The 65 Most Iconic Oscar Dresses of All Time

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Design by Morgan McMullen

The Oscars have forever been the fashion Olympics for Hollywood's brightest stars. Style chameleons like Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman regularly steal the show, while risky contenders like Björk still live in our hearts (and memes). Ahead of the biggest night in film and television, we're taking a look back at the most memorable outfits of Academy Awards past.

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Nicole Kidman, 2018

We can't stop staring at this royal blue Armani gown—complete with a corset, bow, and slit—on Nicole Kidman at the 2018 Oscars. It perfectly complements her skin tone, too.

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90th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Getty ImagesSteve Granitz
Margot Robbie, 2018

Margot Robbie looked like an angel in this white Chanel gown, which she wore when she was nominated for her role in I, Tonya.

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90th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Getty ImagesKevork Djansezian
Tiffany Haddish, 2018

Tiffany Haddish's gorgeous gown was a tribute to the African country of Eritrea, where her father was from (he'd passed away the previous year). We're not crying, you're crying.

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90th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Getty ImagesDan MacMedan
Viola Davis, 2018

Once more for the people in the back: Viola. Davis. Is. Queen.

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90th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Getty ImagesSteve Granitz
Eiza González, 2018

Eiza González brightened up the red carpet in a very yellow Ralph Lauren gown that shows less can be more.

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89th Annual Academy Awards -  Arrivals
Getty ImagesSteve Granitz
Janelle Monáe, 2017

Please observe the detailing on Janelle Monáe's fairytale Elie Saab Haute Couture gown. It was her first time at the Academy Awards, and she couldn't have nailed the outfit better.

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Jennifer Aniston, 2017

Aniston presenting an award in Atelier Versace proves that black doesn't have to mean boring. The open leg, v-neck style has been popular recently among celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence.

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Priyanka Chopra, 2017

We can't tell whether this geometric Ralph & Russo dress looks better from the back or the front. It's that gorgeous, and nobody could wear it as well as Chopra.

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Ruth Negga, 2017

Ruth Negga made sure her appearance at the Oscars was not one to be forgotten, thanks to this lacy high-neck scarlet dress from Valentino with a romantic sweeping train and a Renaissance-style headband.

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Taraji P. Henson, 2017

This va-va-voom Alberta Ferretti look on Taraji P. Henson is understated, but speaks volumes about her style, confidence, and killer body, as many Internet users pointed out.

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Rooney Mara, 2016

Rooney Mara in lace Givenchy, a.k.a. the dress of our dreams. Her slicked back hair and staple red lip adds to the elegance of the gorgeous sheer number.

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Cate Blanchett, 2016

Aaaaand she nails the landing! Cate Blanchett (can she do any wrong?) is a vision in this sea-foam feathered gown by Armani Privé.

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Rachel McAdams, 2016

McAdams chose a relatively understated look from August Getty (no over-zealous beading or abundant tulle), but she's subtly pulling off other Oscars staples, too—thigh-high slit, low back, and sweeping train—in a very refreshing emerald hue.

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2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals
Getty ImagesJon Kopaloff
Selena Gomez, 2015

Okay, so this outfit was technically from the after party, not the red carpet, but it felt impossible to leave out this stunning long-sleeve Louis Vuitton gown Gomez wore in 2015.

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Emma Stone, 2015

One reason why we're thrilled Emma Stone ended up landing the role in La La Land: her auburn hair naturally vibes with the colorful frocks she chooses for red carpet events. Here, she's wearing a risk-taking Elie Saab gown in mustard yellow that 100-percent pays off.

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Rosamund Pike, 2015

Pike looks like a statuette herself in scarlet Givenchy Haute Couture, perhaps playing off her unforgettable bloody role in the previous year's Gone Girl.

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86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
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Kerry Washington, 2014

Have you seen a chicer pregnant woman than Kerry Washington at the 2014 Oscars in this strapless Jason Wu dress? Pregnancy glow is real.

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Lupita Nyong'o, 2014

The then-newcomer stunned in a beautiful aquamarine custom Prada gown with a Fred Leighton headband that landed her on many best-dressed lists in 2014.

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Jennifer Lawrence, 2013

The giant tiered dress that caused the staircase-trip-seen-'round-the-world was a gorgeous haute couture gown by Dior.

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Amy Adams, 2013

Giselle from Enchanted but make it fashun. Adams wowed in an Oscar de la Renta dress with an ethereal frothy train that she helped envision with the designer.

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84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Getty ImagesDan MacMedan
Cameron Diaz, 2012

It doesn't get much better than Cameron Diaz in Gucci.

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Meryl Streep, 2012

Acting icon and epic speech-giver, Meryl mimicked an Oscar statuette (in her signature red carpet style: floor-length dress and plunging neckline) with this gold lamé Lanvin gown.

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Angelina Jolie, 2012

The Versace look that sparked its own Twitter account (@AngiesRightLeg) was the talk of Tinsel Town in 2012. Many saw it as a return to her cheeky younger red carpet image. It's definitely one way to ensure that your all-black dress is anything but boring.

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83rd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Getty ImagesSteve Granitz
Michelle Williams, 2011

Talk about sheer (!). This simple yet elegant Chanel gown on Michelle Williams is equal parts demure and sexy.

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Natalie Portman, 2011

This aubergine gown by Rodarte was a double-header: a nod to the designer's role in her Oscar-winning movie Black Swan and a beautiful, enviably wearable maternity dress.

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Mila Kunis, 2011

The year Mila Kunis wasn't even up for any awards (she was presenting), but probably crashed Pinterest with her appearance on the carpet this lavender Elie Saab gown.

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Cate Blanchett, 2011

Blanchett, a five-time Oscar nominee at this point, caused a stir in this Givenchy Couture pleated lilac gown encrusted with pearls.

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Sandra Bullock, 2010

The stunning Oscar winner for The Blind Side exuded glamour in this floor-length metallic Marchesa gown and perfect pink lip.

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USA - 2008 Oscars® - Arrivals
Getty ImagesChris Farina
Katherine Heigl, 2008

Katherine Heigl is the epitome of Old Hollywood in this one-shoulder red Escada gown, which she wore during her Grey's Anatomy days.

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Marion Cotillard, 2008

The mermaid dress is tough to nail without looking like a prom dress gone wrong, but when yours is a couture piece designed by Jean Paul Gaultier—covered with intricate scale embroidery—you're in a whole 'nother category.

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