Gold statues and nominations aside, we all know the real reason we watch the Oscars is the red carpet.
From glamorous gowns to total fashion flops, no night in celebrity style is quite as exciting as the Academy Awards. Who will dazzle? Who will be dubbed "worst dressed" in 2013?
After 85 years of Oscars fashion – and thousands of dresses sashaying along the red carpet – we've rounded up the best (and most cringe-worthy) red carpet looks of all time.
What do you think? What's your favourite red carpet moment? What's the worst?
Demi Moore, 1989
We’re glad Demi stuck to her day job: in 1989, she designed her own look for the red carpet and the result was not pretty. From the heavy velvet train, to the gold push-up bra, this has to be one of the worst Oscar looks ever. We understand it was the ‘80s, but as a hard rule, bicycle shorts never belong on a red carpet.
Audrey Hepburn, 1953
Besides the LBD in <em>Breakfast at Tiffany’s</em>, this Hubert de Givenchy gown became one of Audrey’s most famous looks, and for good reason – the delicate flowers and darling silhouette accented her feminine, elfin features beautifully. She accepted her award for <em>Best Actress</em> for her role in <em>Roman Holiday</em> with trademark grace and poise, and the ‘Audrey look’ we know today was born.
Cher’s never been one to shy away from outrageous red carpet looks and in 1986, she upstaged even herself by showing up to the Oscars in this infamous, midriff-baring creation by Bob Mackie. The <em>Las Vegas Showgirls</em> headpiece kind of made her look like a sea urchin -- albeit, a sea urchin with a rockin’ bod.
Michelle Williams, 2006
In 2006, Michelle Williams won an Academy Award for her role in <em>Brokeback Mountain</em> wearing a vintage-inspired Vera Wang gown. While some critics disliked the daring saffron hue on her, we think the bold colour – paired with a red lip and soft updo – suited lovely Michelle to a tee.
Geena Davis, 1992
Created by costume designers Ruth Meyers and Bill Hargate, Geena Davis’s 1992 “mullet dress” was a bulgy mess. She was nominated that year for her role in <em>Thelma and Lousie</em>, but remembered best for her kooky red carpet look.
Kate Hudson, 2003
Hollywood’s golden girl never looked more radiant. In 2003, Kate Hudson showed up at the Oscars in a sequined Atelier Versace gown, complete with hand sewn lace embroidery and paired with stunning diamond jewelry. Accentuating the look with a relaxed updo and a gorgeous gold clutch, Kate was red carpet perfection.
Celine Dion, 1999
The Canadian-grown diva hit a low note in 1992 with this backward Dior suit. Pairing the baggy, twisted tuxedo with an over-sized fedora and sunglasses, the ridiculous outfit landed our girl on all of the worst-dressed lists that year.
BEST: Penélope Cruz, 2007
Critics were divided over Cruz’s Versace gown in 2007 – the dramatic look was not for the faint of heart, and yes, there were a lot of feathers – but we think the Spanish actress pulled it off. The pale blush colour looked stunning on her, while a sleek bun kept all the drama on the dress.
Who could forget the infamous swan dress Björk wore in 2001? The Icelandic singer-songwriter’s feathery costume was universally critiqued and goes down in Oscar history as one of the worst dresses of all time. Props to Björk, however, for achieving such a memorable look– we’re still talking about ‘the swan dress’ over a decade later.
Hilary Swank, 2005
In 2005, Hilary Swank was at the top of her career – and her fashion game. The backless Guy Laroche gown showed off her million dollar body, and quickly became one of the most iconic Oscar dresses of all time – though we’re still wondering how she managed to keep it all in place.
Tyra Banks, 2000
This may have been before her days as a <em>Top Model</em> judge, but Banks should have known better. The shiny purple satin and massive tulle skirt reminds us of bad ‘80s prom dress.
Grace Kelly, 1955
For the 27th Academy Awards, Grace Kelly donned a mint-green gown by Edith Head, winning Best Actress for her role in <em>The Country Girl </em>while making major waves on the fashion scene. The silk material for the dress alone reportedly cost $4,000, at the time making it the most expensive Oscar dress ever made.
Kim Bassinger, 1990
More proof that dress-designing should be left to the pros: Kim Bassinger decided to go the DIY route when she showed up to the 1990 Oscars in her own creation – a massive, white satin ball-gown, which she bizarrely paired with a one-armed military jacket.
