Campus Couture – Top 10 Oscars Red Carpet Looks of All Time

Arts & Entertainment

Keri Marable, Staff

Welcome to Campus Couture, a segment of La Salle TV’s Backstage Pass brought to the Collegian, talking about all things fashion at La Salle. For Campus Couture’s first fashion coverage in the Collegian, Campus Couture’s team of editors has selected the Top 10 Oscars red carpet looks of all time.

Zendaya – Valentino 2021

At the top of our list, we have Zendaya wearing a vibrant lemon-yellow Valentino Haute Couture gown that went viral on social media. The actress, who presented the Oscar for Best Original Score, stunned in an outfit inspired by Cher that she paired with  183 carats Bulgari diamonds. Valentino said on Instagram that the chiffon dress was custom designed by their Creative Director, and it took artisans 300 hours to produce. The Italian label also revealed that the gown has its own name: Force de beauté, or force of beauty.

Cher – Bob Mackie 1974

Looking at the inspiration for that Valentino dress worn by Zendaya, Cher had show-stopping looks at every Academy Award show she attended. The 1974 Oscars was when Cher was promoting her self-titled album and had recently separated from Bono. Once again, wearing Bob Mackie, her staple designer, she wore a floral sarong-style dress skirt with a wrap-tie bralette and matching floral corsages around the neck and pinned up into her hair. Her stylist also brought the color palette of the dress into her beautiful look through her lilac eyeshadow, and plum-shaded blush.

Lady Gaga – Alexander McQueen 2019

Taking it forward to 2019, we have another iconic singer in another iconic look. Lady Gaga wore Alexander Mcqueen at the 2019 Oscars, where she won an award for Best Original Song after her duet, “Shallow,” in the movie “A Star is Born,” topped the charts that year. Lady Gaga’s stylist reported that they were going for a timeless look, taking inspiration from the silhouette of Marilyn Monroe’s dress in the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” as well as adding a diamond necklace last worn by Audrey Hepburn in promotional photos for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The yellow diamond stone of the necklace is called the Tiffany diamond and is one of the most famous pieces the company has ever created. 

Audrey Hepburn – Givenchy 1975

Let’s look at the one and only, Audrey Hepburn, who Lady Gaga’s necklace paid homage to. In most of her iconic fashion moments both on- and off-screen, Audrey was wearing Givenchy. She and Hubert de Givenchy met in their mid-20s. Their friendship and professional partnership spanned over 40 years. He designed her first Oscars dress, the black satin gown she wears in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and a pink jersey dress for her wedding day. She once said that Givenchy’s creations always gave her a sense of security and confidence, and her work went more easily knowing that she looked “absolutely right.” This Givenchy dress with intricate beading and a modest cutout at the 1975 Oscars is at the top of our list.

Lupita Nyong’o – Prada 2014

On the topic of Tiffany’s- topping many magazine and news outlets’ Best Dressed lists, Lupita Nyong’o stunned the fashion world with her custom tiffany-blue silk Prada look at the 2014 Oscars, which she later described as a “Nairobi blue” in honor of where she grew up in Kenya. This look was everywhere in the news and on social media, and for good reason. Lupita looks like an effortless and ethereal Cinderella in this light and airy pleated gown with a deep v-neck top and low-cut sides. She paired the dress with Fred Leighton jewels, satin Prada platform sandals, and a matching Prada clutch with baguette crystal detail, framed in gold to go along with the award she won for Best Supporting Actress that night. 

Elizabeth Taylor – Edith Head 1953

In another fairytale look, Elizabeth Taylor attended the Oscars in 1953 wearing a dress fit for a princess. The actress chose an elaborate light pink ruffled corset dress for the event, which is thought to be designed by Edith Head. This dress was appraised in 2011 at an event in Minneapolis, MN, on the show “Antique Roadshow” of the PBS channel. 

Grace Kelly – Givenchy 1955

Fellow queen of the silver screen and real-life Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly wore an Edith Head original when she won Best Actress for “The Country Girl” at the 1955 Oscars. Grace Kelly’s custom gown cost $4,000 to make in 1955. At that time,  it was the most expensive Oscar dress ever. According to Elle Magazine, Designer Edith Head described the hue as “blue champagne.” While A-list stars of today consider outfit repeating a faux-pas, Grace wore her Oscar dress for three different occasions: for a Life Magazine cover, for the premiere of “The Country Girl” movie, and finally for the Oscars. It went on to become one of the most memorable gowns in Academy Awards history. 

Sandra Oh – Elie Saab 2020

Next on our list, Sandra Oh walked the 2020 Oscars red carpet wearing a champagne-colored Elie Saab gown. The dress had a plunging neckline and a dramatic open back. The long dress featured thousands of sequins and the gown’s sleeves had large, sculptural, floral-esque bunches of tulle and lace from shoulder to elbow. The 3-D elements of the sleeves were mirrored all along the bottom of the gown’s skirt, making Sandra look like royalty. She paired the gown with a gold velvet bow belt, jeweled hoop earrings, a silver ring on one hand, and several thick chain bracelets on the other. Fashion bloggers listing it on their worst dresses of that year criticized the gown for being “too much,” but with a strong and bright personality like Sandra’s, she easily pulls it off. 

Halle Berry – Elie Saab 2002

Another Elie Saab gown making Campus Couture’s Top 10 List is the one Halle Berry wore when she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002 for her role in “Monster’s Ball.” This dress was so popular it even has its own Wikipedia page! A poll in The Daily Telegraph ranked this dress as the eighth greatest red-carpet gown of all time. Cosmopolitan also cited it as one of the best and most well-known Oscar dresses in history. Variety Magazine’s Complete Book of Oscar Fashion mentioned how it had “fashion critics raving for days.” Designer Elie Saab spoke with Australian Vogue about becoming a household name after Halle Berry wore this dress, saying “Halle Berry made the name Elie Saab more popular. She managed to really put the name Elie Saab on the international market. Halle Berry was the first woman of color to win an Oscar. It was elegant and daring and chic. I think this moment was a very exceptional moment for cinema.”

Charlize Theron – Gucci by Tom Ford 2004

Finally, we have Charlize Theron wearing Gucci at the 2004 Oscars, where she took home the award for “Best Actress” for her role in the movie “Monster.” Charlize wore a spaghetti-strapped, fitted, glittery gown from the Italian fashion house of Gucci. Tom Ford designed the dress when he was still the Creative Director of Gucci, but now he is well known for his own brand under his name. This dress, with its daring front slit and flowing train, made fashion history and is included in many best Oscar dress lists.

And that is Campus Couture’s top 10 Oscars red carpet looks! If you’d like to hear more about all things entertainment, be sure to follow Backstage Pass on Instagram @backstagepassLTV and stay tuned to find out the next time you can get your backstage pass to fashion on campus with Campus Couture!

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