Oscars 2020: From Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn to Angelina Jolie - The best in fashion, ranked

Interestingly the red carpet has turned green on several notable occasions when stars shone in vintage or custom-made gowns that have a history of their own and a narrative attached to them. Here’s our choice of the best from the red carpet, ranked according to the year of appearance.
Here’s our choice of the best from the red carpet, ranked according to the year of appearance.(Pinterest)
Here’s our choice of the best from the red carpet, ranked according to the year of appearance.(Pinterest)
Updated on Feb 10, 2020 10:01 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Delhi | BySaumya Sharma

The red carpet is all about being green and dressing responsibly now with Hollywood taking their efforts to reduce carbon footprints a notch higher this awards season. For the recently concluded 2020 BAFTAs, guests were invited to consider wearing a sustainable design or repeat an outfit they’d already worn before at the award ceremony. The Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice Awards galas all served plant-based menus, instead of steak dinners that are typical of celebrity-packed events. The Oscars too will be serving a 70 per cent plant-based menu this time. While sustainability is a widespread discussion in fashion, questions have been raised towards the ‘greenism’ phenomena in the fashion industry.

Speaking of the expected fashion tonight at the Oscars, a stylist predicts that this year will be a return to extravagance in terms of colour, shapes, sequins on the red carpet. Before the 1990s, several celebrities chose their red carpet dresses. Oscars fashion history is often remembered for the extraordinary and eccentric outfit choices that included torn denim, sequinned jumpsuits and even Indian headdresses on some actors.

Also read: Oscar’s 2020: The much-coveted 24-karat gold-plated knight is worth only Rs 72

The New York Times asked in 2004, “Does the glamour of the Golden Globes steal the scene from Oscar?”, observing that the potential winners and nominees offered designers more opportunity to have their work featured on the red carpet. One of the most-talked-about red carpet gowns was the green Versace gown J.Lo wore to the Grammy Awards in 2000 (and was seen in again a short while ago, not to mention the debate about how Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ Ralph and Russo gown at the 2020 Grammys was inspired from Jennifer Lopez’s look).

Interestingly the red carpet has turned green on several notable occasions when stars shone in vintage or custom-made gowns that have a history of their own and a narrative attached to them. Here’s our choice of the best from the red carpet, ranked according to the year of appearance.

Marilyn Monroe, 1951: was never awarded or nominated for an Academy Award, but she managed to be a head-turner on the red carpet in 1951 when she was asked to present an award. The actress chose a black tulle dress with a deep neckline for the do.

Audrey Hepburn, 1954: This exquisite gown made by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn is all about style and elegance. The dress even has its own Wikipedia page!

An icon on and off the screen, Audrey Hepburn often worked with the house of Givenchy for her red carpet appearances and her films. Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy that she’s seen wearing in the opening scene of the 1961 romantic comedy film Breakfast at Tiffany’s is cited as one of the most iconic items of clothing in the history of twentieth-century fashion and probably the most famous little black dress (LBD) of all time.


+ +

Elizabeth Taylor, 1961: The actress opted for a Dior dress that enhanced her slim waist for the 1961 Oscars when she won the Best Actress award for her role in A Venus in Mink.

Also read| Oscar’s 2020: Lesser known interesting facts about the Academy Awards 2020

Barbra Streisand, 1969: Barbra Streisand took a slight detour for owning fashion on the Oscar red carpet in 1969. It was a trouser suit by Arnold Scaasi instead of a traditional gown that has been highly debated as both the best and worst outfit since. What’s more, the outfit turned out to be completely transparent which the actress later confessed that she had no idea the lights on stage would shine through.

Farrah Fawcett, 1978: The actress’ gilded Stephen Burrows gown has spawned a million replicas for the disco set after it was first seen on her at the coveted awards ceremony. The same year, Goldie Hawn too exuded effortless glamour girl in a metallic wrap dress.


