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Let's start with what's arguably GP's most famous red carpet look to date: the pink Ralph Lauren princess gown she wore to collect her Best Actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1999. Fans insist she looked like a minimalist-chic Sleeping Beauty; critics argue the dress was too long and that it gaped in the boobs. As for me, I'm gonna go on record and say that this is probably one of the most iconic Academy Awards ensembles of all time. Good stuff, Gwyn.
Ah, BP and GP: the very epitome of a Hollywood golden couple (literally—get a load of those matching blonde 'dos). Two decades ago, the pair were inseparable, even going so far as to dress alike on the red carpet. But during this particular outing in 1995, Gwyneth proved she could, um, outshine her beau in more ways than one. At least if she'd decided to walk home from dinner that night, passing drivers would have spotted her from a mile away. Safety first, right?
It's ironic that for the London premiere of The Talented Mr. Ripley, a film in which she plays one of the best-dressed fictional ladies to ever be captured onscreen, Gwyneth would show up in...this. I actually like the sparkly shell—it looks like something Karl Lagerfeld or Olivier Theyskens might've dreamt up—but the same can't be said for the aqua clutch and matching boots.
This look's half Bollywood babe, half The Little Mermaid—and one hundred percent see-through, at least on top. Oddly, at this point, I'm not sure whether a bra would've helped the situation.
Meanwhile, at the 2002 Oscars, a bra would've worked wonders. Gwyneth even said so herself!
When it came time to promote the first Iron Man film, GP seemingly discovered just how amazing her legs really are. She then wasted no time in flaunting them in an array of crazy-short minidresses, including this...eerily human one. Notice how those eyes (uh, the ones on the dress' face, not Gwyneth's) follow you no matter where you move? Hmm.
Later on during the press tour, Gwyneth chose this skin-baring Stella McCartney number for a screening. I absolutely loved this dress, and was shocked by the amount of backlash the look received. If you've got it, flaunt it—right?
Another Iron Man movie, another chance to show a lot o' leg—this time in a pair of iridescent formal shorts. For the record, I'm pretty sure that only Gwyneth Paltrow and Zoe Saldana can properly pull off the elusive red carpet short. Feel free to disagree.
Here's the thing: that Versace dress, insanely sparkly though it may be, is pretty darn stunning. And had Gwyneth worn it as it was styled on the runway—i.e. without those equally shimmery tights—we suspect this look would've been a hit.
Fact: I saw Country Strong on opening night, and I loved it. I'm sure Gwynnie would've done the same—were she not tied up at the time. (Ba dum tssssss....)
Was the skintight catsuit a debatable choice? Sure. Are those neon pink feather earrings a bit wackadoodle? Definitely. But at least Gwynnie's not wearing Cee Lo's outfit.
When the actress turned up at the 2011 Emmys in this two-piece Emilio Pucci look, critics immediately argued that the top's tulle trim gave super-svelte Gwyneth the illusion of a muffin top. I think they were just jealous of her Tracy Anderson-toned abs. Also, wasn't the lady so ahead of the trend on this one?
I loved the sparkle-pocketed Prada Gwyneth wore to the 2012 Met Ball—but apparently very few people shared my views, claiming instead that the dress looked like a metallic apron. Nobody ever said Miuccia liked to play it safe.
At the following year's Met Ball, Gwyneth once again went against the grain—this time by choosing an ultra-feminine pink gown for the punk-themed evening. Well, if looking pretty is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
Apparently Gwyneth burned out on the appeal of her yoga-perfect legs during the Iron Man and Iron Man 2 promotional circuits—because by the time Iron Man 3 hit theaters, focus had shifted to her rear end. Or at least the sides of it. It goes without saying that the paparazzi and blogosphere had a field day with this one.