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30 Iconic Oscars Dresses Worthy of Their Own Award

Jan 14 2016 - 11:40am

Sports fanatics have the Super Bowl, but for fashion-lovers, it's Oscars night we count down to. We build our brackets, rustle up some snacks, and sit back with our friends to weigh in on every stunning dress that comes down the red carpet [1]. Every year we wait nervously for those looks, the ones that take our breath away.

The anticipation's been building for months, and we can hardly wait for Feb. 28 — the big day — to arrive. Who will be the standout star of 2016? Only time will tell. So, to tide us over, we've rounded up the 30 Oscars dresses we'll never forget [2].

Halle Berry at the 2002 Academy Awards

Halle wore an Elie Saab gown with a sheer bodice and a full skirt to the awards in 2002, where she became the first black woman to win an Oscar for best actress in a leading role.

Lupita Nyong'o at the 2014 Academy Awards

Lupita was the belle of the ball in this ethereal blue Prada gown.

Natalie Portman at the 2012 Academy Awards

The actress wore a strapless vintage gown by Christian Dior.

Nicole Kidman at the 1997 Academy Awards

Celebs wearing couture on the red carpet wasn't a new concept in 1997, but this dress looked so good on Nicole that it will go down in history as one of the best looks at the Oscars.

Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Academy Awards

Cate's lavender gown, created by Givenchy, looked like couture armor on the red carpet.

Emma Stone at the 2015 Academy Awards

In an unexpected move, Emma opted for a chartreuse custom Elie Saab gown in 2015.

Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2012 Academy Awards

This caped Tom Ford gown helped Gwyneth look like a superhero.

Zoe Saldana at the 2010 Academy Awards

Zoe Saldana [3] wore a purple confectionary creation by Givenchy couturier Riccardo Tisci.

Kerry Washington at the 2013 Academy Awards

Kerry's sparkly Miu Miu dress added a jolt of energy at the Oscars last year.

Nicole Kidman at the 2007 Academy Awards

The actress wore a red gown by Balenciaga's former designer Nicolas Ghesquière on the red carpet.

Michelle Williams at the 2006 Academy Awards

Vera Wang designed the sunny yellow dress Michelle chose for the red carpet in 2006.

Vanessa Paradis at the 2004 Academy Awards

The actress, with then-boyfriend Johnny Depp [4], wore a vintage Chanel gown on the red carpet.

Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Academy Awards

Angelina showed off plenty of leg in this strapless black velvet Versace gown in 2012.

Sharon Stone at the 1998 Academy Awards

Sharon stunned fashion observers everywhere when she tucked one of her husband's white Gap shirts into a ball skirt by Vera Wang.

Michelle Williams at the 2012 Academy Awards

The actress chose a strapless red lace gown by Louis Vuitton.

Cate Blanchett at the 2005 Academy Awards

The Valentino gown Cate wore in 2005 channeled old-school Hollywood glamour.

Sandra Bullock at the 2010 Academy Awards

Sandra looked like a winner — and become one later that evening — in this silver gown by Marchesa.

Renée Zellweger at the 2001 Academy Awards

Renée chose a very happy vintage dress by French designer Jean Dessès.

Natalie Portman at the 2005 Academy Awards

This Lanvin gown made Natalie look like a Greek goddess.

Diane Kruger at the 2010 Academy Awards

Diane chose a cream and black dress by Chanel for the big show in 2010.

Gwyneth Paltrow at the 1999 Academy Awards

This pink Ralph Lauren dress will go down in history as an Oscars classic.

Reese Witherspoon at the 2007 Academy Awards

The actress wore a tiered Nina Ricci gown dyed varying degrees of purple to the awards in 2007.

Sofia Coppola at the 2004 Academy Awards

The filmmaker supported her longtime friend Marc Jacobs when she chose one of his dresses for the red carpet.

Hilary Swank at the 2005 Academy Awards

This backless navy blue Guy Laroche dress gave Hilary an element of polish and elegance.

Uma Thurman at the 2000 Academy Awards

Though it was nearly the same color as the red carpet, this Alberta Ferretti gown stood out at the 2000 Oscars.

Beyoncé at the 2005 Academy Awards

A vintage Versace dress accentuated Beyoncé's curves.

Julia Roberts at the 2001 Academy Awards

Julia Roberts [5]'s simple yet stunning Valentino gown carried her from the red carpet to the winners' room.

Rooney Mara at the 2012 Academy Awards

Rooney's elegant white Givenchy gown still had plenty of bite — just like her character in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Academy Awards

Jennifer's pale Dior couture gown made her look like a princess — that is, until she fell in it while accepting her award.

Charlize Theron at the 2013 Academy Awards

The simplicity of this Dior gown didn't stop it from being one of the most stunning dresses on the red carpet in 2013.


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