+ +

Elizabeth Hurley, 1995: The model, actress and the quintessential Versace girl must have rained on everyone’s fashion parade that evening back in 1995 in a sparkling curve-hugging dress.

Sharon Stone, 1998: The actor’s identified by her offbeat roles but she even chose to wear something entirely different at the 1998 Oscars. She walked down the Oscars red carpet in a lavender satin Vera Wang skirt with a men’s button-down shirt.

Halle Berry, 2002: She became the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress but her partially sheer floral gown by Elie Saab is one we love to look back on.

Kate Hudson, 2003: Her champagne Atelier Versace gown is no less than the stuff Hollywood royalty is made of.

Michelle Williams, 2006: In a saffron Vera Wang dress, Michelle Williams created one of the most memorable fashion moments. The actress had attended the ceremony with her then-boyfriend, the late Heath Ledger, who was nominated for his role in Brokeback Mountain.

Reese Witherspoon, 2006: The actress chose the vintage route which proved to be a sartorial success on the red carpet. It was a vintage (1955) Christian Dior gown for the evening.

Nicole Kidman, 2007: The actress’s red Balenciaga gown was the style equivalent of businesswoman meets party girl with its bow draping from her neck into a train behind her.

Marion Cotillard, 2008: French actress Marion Cotillard stood out in her Jean Paul Gaultier dress that looked as though it was made of fish scales.

Penélope Cruz, 2009: The actress went vintage in a 1950 Pierre Balmain couture for her Oscars 2009 look.

Anne Hathaway, 2011: The actor’s hosting gig with James Franco must not have gone down well in Oscars history but her Valentino dress from the fall 2002 couture collection surely became a talking point.

Meryl Streep, 2012: The powerhouse talent had always stayed safe in the fashion department until 2012 when she wore a bold Lanvin number for the ceremony. She was awarded Best Actress for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady that year.

Michelle Williams, 2012: The cutesy peplum made a comeback on Michelle Williams’ red tulle Louis Vuitton gown.

Angelina Jolie, 2012: If there’s the one dress we will always remember from the Oscars red carpet, it will be this one Angelina Jolie wore that also spawned a million memes. Angeline Jolie’s Atelier Versace black gown with a thigh-high slit came to be called “Angie leg” since this appearance.

Gwyneth Paltrow, 2012: Another trend that started the same night was Gwyneth Paltrow’s caped trend for Tom Ford. The dress gave way to popular looks since from cocktail dresses to outerwear.


+ +

Jennifer Aniston, 2013: Jennifer Aniston presented an award in this crimson Valentino Haute Couture gown.

Jennifer Lawrence, 2013: J Law signed up as the face of Dior in 2012 and the French brand has dressed this gifted actor for all important moments since, including this classy gown she wore for her Oscar 2013 win. Remember her graceful fall as she went up on stage to accept the award? Loved the confidence with which she owned this moment!


Lupita Nyong’o, 2015: A style icon in her own right, Lupita Nyong’o wore a baby-blue Prada dress, followed by an intricate pearl-covered Calvin Klein Collection gown.

Lady Gaga, 2016: It’s difficult to not appreciate a sea of beautiful gowns on the Oscars red carpet but Lady Gaga has always done it differently. This Brandon Maxwell jumpsuit looked like an haute couture gown that Lady Gaga carried with much aplomb.

In 2019 however, Lady Gaga channelled Audrey Hepburn in a custom, sculptural black gown by Alexander McQueen that she paired with a 128-carat Tiffany diamond necklace elbow-length black leather gloves. Her live performance with Bradley Cooper too became one of the talking points that year.

The Oscars are not only about awarding great roles, hearing inspiring speeches or enjoying the musical presentations. Fashion, style and glamour is an important part of Hollywood’s most important evening. The fascination with Oscar outfits is eventually what stays with us once the awards wrap up. Dressing for the Academy Awards is serious business because the choice of an Oscar-worthy dress is almost as imperative as an Oscar-worthy role.

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

Close Story
Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, December 05, 2021