The Oscars are just around the corner and that can only mean one thing — the hottest red carpet of the year is almost here! The award ceremony has been the site of so many iconic fashion moments, and the stars who have taken home the trophy for best actress never fail to wear the most glamorous dresses imaginable.
Take a look back at nearly a century of best actress winners and the gowns they wore for their big night.
2018: Frances McDormand for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Frances McDormand accepted the award for her role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” while wearing a long-sleeve gold and black ombre gown. The outspoken actress used the opportunity to introduce the world to the term “inclusion rider.”
2017: Emma Stone for “La La Land”
Emma Stone took a cue from flappers with this gold, fringe-covered number in 2017 for her role in “La La Land.”
2016: Brie Larson for “Room”
Brie Larson took home the gold for her role in “Room” wearing a royal blue Gucci dress. She accessorized the pleated gown with a large, pearl-encrusted belt and matching earrings.
2015: Julianne Moore for “Still Alice”
Julianne Moore chose a stunning Chanel design for her big night. The white column gown was covered in sequins and featured black and white floral appliques … not unlike those on Olivia de Havilland’s dress from 1950. As they say in fashion, everything that’s old is new again!
2014: Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine”
The statuesque actress looked like she had stepped out of a fairy tale in this nude Armani Prive design. The gown features intricate floral embellishments all throughout the bodice and skirt for a magical effect.
2013: Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Jennifer Lawrence stepped out in a gorgeous Dior gown featuring a strapless neckline and large mermaid silhouette at the hem. It’s the kind of couture creation any girl would dream of wearing, but the large skirt caused Lawrence to trip on her way up to accepting the award. At least she was able to laugh it off and look great doing it!
2012: Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady”
The incomparable Meryl Streep took home her third Oscar playing Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” in 2012. The star took home the award while wearing a golden wrap-style dress from Lanvin.
2011: Natalie Portman for “Black Swan”
Natalie Portman took home the Oscar for her work in “Black Swan” and looked stunning in a purple gown from fashion-forward brand Rodarte. The elegant neckline accentuated her growing baby bump!
2010: Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side”
Sandra Bullock was radiant in Marchesa for her big night! The star chose a metallic gown with a sheer bodice and a figure-hugging skirt with a small train. A bold pink lip added some color to the monochromatic look.
2009: Kate Winslet for “The Reader”
Kate Winslet took home her first Oscar in 2009 for her work in “The Reader,” and she looked absolutely regal in this slate grey, one-shoulder gown.
2008: Marion Cotillard for “La Vie en Rose”
Marion Cotillard looked like an Art Deco mermaid in the unbelievable Jean Paul Gaultier gown she wore to the 2008 Oscars. This stunning look cemented her spot as one of Hollywood’s most glamorous ingenues.
2007: Helen Mirren for “The Queen”
In 2007, Helen Mirren took home the gold in a gilded gown by Christian Lacroix. The dress featured a flowing chiffon skirt and an intricately beaded bodice.
2006: Reese Witherspoon for “Walk the Line”
When Reese Witherspoon took home her Oscar for “Walk the Line,” she wore a vintage gown from Christian Dior. The actress told InStyle that she still has the stunning gown but she doesn’t see herself wearing it again. “Maybe (my daughter) Ava will — it would make a pretty wedding dress.” We can’t agree more!
2005: Hilary Swank for “Million Dollar Baby”
One year earlier, Hilary Swank embraced the exposed back trend in a navy Guy Laroche gown. The plunging back was unquestionably one of the most talked-about gowns of the evening.
2004: Charlize Theron for “Monster”
After her nearly unrecognizable performance in “Monster,” Charlize Theron stepped out onto the red carpet looking like the stunning movie star she is. Theron wore a body-hugging Gucci gown embellished with delicate beading and an open back.
2003: Nicole Kidman for “The Hours”
Nicole Kidman took home the Oscar for her work in “The Hours” and wore a simple Jean Paul Gaultier gown with asymmetrical straps. She paired the look with delicate chandelier earrings.
2002: Halle Berry for “Monster’s Ball”
Halle Berry’s monumental best actress win is just as memorable as the dress she wore when accepting the Oscar. She chose an Elie Saab gown that was completely sheer to the waist, except for a large, strategically placed floral applique at the bust.
2001: Julia Roberts for “Erin Brockovich”
In 2001, Julia Roberts made the unique decision to wear a vintage Valentino gown. It was a trendsetting move that sparked plenty of followers in the years to come.
2000: Hillary Swank for “Boys Don’t Cry”
For the first Academy Awards ceremony of the new millennium, Hillary Swank wore an olive green, drop-waist gown and an insanely gorgeous diamond necklace that delicately rested over her decolletage for an elegant effect.
1999: Gwyneth Paltrow for “Shakespeare in Love”
Gwyneth Paltrow’s striking pink Ralph Lauren gown was an instant classic. The slicked-back chignon and delicate choker necklace completed the princess-worthy look.
1998: Helen Hunt for “As Good as It Gets”
Helen Hunt also chose a simple silhouette for the awards show. She wore an ice blue Gucci gown with a matching shawl. Her pulled-back hairstyle further accentuated the sleek, modern vibe of the look.
1997: Frances McDormand for “Fargo”
Frances McDormand wore a monchromatic look for the 1997 Oscars. She wore a cobalt satin gown with an empire waist and simple straps to pick up the Academy Award for her work in “Fargo.”
1996: Susan Sarandon for “Dead Man Walking”
In a departure from the minimalist gowns from the previous years, Susan Sarandon decided to go all out for the 1996 Oscars. She wore a silk Dolce and Gabbana ballgown in a bronze color.
1995: Jessica Lange for “Blue Sky”
A year earlier, Jessica Lange took home the award for her work in “Blue Sky.” She wore a black Calvin Klein dress with sheer overlay that featured a pattern of leaves across her chest and arms.
1994: Holly Hunter for “The Piano”
In 1994, Holly Hunter was nominated in both the best actress and best supporting actress categories. She took home the statuette for best actress and wore a sophisticated Vera Wang creation for the event.
1993: Emma Thompson for “Howards End”
Emma Thompson went with a monochromatic look for her big night. She chose an emerald gown from designer Caroline Charles. The dress featured a chiffon skirt and an all-sequin bodice that the actress paired with shoes in the same bold hue.
1992: Jodie Foster for “The Silence of the Lambs”
Just three years after taking home her first Oscar, Jodie Foster won again in 1992 and chose a demure outfit for the occasion. She wore a white Armani tuxedo jacket with shimmering pants and white gloves.
1991: Kathy Bates for “Misery”
In 1991, Kathy Bates wore a velvet Donna Karan number to pick up her big award. The turtleneck dress came complete with big shoulder pads that were even further accentuated by beading throughout.
RELATED: Are shoulder pads back in style?
1990: Jessica Tandy
Jessica Tandy wore a two piece Armani set for the big night, pairing it with a set of dramatic statement earrings.
1989: Jodie Foster for “The Accused”
Jodie Foster won her first Oscar in 1989 and chose a ruched dress with a high-low skirt and plenty of bustling at the back. The style seems like it would have been appropriate for both the young actress at the Academy Awards and a high schooler on her way to prom.
1988: Cher for “Moonstruck”
There’s never been a more outrageous Oscars gown than the one worn by Cher in 1988. The Bob Mackie creation was almost entirely sheer save for some strategically placed beading. But the superstar didn’t have to worry about being cold, because the elaborate design came with a matching velvet shawl.
1987: Marlee Matlin for “Children of a Lesser God”
Matlin’s detailed lilac number was designed by Theoni V. Aldredge. In a 2012 interview, she said the white flowers in her hair and black glasses were a last-minute decision thanks to her hairdresser and boyfriend, respectively.
1986: Geraldine Page for “The Trip to Bountiful”
For her one and only Oscars win after seven nominations, Page wore a black and red dress designed by Gail Cooper-Hecht. The dramatic, red-and-black cape-like shawl only added to the drama of her win.
1985: Sally Field for “Places in the Heart”
Sally Field paired this effortless black dress by Holly Harp with a white necklace that looked like a ribbon or shoelace.
1984: Shirley MacLaine for “Terms of Endearment”
MacLaine wore a beaded Fabrice dress suit to the event. “Terms of Endearment” won five awards that night, including MacLaine’s, but the real winner might be this classy peach outfit.
1983: Meryl Streep for “Sophie’s Choice”
For her fourth nomination and second win, Streep wore a floor-length golden caftan with sequined embroidery that sparkled all night long. Pregnant with her daughter Mamie Gummer, that expectant-mom glow added extra shine.
1982: Katharine Hepburn for “On Golden Pond”
Katharine Hepburn may have won four Academy Awards, but she never collected them in person, meaning that there are, unfortunately, no dresses for the Hollywood star! It’s certain that they would have been just as legendary as she was.
1981: Sissy Spacek for “Coal Miner’s Daughter”
Sissy Spacek accepted the best actress award for her role in “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 1981. For the big night she chose a jumpsuit with metallic threads woven throughout the sleeves and pants to create the illusion of stripes.
1980: Sally Field for “Norma Rae”
Sally Field ushered in the ’80s with big hair and a simple but stunning dress. The cocktail dress featured a floral tulle laid over a body-hugging white dress.
1979: Jane Fonda for “Coming Home”
In 1979, Jane Fonda took home the Oscar for “Coming Home” and wore a paisley patterned dress for the occasion. The column gown with bell sleeves was also embroidered with sequins throughout for an added touch of sparkle.
1978: Diane Keaton for “Annie Hall”
Diane Keaton was channeling her Oscar winning character, “Annie Hall,” at the 50th Annual Academy Awards. Instead of opting for a gown, she chose a long skirt and an over-sized linen blazer paired with a buttoned up shirt and a scarf. It might not have been the obvious red carpet choice, but it certainly was a memorable one!
1977: Faye Dunaway for “Network”
Faye Dunaway wore a dramatic yet simple black dress for her 1977 win. The robe-like gown was topped off with a white belt and multiple rings.
1976: Louise Fletcher for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Fletcher wore a pale, sheer Alfred Fiandaca gown for her win as Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” She made history at the ceremony by giving part of her acceptance speech in sign language!
1975: Ellen Burstyn for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”
Ellen Burstyn had a Broadway conflict, missing the ceremony to star in “Same Time, Next Year.” She asked Martin Scorsese to accept the award and thank himself.
1974: Glenda Jackson for “A Touch of Class”
Jackson didn’t go to the ceremony for either of her big wins in the ’70s, saying that she felt she didn’t “earn” the awards. She did attend the ceremonies in 1972 and 1976, but didn’t win either time.
1973: Liza Minnelli for “Cabaret”
Liza Minnelli’s bright Halston yellow dress matched her “Cabaret” character’s vivacious personality. She also wore a colorful, patterned choker and a long gold necklace.
1972: Jane Fonda for “Klute”
Jane Fonda wore a two-piece Yves Saint Laurent number that also served as a statement — she used the sharp suit to protest the Vietnam War and simultaneously support the women’s liberation movement, saying she “was not dressing for men.”
1971: Glenda Jackson for “Women in Love”
Glenda Jackson was a no-show for her first Oscar nomination. Actress and writer Juliet Mills accepted the award on her behalf.
1970: Maggie Smith for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”
Maggie Smith did not attend the 1970 ceremony because she was appearing in a play in London at the time. A few weeks later, Lauren Bacall handed her the statue backstage at the Tony Awards.
1969: Barbara Streisand for “Funny Girl”
Barbara Streisand chose between two very different outfits for the 1969 Oscars and ultimately went with a sheer, sequined pantsuit with a Peter Pan collar. She said in a recent interview that she didn’t realize it would become sheer when the lights hit it and she intended on staying more conservative for the event. We’re glad she didn’t, because the bold look has now become iconic!
1969: Katharine Hepburn for “The Lion in Winter”
Katharine Hepburn, who won more best actress Academy Awards than anyone else (a record that remains unbroken!) never attended because she didn’t believe in the notion of prizes.
1968: Katharine Hepburn for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”
Again, Hepburn skipped the Oscars — not once in all of her 12 nominations did she go to the ceremony.
1967: Elizabeth Taylor for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Elizabeth Taylor took home the Oscar in 1968 and her gown for the occasion was extra ornate! She chose a sequin shift dress with feather adorned cuffs. She paired the bold dress with even more bold jewels for an over-the-top, amazing look.
1966: Julie Christie for “Darling”
Just a year earlier, the shifting fashions of the decade played out onstage when Julie Christie took home the gold while wearing an iridescent gold turtleneck gown with mod-style hoop earrings. Perhaps the most surprising part of Christie’s look was the fact that she made the dress herself!
1965: Julie Andrews for “Mary Poppins”
Julie Andrews wore an empire-waist gown when she won her Oscar for playing Mary Poppins. The stunning star paired the look with long white gloves and a bib-style necklace.
1964: Patricia Neal for “Hud”
When “Hud” was initially released, everyone thought Neal would be nominated for best supporting actress, but she was nominated for best actress instead. She didn’t attend the 1964 ceremony.
1963: Anne Bancroft for “The Miracle Worker”
In 1963, Anne Bancroft was starring in the Broadway run of “Mother Courage.” Due to her schedule, couldn’t make the ceremony. Joan Crawford accepted the award on her behalf and gave it to her a month later.
1962: Sophia Loren for “Two Women”
Sophia Loren’s win for “Two Women” was the first time an actor won for a foreign language film — but she was too nervous to attend the ceremony, later saying that she thought she’d faint if she actually won. The award was given to her in her Rome apartment two weeks later.
1961: Elizabeth Taylor for “BUtterfield 8”
Elizabeth Taylor did not hold back in this dramatic Christian Dior gown. The soft yellow bodice and and white skirt are accented by a silk ribbon belt with a large floral applique.
1960: Simone Signoret for “Room at the Top”
In 1960, Simone Signoret chose a black gown made of Swiss-dot textured fabric that delicately draped over the shoulders for an elegant look. She accessorized the dress with a long diamond brooch at the waist.
1959: Susan Hayward for “I Want to Live!”
In 1959, Susan Hayward took home the Oscar in another dark dress. Hayward’s gown featured delicate straps and was accessorized with dazzling pearl and diamond earrings. The gown was remarkably similar to the one worn by Joanne Woodward a year earlier.
1958: Joanne Woodward for “The Three Faces of Eve”
Joanne Woodward took home the gold for her role in “The Three Faces of Eve” in 1958. The actress chose a strapless silk gown with dark floral appliques strategically placed throughout the skirt.
1957: Ingrid Bergman for “Anastasia”
“Anastasia” marked Bergman’s return to the screen after a scandalous affair with writer and director Roberto Rossellini. However, she didn’t attend the ceremony — instead, her friend Cary Grant accepted on her behalf.
1956: Anna Magnani for “The Rose Tattoo”
“The Rose Tattoo” marked Magnani’s first English-speaking role in Hollywood. Magnani didn’t attend the 1956 ceremony, so co-star Marisa Pavan, who played her daughter, accepted the award on her behalf. When an American journalist called to tell Magnani she’d won, she believed he was joking, despite her other wins for the role.
1955: Grace Kelly for “The Country Girl”
Though she wasn’t yet Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly exuded Hollywood royalty in this mint silk gown designed by Edith Head.
1954: Audrey Hepburn for “Roman Holiday”
The style icon was picture perfect in a white Givenchy gown at the 1954 Academy Awards. The actress had an affinity for Givenchy’s style after the design house costumed her for “Sabrina.” So when it came time to choose a dress for the Oscars, she went with a boat-necked number with floral embroidery and a belted waist.
1953: Shirley Booth for “Come Back, Little Sheba”
The designer for Booth’s dress when she won is unknown, but the style speaks for itself! The simply patterned full-length dress was paired with a pearl necklace and bracelet, along with matching earrings.
1952: Vivien Leigh for “A Streetcar Named Desire”
Vivien Leigh didn’t go to the ceremony because she was starring in Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” on Broadway (her husband played the male lead). Instead, she heard about her win on a radio backstage.
1951: Judy Holliday for “Born Yesterday”
Judy Holliday didn’t attend the awards in 1951, but she did try to give an acceptance speech from the New York Oscars party where she and fellow nominee Gloria Swanson were celebrating. However, the radio connection was lost, and nobody outside of the party heard it.
1950: Olivia de Havilland for “The Heiress”
Olivia de Havilland took home her second Oscar for her role in “The Heiress” wearing a beautiful white gown that was embellished with black and white floral appliques and matching white gloves.
1949: Jane Wyman for “Johnny Belinda”
Actress Jane Wyman chose a white, drop-waist gown with a mock turtleneck collar. She kept her accessories very minimal save for a delicate choker.
1948: Loretta Young for “The Farmer’s Daughter”
Loretta Young went all out in this elaborate gown, designed by Adrian. With flowery details and full-length gloves, she was the perfect picture of Hollywood glamour.
