A history of OscarS fashion

  • 10 Mar - 16 Mar, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Awards

As Hollywood’s biggest awards show turns 90, take a look back at its red carpet’s most memorable moments

Janet Gaynor (1929)

Janet was '20s-cool in a sweater and scarf when she accepted the first-ever Academy Award for Best Actress, for her performances in the films 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.

Mary Pickford (1930)

Mary was elegant in this beaded silk chiffon gown at the second Academy Awards, where she won Best Actress for her performance in Coquette.

Norma Shearer (1930)

Six-time nominee, Norma accepted the third Oscar for Best Actress (for The Divorcee) in a shimmering floor-length dress with a matching fur-trimmed jacket.

Bette Davis (1939)

This Best Actress winner (for Jezebel) stopped the show in this dramatic full-skirted tulle gown, her face framed by egret feathers sewn along the neckline.

Vivien Leigh (1940)

The artiste accepted the award for Best Actress in 1940 (for Gone with the Wind), wearing a floral Irene dress with a full skirt, the print and silhouette of which were atypical of eveningwear at the time.

Joan Fontaine (1942)

In 1942, when the country was at war, female attendees were asked to tone down their evening wear; Best Actress winner (for Suspicion), Joan Fontaine pictured here with Ginger Rogers, wore a long-sleeved black dress with a matching black lace mantilla. 

Olivia de Havilland (1947)

The 1947 winner for Best Actress, To Each His Own star Olivia de Havilland, wore a pale-blue organza gown with a colourful string of flowers hand-painted across the bodice and down the full skirt.

Loretta Young (1948)

She was resplendent in abundantly ruffled emerald-green silk taffeta, accessorised with matching opera-length gloves, when she won Best Actress in 1948 for her per-formance in The Farmer's Daughter.

Sophia Loren (1963)

She presented at the 1963 ceremony wearing a midi-length tulle dress with a voluminous textured collar. 

Rita Moreno (1962)
When she won Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story in 1962, Rita wore a shimmery gown with a black bodice atop a full floral skirt.

Miyoshi Umeki (1958)
The only Asian actress to ever win an Academy Award, 1958's Best Supporting Actress (for Sayonara) Miyoshi wore a beautiful black kimono to the ceremony.

Marlon Brando (1955)
Brando looked sharp in a black tux when he accepted the award for Best Actor for his per-formance in On the Waterfront, in 1955.

Grace Kelly (1955)
Legendary costumer Edith Head made Kelly's ice-blue strappy silk sheath dress in 1955, when she was named Best Actress for her perfor-mance in The Country Girl. 

Audrey Hepburn (1954)
Ms Hepburn won her only competitive Oscar on her first nomination (of five), for Roman Holiday in 1954. The icon of chic accepted the honour in this belted boatneck floral dress by her friend Hubert de Givenchy, who dressed her regularly. 

Donna Reed (1954)
Donna embodied pure '50s glamour in this fitted strapless gown when she accepted the trophy for Best Supporting Actress (for From Here to Eternity) in 1954.

Marilyn Monroe (1951)
This legend made her only Oscar appearance at the 1951 show, when she presented in this dramatic black tulle gown.

Barbra Streisand (1969)
One of 1969's two Best Actresses (an honour she won for Funny Girl, tying with The Lion in Winter's Katharine Hepburn), Barbra delivered an Oscar look for the ages with these sequined, sheer Arnold Scaasi pajamas, finished off with a crisp white collar on top and huge billowing bellbottoms at her feet.

Ann-Margret (1974)
She experimented with fashion at the 1974 awards, wearing a rhinestone-covered cap atop a high-necked, skintight, beaded black sheath.

Jack Nicholson (1976)
Nicholson could not have looked more '70s cool when he accepted the Oscar for Best Actor in 1976 (for his performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), accessorising his tuxedo with aviator sunglasses. 

Elizabeth Taylor (1976)
You could practically trace the history of Oscar style using the fashion of Elizabeth Taylor alone. One of the icon's most essential Academy Awards moments came in 1976, when she wore this strapless Halston dress – the colour of which the designer then named "Elizabeth Taylor Red."

Diana Ross (1982)
No one could match Diana Ross's level of glamour girl. The diva rocked a crimson red sequin gown, with a white fur stole to the '82 ceremony.

Daryl Hannah (1988)
While the popularity of elbow-length gloves was waning, they made even more of a statement when Daryl paired them with her glamorous gold dress and long blonde waves.

Cindy Crawford (1993)
What's a supermodel to wear to her first Academy Awards? A body-hugging Herve Leger dress to show off her enviable figure, if you're Cindy Crawford.

Elizabeth Hurley (1995)
Elizabeth was the quint-essential Versace girl. The model and actress stole the show in this sparkling curve-hugging dress.

Sharon Stone (1998)
Sharon walked her own path at the '98 oscars when she pared a lavender satin Vera Wang skirt with a mens button down shirt.

Meryl Streep (2018)
Meryl looked a vision in Christian Dior Haute Couture, Stuart Weitzman shoes, Fred Leighton jewellery, holding a Christian Louboutin clutch.

Cate Blanchett (2016)
The Australian beauty is known for taking risks on the red carpet. Her 3-d floral Armani Prive gown was one to remember.

Lupita Nyong’o (2014)
In the span of a year Lupita Nyong'o became a style icon. The actress described her custom Prada dress colour as "Nairobi blue" in honour of where she grew up in Kenya.

Reese Witherspoon (2015)
Sometimes simple is best, and Reese proved that in this high-contrast Tom Ford dress.

Penelope Cruz (2009)
The actress channeled a fairytale princess in a vintage Pierre Balmain gown when she won Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

AngelinA Jolie (2012)
Behold, ‘tis the dress that spawned a million memes! Angelina Jolie's strong stance in her Atelier Versace gown with her left leg out became known as the "Angie leg" pose.

Marion Cotillard (2008)
In a sea of tulle and crystal embellished gowns, Marion stood out on the red carpet in a Jean Paul Gaultier dress that looked as though it was literally made of fish scales.

Halle Berry (2002)
Becoming the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress is certainly a moment in time to remember, as was Berry's Elie Saab partially sheer floral gown.

Julia Roberts (2001)
America’s sweet-heart took home the big award for her role in Erin Brockovich in this timeless Valentino gown.