With stars often channelling Old Hollywood glamour at the Oscars, it’s no surprise that vintage has been a popular choice on the red carpet over the years. In fact, it could be considered a good-luck charm: Julia Roberts won her Oscar for Best Actress in 2001 while wearing a black and white gown from Valentino’s autumn/winter 1992 couture collection; Reese Witherspoon wore a vintage Dior dress dating back to 1957 when she won Best Actress in 2006; while Penélope Cruz won Best Supporting Actress in 2009 in a 1950s Balmain gown.
Vintage also sends a powerful message from a sustainability perspective, with environmental campaigners Natalie Portman and Jane Fonda among those to have worn pre-loved pieces on the Oscars red carpet.
Below, see 17 of the best vintage dresses at the Oscars to date.
Winona Ryder, 2000
In a black strapless Pauline Trigère dress from the 1940s.
Julia Roberts, 2001
In a black and white gown from Valentino’s autumn/winter 1992 couture collection.
Renée Zellweger, 2001
In a lemon yellow Jean Dessès gown from the 1950s.
Chloë Sevigny, 2002
In a 1970s Holly Harp dress at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party.
Jennifer Garner, 2004
In a striking one-shouldered gown by Valentino from the 1970s.
In a vintage Versace gown.
Reese Witherspoon, 2006
In a 1950s Balmain gown.
Jennifer Lopez, 2006
In an olive green Jean Dessès gown dating back to 1959.
Penélope Cruz, 2009
In a strapless white Balmain gown from the 1950s.
Anne Hathaway, 2011
In a strapless red dress from Valentino’s autumn/winter 2002 couture collection.
Marisa Tomei, 2011
In a navy Charles James gown from the 1950s.
Natalie Portman, 2012
In a red polka-dot gown from Christian Dior’s spring/summer 1954 collection.
Emma Roberts, 2017
In a monochrome Armani Privé gown from spring/summer 2005.
Rita Moreno, 2018
In a brocade dress that she originally wore to the 1962 Oscars, when she won Best Supporting Actress.
Margot Robbie, 2020
In a 1990s Chanel couture gown.
Jane Fonda, 2020
In a red Elie Saab gown that she originally wore at Cannes Film Festival in 2014.
Kim Kardashian, 2020
In Alexander McQueen’s “Oyster dress” from spring/summer 2003 at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk