in Valentino - 2011

Chloe Sevigny in Yves Saint Laurent - 2000

Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive - 2009

Diane Kruger in Elie Saab - 2006

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace - 2012

Kristen Stewart in Monique Lhuillier - 2010

Marion Cotillard in Jean Paul Gaultier - 2008

Michelle Williams in Chanel Couture - 2011

Nicole Kidman in Balenciaga - 2007

Penelope Cruz in Gianni Versace - 2007

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy - 2011

Scarlett Johansson in Roland Mouret - 2005

Cameron Diaz in Oscar de la Renta - 2010

Charlize Theron in Tom Ford for Gucci - 2004

Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani - 2007

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli - 2012

Angelina Jolie in Marc Bouwer - February 2004

Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy - 1954

Kate Winslett in Valentino - 2007

Charlize Theron in Dior - 2006

Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa - 2011

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford - 2012

Hilary Swank in Guy Laroche - 2005

Charlize Theron in Christian Dior - 2005

Jennifer Lopez in vintage by Rita Watnick at Lilly Et Cie Material - 2006

Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace - 2003

Renee Zellweger in vintage Lily Et Cie- 2001

Katherine Heigl in Escada - 2008

Keira Knightley in Vera Wang - 2006

Michelle Williams in Vera Wang - 2005

Jennifer Lopez in Valentino - 2003

Natalie Portman in Lanvin - 2005

Penelope Cruz in Giorgio Armani - 2012

Renee Zellweger in Caroline Herrera - 2003

Sharon Stone in Gap and Vera Wang - 1998

Rooney Mara in Givenchy - 2012

Kate Winslett in Ben de Lisi - 2002

Sienna Miller in Matthew Williamson - 2004

It's the Oscars next Sunday, so you have 10 days to brush up on your Oscar gown IQ. Since the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, when Mary Pickford wore a daring bow at the chest, the Oscars has been all about statement, show-stopping gowns. Marlene Dietrich caused a stir in 1951 when she arrived in a dress to the knee and Robert Osborne's Official History of the Academy Awards reads: 'Thanks to Dietrich, the evening was blessed with showmanship.' It was the Angelina right leg flash of the 50s.

Since 1929 there have been plenty of iconic Oscar gowns, from Gwyneth Paltrow's candy pink Ralph Lauren gown she wore in 1999 to Kate Hudson's 2003 Versace dress hand sewn with 14-carat gold. It was at the Oscars where Sharon Stone paired a lilac Vera Wang skirt with a super casual Gap buttoned shirt and where Hilary Swank braved a navy backless Guy Laroche gown.

Award presenters Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at the 28th Annual Academy Awards, 1956

You may remember Grace Kelly's mint green satin dress she wore in 1955, which cost $4,000 to make and was the most expensive dress in Oscar history at that time. Who could also forget the Givenchy belted dress Audrey Hepburn wore to the 1954 Academy Awards. Audrey didn't spend the whole day getting pampered like starlets do nowadays, as she had just finished filming before the ceremony and barely had time to change let alone fix her makeup. She was still wearing her heavy stage make up when she accepted her Oscar for Roman Holiday.

Fashion at the Oscars shifted up a gear, when the Academy appointed an official style consultant in the late 80s who instructed that 'Everyone should be elegant. Everyone should look like a movie star.' Before the 1979 Academy Awards the show's costume consultant Rob Talsky instructed the female nominees: 'No comfort, not what's in style, but glamour with a capital G.' Amen.

Skip to 2013, the Oscars is still all about glitz and glamour, but these days it is a much more complicated operation. Couturiers spend weeks creating gowns to fit perfectly and stars are plucked, preened and squeezed into couture to be paraded in front of the world's fashion police. It is a fierce, fierce battle between fashion houses, for example 50 designers competed to dress Julia Roberts at the 2001 ceremony. It is highly political, as Charlize Theron insisted on being the only star to wear Gucci on the red carpet and, of course, Gucci agreed.

Valentino and Anne Hathaway at the Oscars, 2011

Valentino said that dressing Julia Roberts when she collected her Oscar for Erin Brockovich was the highlight of his career. 'I have dressed so many people but I have to be sincere. The person that made me feel so very, very happy was Julia Roberts. When she got the Academy Award for Erin Brockovich I watched it on television and really I was so excited that she appeared in my dress,' the designer gushed.

The monochrome vintage dress from his 1982 collection may go down as one of the most iconic gowns of all time, but her niece Emma Roberts called it the 'skunk dress.' Charming. Valentino is a popular choice for Oscar winning actresses, as Best Actress winners Cate Blanchett, Sophia Loren, Jessica Lange and Elizabeth Taylor all wore Valentino.

Still need proof of how much work goes into one Oscar winning gown? Let's take Cate Blanchett's Oscar winning yellow Valentino number - it was made by 10 seamstresses, took nearly three weeks of eight-hour days to make, used 11 yards of silk taffeta, and was delivered by 'the one person that Mr Valentino approved.' 

Ready to see the most iconic Oscar dresses of all time? See all the iconic frocks from Halle Berry's Elie Saab red and sheer bodice gown she wore in 2002 to Rooney Mara in white Givenchy at last year's ceremony in the gallery above. 

*It's official, we are about to explode with Oscars excitement. Bring on Sunday night!


Comments

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Patrick Mullins (Thu Feb 21 11:57:41 GMT 2013): Funny to see the size of some of them from 10 yrs ago. Things have changed!
Edita Rosenrot (Sun Mar 03 11:50:40 GMT 2013): Surely Gwyneth‘s pink Ralph Lauren dress counts as one of the worst Oscar dresses ever, not one of the best. It didn't even fit her properly!