The Academy announces its official 2022 Oscar nominees on February 8th. To celebrate the start of another Oscar season, we’re revisiting our favorite Oscar looks (including a few that we love to hate).
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5. Nicole Kidman, 89th Academy Awards (2017)
Nicole Kidman has rocked a lot of killer red carpet looks. But in this writer’s humble opinion, one of her best was at the 2017 Oscars. Her bejeweled column dress exaggerated her already statuesque frame. The fabric itself had the most delicate peaches and cream color that matched her fair skin beautifully.
Kidman’s 2017 look embodied the art deco flair of the 1920s with a modern silhouette. Moreover, her makeup and accessories were simple, letting the dress do all the talking.
4. Penelope Cruz, 79th Academy Awards (2007)
I’m not exaggerating when I say this dress has been on my mind since I first saw it in 2007. I’m not even a mega-fan of Penelope Cruz, just this one specific dress she wore 15 years ago. From the dusty rose hue to its dramatic, feathered skirt, this dress is certainly the essence of dreamy romance.
This dress has held my attention longer than most of my relationships. So, Versace must have been doing something right.
3. Lauren Hutton, 47th Academy Awards (1975)
Speaking of outfits withstanding the test of time, few Oscar looks compare to the effortless glamour of model Lauren Hutton’s 1975 ensemble. Her sun-kissed skin and honey-blonde locks made the pastel rainbow of her Grecian gown pop. She threw a luxurious fur over the plunging dress because it was the 70s, and why not?
Countless others have imitated Hutton’s look since then, and honestly, they’ve all killed it. It’s pretty easy to do when the gown does all the heavy lifting.
2. Zendaya, 87th Academy Awards (2015)
If they made a Barbie doll after your Oscars look, then you know you must’ve hit the mark. Zendaya certainly did just that with her famous 2015 Oscars look. Her effortless look blended simple elegance with a modern flair. She also put her hair in locks and added subtle teardrop earrings and a silver cuff.
It’s hard to pick a favorite of all of Zendaya’s red carpet looks. But at least for the time being, this ensemble takes the cake.
1. Lupito Nyong’o: 86th Academy Awards (2014)
Lupito Nyong’o crushed the 86th Annual Academy Awards, period. Her first feature film, 12 Years A Slave, won a whopping nine Oscars. She also wore a breathtaking Prada gown in a delicate powder blue. This jaw-dropping gown with a plunging neckline and simple banded waist is number one in my Oscars best-of book.
Nyong’o’s Prada ensemble is the epitome of modern-day Cinderella. All it’s missing is a black choker and puffy sleeves, but I vote that Nyong’o’s version is better.
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5. Barbara Streisand: 69th Academy Awards (1997)
No disrespect to Streisand, but her 1997 Oscars ensemble landed her on the “worst-of” list. There’s a lot to unravel with this piece. Do we start with the glittery crochet cardigan wrapped around her shoulders? Or maybe we can go with the stretch knit dress? How about the slouchy crochet bag?
Every article of glittery, droopy knit is a neutral grey-beige. We love you, Babs, but there’s not enough glitter in the world to hide this fail.
4. Kerry Washington: 88th Academy Awards (2016)
Sometimes, simplicity is best. Indeed, Kerry Washington’s 2016 Oscars look proves this point beautifully. There’s no denying that Washington looks stunning in almost anything she wears. But there’s something about this stark white skirt and leather bodice combo that seems disjointed and rushed.
Is she raiding a tomb Lara Croft-style or walking the red carpet? Who knows? Let’s just chalk it up to 2016 being a weird year.
3. Sarah Jessica Parker: 82nd Academy Awards (2010)
Sarah Jessica Parker is a style icon. She blazes trails and sets trends, which means she’s bound to have a few misses every once in a while. One such miss was her pale yellow 2010 Oscars gown. At the right angle, the dress is passable. But from most others, it seems misshapen and mismatched.
The yellow shade complements Parker’s eyes and hair color. Still, I can’t get past the tin foil feature across her chest. It baffles me to this day, 12 years later.
2: Bjork: 73rd Academy Awards (2001)
Is it even possible to have an Oscars look roundup without including Bjork? You know this dress. You’ve likely seen it a million times since its first feathered debut in 2001–both in real and spoof forms. Why wouldn’t we be talking about the goose gown two decades later? Do you know of any other swan dresses to take its place in your head?
Of course, you don’t. Like Bjork themselves, this dress is 100% incomparable. It stands as a cement pillar of our Y2K pop culture in all of its downy glory.
1. Lisa Rinna, 81st Academy Awards (2009)
Lastly, there was Lisa Rinna. Look, I’m fully aware that the mid-2000s was a dark time in fashion’s history. Indeed, I have the gauchos and oversized belts to prove it. But there’s something timelessly terrible about Rinna’s 2009 Oscars outfit. This ensemble shrieks “2009” from top to bottom in the worst possible way.
With her chunky, curly ‘do and asymmetrical gown, Rinna could have just as easily been attending a wedding as a bridesmaid in 1988. I guess it shows that not even celebrities were safe from the horrors of 2000s style.