1947: Olivia de Havilland for “To Each His Own”
Havilland celebrated her first Oscars win in this light colored, floral patterned Anne Lowe for Sonia Gowns dress. Paired with pearls, it’s a classic, elegant look.
1946: Joan Crawford for “Mildred Pierce”
“Mildred Pierce” was Joan Crawford’s comeback movie, but she was so nervous about the ceremony that she stayed home, claiming she was sick. As soon as she found out she’d won, she called her makeup team together to make sure she was camera-ready so she could pose with the Oscar.
1945: Ingrid Bergman for “Gaslight”
Ingrid Bergman’s demure look at the awards ceremony in 1945 was a departure from the more ornate gowns of Oscars past. She chose a dark skirt paired with a dark blouse that had very little adornment.
1944: Jennifer Jones for “The Song of Bernadette”
Jennifer Jones (second from left) wore a black suit by Anita Colby when she won.
1943: Greer Garson for “Mrs. Miniver”
The designer of Garson’s (second from the left) stylish set remains unknown. She wore a peplum jacket and pencil skirt, along with a lace blouse, as she accepted her win.
1942: Joan Fontaine for “Suspicion”
Fontaine (left; to her right is presenter Ginger Rogers) wore a dramatic black lace dress, designed by I. Magnin & Co. She paired it with an eye-catching black and white hairpiece.
1941: Ginger Rogers for “Kitty Foyle”
Four years earlier, Ginger Rogers had chosen a daring sheer dress with a lace bodice for the Oscars. We could imagine this sultry style gracing the red carpet today! She pulled her hair back into a half-up style and accessorized it with white floral accents.
1940: Vivien Leigh for “Gone with the Wind”
In 1940, Vivien Leigh wore a pleated gown that featured a tropical flower pattern. She paired the look with a long pendant and shoulder-length curls.
1939: Bette Davis for “Jezebel”
Bette Davis took home the award for her work in “Jezebel.” She wore a unique dress that featured a collar of long white feathers attached to a dark tulle gown. Talk about glamorous!
1938: Luise Rainer for “The Good Earth”
For her second win in a row, Rainer wore a simple light-colored dress with ruffled sleeves and a high neckline.
1937: Luise Rainer for “The Great Ziegfield”
For her first win, Luise Rainer, center, wore a white, long-sleeved dress, making her a bright spot in a sea of black suits.
1936: Bette Davis for “Dangerous”
Davis certainly made a splash in this Orry-Kelly patterned dress with dramatic lapels. Her elaborate updo tops off the look!
1935: Claudette Colbert for “It Happened One Night”
Colbert wore a Travis Banton suit with a large flower on the lapel and pinned a hat to the top of her neat curls to accept her award for “It Happened One Night.”
1934: Katharine Hepburn for “Morning Glory”
1934 marked Hepburn’s first major award nomination and win — and started her trend of never appearing at awards shows, claiming that she didn’t believe in the value of prizes.
1933: Helen Hayes for “The Sin of Madelon Claudet”
Helen Hayes started a trend with her fingerless white gloves, but her dress may be the real star – the sleeveless gown includes a peplum waist, dramatic floral embellishments, and a V-neck. Paired with pearls and curls, it’s an instant reminder of Old Hollywood.
1932/1931: Marie Dressler for “Min and Bill”
Dressler wore an elaborate black gown with lace detailing for her win, topping it off with a fur shawl.
1931/1930: Norma Shearer for “The Divorcee”
Norma Shearer was the third woman to take home the Oscar for best actress. For the occasion, she wore a silky dress accessorized with a cropped jacket featuring fur-trimmed sleeves. The movie star wore her hair in finger-wave style that was trendy at the time.
1930/1929: Mary Pickford for “Coquette”
While the designer of this embellished white gown is unknown, the jeweled details and sheer layers will be remembered forever. Paired with a triple strand of pearls, it started the trend of dramatic Oscars gowns.
1929/1928: Janet Gaynor for “7th Heaven,” “Street Angel,” “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans”
Janet Gaynor was the first-ever best actress Oscar winner — and she won for three roles at once! However, her outfit was simple — she wore white tennis shoes and a simple skirt and jacket to accept the statue.
After looking back at the last 90 years of Oscar gowns, it’s safe to say that nothing’s off limits!
This article was originally published on Feb. 3, 2017, on TODAY.com.
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