Red Carpet Review: My Favorite Past Oscar Styles!


It’s Oscar night & I’m dying over darlings like Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, & Reese Witherspoon‘s dresses on the red carpet.  Keeping it classic & timeless, effortlessly glamorous, & oh-so gorgeous is what a night like this is all about.  I decided to take a quick look back at my top ten favorite looks from previous years at the Academy Awards.  Among my favorites are designers Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Valentino, & Carolina Herrera.  I have a thing for some glitter, but also frills & clean lines are always amazing trends to show off at an elegant occasion such as this.  Take a look (at these, of course which are in no particular order) & lemme know which are your favorites?

Last year Cameron Diaz wowed in this gold princess gown by Oscar de la Renta.  She usually goes a little more eccentric, having worn a red Alexander McQueen gown for the Globes just weeks before, but thanks to her famous stylist, Rachel Zoe, this dazzling gold confection of elegance stole the red carpet.  Gold was a big theme at the show as winner Sandra Bullock showed off her embroidered Marchesa column gown.

Kate Hudson showed off some serious sparkle power at the 2003 ceremony in this Atelier Versace hand-sewn gown.  This look is listed among In Style’s 10 Best Oscar Dresses ever & is probably one of my favorite worn by the actress. She is also a client of Rachel Zoe’s, who has taken more risks in recent years on the red carpet, like for last years Globes in a white feathered Marchesa & her teal Gucci number at the 2009 People’s Choice Awards.

Keeping with the glamorous glitter theme so far, Diane Lane appeared at the 2003 ceremony in Oscar de la Renta.  Having seen the feathers for tonight’s show with Hilary Swank & Sharon Stone, I have to say that the gown is one that transcends time.  At the 2009 ceremony in ruched black Chanel & her white Azzaro gown at the 2004 show were just as gorgeous in the truest movie star fashion.

Renee Zellweger‘s Carolina Herrera gown for her 2004 win for her performance in Cold Mountain is one of those dresses that you just look at & know that a winner is wearing it.  Recalling the vintage elegance of Grace Kelly & the star power of Marilyn Monroe, this is one of Renee’s finest appearances in fashion.  Always a fan of Carolina Herrera’s designs, 7 years later, the actress even wowed in this sparkly gown for a German awards show.

Cate Blanchett‘s 2007 Armani Prive marcasite gown was a dramatic revelation against the usually ruffled & mainstream looks that we see on the red carpet.  Always a risk taker, we even saw her on tonight’s red carpet in a pastel beaded Givenchy gown that even wowed fashion icon & Oscar commentator Tim Gunn.

Keira Knightley was nominated in 2006 for her lead role in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice & showed up in this merlot Vera Wang gown & Bulgari necklace.  She was certainly the best dressed of the night & took the trend of statement jewelry to a new level.

Kate Winslet is a consummate favorite at the Oscars, having won two years ago for The Reader, I have to say that nothing pleases me more than seeing a pistachio dress draped in such a sophisticated way over a truly beautiful talent.  This Valentino dress helped make the 2007 ceremony a memorable night, as I recalled the sari-inspired Valentino dress that Jennifer Lopez wore in a similar shade in 2003.

Penelope Cruz showed up this year’s Oscars just weeks after giving birth, but when she took home Oscar for her performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, she looked like a modern-day Audrey Hepburn.  This vintage Balmain bridal-inspired gown pulled at every fashionista’s heartstrings.  She looked like an absolute princess that night & this is probably one of my favorite Oscar looks ever.  In previous years, she was very elegant in Versace and forward thinking in Chanel, but for this pivotal moment in her career, she looked flawless.

2009 was also a dazzling year for Sarah Jessica Parker in this belted princess Christian Dior.  Embodying all things Carrie Bradshaw & the whimsical way that Sarah Jessica has stolen our fashionable hearts off-screen, this is one of the most quintessential princess gowns that I’ve ever seen.  Critics didn’t embrace her 2010 look for the ceremony, but she’ll always be turning heads no matter where she goes.

Demi Moore impressed fashion critics last year in her strapless silk organza ruffled gown by Versace.  Rachel Zoe was once again behind this look, which was a far cry from Demi’s 1989 shorts look that made In Style’s Most Unforgettable Oscar Looks.  Seeing this dramatic actress in such softness put her among the best dressed & was a lovely departure from her usually darker looks.

 To catch some of your favorite Oscar dresses from years of yesterday, check out In Style’s Oscar Index & the official Academy Awards website. Also, you can find some really incredible deals on celebrity-inspired gown from all of the awards shows at EDressMe, PromGirl, & SerendipityProm.  Don’t forget to check out our previous Red Carpet Review posts from this year’s awards season & our upcoming review from the 2011 Oscars red carpet.  Happy Styling!

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