Mila Kunis, 2011
This lavender gown looked gorgeous on Mila, who in 2011 opted for a soft, understated look in a year where bold gowns took precedence. The Elie Saab dress’s incredibly low neckline brought some sex appeal to the layers of chiffon lace, while a smoky eye and romantic updo highlighted the <em>Black Swan</em> actress’s natural beauty.
Gwenyth Paltrow, 2002
The usually sleek Gwenyth Paltrow looked uncharacteristically sloppy in this Alexander McQueen dress in 2002, in part due to her decision to leave her bra at home. Raccoon eye makeup – and her terrible posture! – weren’t doing her any favours, either.
Nicole Kidman, 1997
For the 69th Annual Academy Awards, Kidman chose a unique, green-embroidered dress that made her stand out on the red carpet. The haute-couture look marked John Galiano's debut at Christian Dior in 1997 -- his first year at the fashion house.
Hilary Swank, 2003
Beware pink tulle on the red carpet: The Christian Dior ballerina dress Swank wore in 2003 was universally panned by fashion critics for making the Hollywood heavyweight look like a little girl playing dress-up.
Keira Knightley, 2006
Now this is how you do couture! This shimmery, bourdeux-coloured mermaid gown by Vera Wang embodied all the drama that is The Oscars. A stylish ponytail and bold statement necklace completed the striking look – all without aging the young starlet.
Faith Hill, 2002
Faith Hill couldn’t decide on a dress colour in 2002, so she decided to show up looking like an Easter egg.
Elizabeth Taylor, 1961
The violet-eyed beauty snagged a <em>Best Actress</em> win for <em>Butterfield 8 </em>in 1961, and wowed Oscar audiences in a gown that embodied the mega-star’s inimitable style. Pairing a pale yellow top with a flower-embroidered white skirt, she accessorized with a red rose appliqué on her hip, and (of course) a pair of ridiculously decadent pearl and diamond earrings.
Kate Hudson, 2001
Hudson made a fashion blunder in 2001 when she stepped onto the red carpet in this purple Stella McCartney creation. The dress itself wasn’t actually so terrible; rather, bad styling may have been to blame. We could have done without the collared shoulder-piece, the bright fuchsia lipstick, and the poodle-inspired updo.
Kate Winslet, 2002
Kate put British designer Ben de Lisi on the map when she wore this one-shoulder design with flower detailing at the Academy Awards in 2002. The dress fit Kate like a glove and inspired a succession of one-shouldered red Oscar gowns for years to come.
Uma Thurman, 2004
Uma looks amazing in almost everything, but this 2004 getup baffled us. Part-pirate, part-peasant girl, the Christian Lacroux gown was a poufy mess that didn’t do the <em>Kill Bill</em> actress justice.
Cate Blanchett, 2005
A pale yellow Valentino dress with burgundy accents was a very shrewd choice for Blanchett, who in 2005 took home the Oscar for <em>Best Supporting Actress</em> for her portrayal of Hollywood icon Katharine Hepburn in <em>The Aviator.</em>
Juliette Binoche, 1997
Channeling the Queen of Hearts in a heavy velvet gown, Juliette Bionche looked anything but regal when she accepted her Oscar for <em>Best Supporting Actress</em> in <em>The English Patient</em> in 1997. She looked more like the bride of Dracula than an Oscar-winner.
Charlize Theron, 2004
Theron won <em>Best Actress</em> for her role in <em>Monster</em> in this glittering Gucci gown, proving she was anything but. The slinky dress showed off her amazing curves, while her wavy, old-Hollywood hair was pure glamour.
Ashley Judd, 2001
2001 was a bad year for lilac, with Judd trying a bit too hard to channel the 1920s in an unflattering satin dress and piles of jewelry. This flapper-inspired look was a flop.
Gwenyth Paltrow, 2011
Minimalism works for Gwenyth -- she positively shined in Calvin Klein at the 2011 Academy Awards. Pops of colour from Louis Vuitton jewelry and simple straight hair complemented the shimmery look.
Jennifer Connelly, 2002
Jennifer Connelly may have won <em>Best Supporting Actress</em> for a <em>Beautiful Mind</em>, but the dress she wore to the 2002 Oscars was far from beautiful. The layered taupe gown washed out Connelly’s pale skin, and that nonsensical beige scarf made the whole thing just look blah.
Angelina Jolie, 2012
It was the leg heard ‘round the world: Angelina Jolie’s jutting pose may have been a bit over-the-top, but it started an Internet frenzy of Twitter handles and animated .gifs dedicated to the glamorous gam. The dark velvet Versace dress will no doubt go down in Oscar history – all because of a little leg.
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