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The 51 Best Oscars Red Carpet Dresses of All Time


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The Academy Awards are one of the most-watched red carpet events in the world (along with the Met Gala, of course). The 94th Oscars on March 27 will surely deliver plenty of memorable fashion moments. Hollywood’s brightest stars are expected to hit a physical red carpet in their most dramatic looks, since stylists often keep their best gowns and suits for last. In honor of the grand upcoming event, Vogue is looking back at some of the very best Oscar dresses of all time.

Selected by our editors (past and present), this definitive list of our top Oscar fashion moments revisits many iconic looks. A crowd favorite was Janelle Monáe in a caped Ralph Lauren dress last year, as well as Lupita Nyong’o’s sky-blue Prada gown from 2014, when the actress was nominated for 12 Years a Slave. Another standout was Nicole Kidman’s unexpected Balenciaga halter dress with a dramatic bow detail, which she wore in 2007. And who could forget Charlize Theron’s glittering Gucci gown from 2004, when she accepted Best Actress for Monster in, looking the part of a true Hollywood star?

Many picks are some of the Oscars’s more unexpected style moments, too: Céline Dion’s backwards Christian Dior tuxedo, Björk’s Marjan Pejoski swan dress, and Cameron Diaz’s slightly boho dress by Emanuel Ungaro Couture, among others. As for throwback hits, Barbra Streisand’s sheer jumpsuit by Arnold Scaasi, worn in 1969, is proof that having fun on the carpet always wins, as does Salma Hayek’s Armani look in 1997, complete with a tiara.

See these and more of Vogue’s votes for the best Oscars dresses below.

Zendaya in Valentino, 2021

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Zendaya rarely misses on any step and repeat, but her 2021 Oscars dress is one of her all-time best. The arresting yellow hue is a statement alone, but I love that she opted for a modern take on the classic, floor-length gown via a tasteful cutout. The design felt fresh and fun, and the perfect balance between glamour and ease. —Christian Allaire, Vogue Fashion & Style Writer

Amanda Seyfried in Giorgio Armani, 2021

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Designed by Giorgio Armani himself, Amanda Seyfriend’s dramatic, red tulle creation was inspired by hibiscus flowers. It continued her winning streak of classic, Old Hollywood style that she had been embracing all awards season long. —Christian Allaire, Vogue Fashion & Style Writer

Regina King in Louis Vuitton, 2021

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Regina King opted for a bold silhouette in Louis Vuitton—and the risk-taking move totally paid off. The jaw-dropping dress took over 62,000 sequins, 3,900 crystals, and 140 hours to produce. —Christian Allaire, Vogue Fashion & Style Writer

Janelle Monáe in Ralph Lauren, 2020

Photo: Getty

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