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Click through to see the 20 memorable Oscars gowns that made a major impact—for better or worse.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 1999
in ralph lauren
The year Gwynnie won Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love, she collected her award in this sweet princess gown that instantly made pink cool again. Yep, she was like the Elle Woods of the Oscars.
Hilary Swank, 2005
in Guy Laroche
Business in the front, party in the back—and perfectly fit for any Million Dollar Baby.
Nicole Kidman, 1997
in Christian Dior by John Galliano
Step aside, Tom! Nicole's striking chartreuse satin number stole the show and earned her style icon status in the late '90s.
Renee Zellweger, 2001
in Vintage Jean Desses
Looking sweeter than a slice of lemon chiffon pie, Renee lit up the Oscars in this canary-colored column.
Julia Roberts, 2001
in Vintage Valentino
American cinema's reigning sweetheart may have taken home a statuette for her portrayal of uber-bosomy Erin Brockovich that night, but we liked how she showed just a hint of chiffon-veiled décolletage in this iconic gown.
Lizzy Gardiner, 1995
in Her Own Design
This quirky costume designer may have won an Oscar for the looks she created for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but it was the self-made dress she wore on the podium that earned the most attention that night. Crafted from 254 expired American Express cards, it was later auctioned off for $12,650, with the proceeds going to amfAR. We're glad someone benefited from this red carpet disaster.
Michelle Williams, 2006
in Vera Wang
The whole mustard fashion craze started here, folks.
Cher, 1986
in Bob Mackie
When the '70s pop diva turned to longtime collaborator Mackie to make her something special for the Academy Awards, he whipped up this Vegas-inspired two-piece ensemble. Well, three pieces, technically, if you include that crazy headdress.
Zoe Saldana, 2010
in Givenchy haute Couture
The year Avatar became a pop cultural and cinematic sensation, its leading lady hit the red carpet in an avant-garde violet confection to match. (Blue, obviously, would've been far too literal.)
Cate Blanchett, 2005
in Valentino haute Couture
Cate scooped up the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her role in The Aviator this year, and fittingly looked like a golden goddess in this one-shouldered creation.
Sharon Stone, 1998
in Gap and Vera Wang
The Basic Instinct actress made waves when she paired her statement skirt with a button-down borrowed from her then-husband's closet for the big night. A perfect example of high-low on the red carpet.
Björk, 2001
in Marjan Pejoski
What happened to my sweet Björk?!
Anne Hathaway, 2011
in Valentino haute Couture
Over the course of her Oscar co-hosting gig with James Franco, Anne changed her outfit a staggering eight times (with a little help from her stylist Rachel Zoe, of course). We loved every single look, but it was the crimson Valentino she chose for the red carpet that really wowed us.
Angelina Jolie, 2012
in Atelier Versace
This might be the first dress to ever birth its own Twitter handle—but we suspect it won't be the last.
Halle Berry, 2002
in Elie Saab
The night Halle became the first black woman to win a Best Actress Oscar (for Monster's Ball), she did it in this sexy half-sheer floral design that spawned a million knockoffs. It was this gown that catapulted Saab into fashion's big leagues; these days, it's hard to find a red carpet on which he's not represented.
Marion Cotillard, 2008
in Jean Paul Gaultier
Marion reeled in a Best Actress trophy for her role in La Vie en Rose wearing this sequin, scaled halter dress. Hollywood hopefuls, take note: this is how you do a mermaid gown.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 2012
in Tom Ford
A cape? On the red carpet? Obviously, Gwyneth pulled this sartorial statement off with flying colors (er, in white).
Julianne Moore, 2003
in Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche
Cementing the popular belief that redheads look a-freakin'-mazing in green, Julianne looked stunning in her good friend Tom Ford's ruffle-front creation. From the fit to the fabric to those showstopping earrings, everything about this look just works perfectly.
Audrey Hepburn, 1954
in Hubert de Givenchy
It's dresses like this white floral stunner—not to mention those gamine good looks—that make Audrey a fixture on dorm-room posters and inspiration boards to this very day. So chic.
Céline Dion, 1999
in Christian Dior by John Galliano
Céline's got one of the most unforgettable voices in the biz—and this look, a white Dior suit worn backwards and topped with a jaunty matching fedora, is certainly hard to forget. You have to hand it to the singer for her daring approach, but...no. Just no.