The Evolution of Oscars Red Carpet Fashion Through Decades

year ago

The Oscars red carpet has been the venue for some of the most memorable fashion moments since its inception. With millions of viewers across the globe, it’s no wonder that attendees pay special attention to their attire. Some of them dazzle us with their sophisticated outfits, while others inspire us with their unique sense of style. In anticipation of the 2023 Academy Awards ceremony, we’re looking back at some of the most iconic looks from the ’50s to the present day.

The sophisticated ’50s

Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, © theacademy / Instagram

Style icons like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe graced the Oscar’s red carpet of the ’50s with their timeless beauty and elegance. Although these gorgeous gowns don’t seem like the most revolutionary fashion choices now, they made countless headlines in the media at that time and still continue to inspire.

The trend-setting ’60s


This decade revolutionized fashion in so many ways. There were a number of new, inventive trends on the horizon, and Hollywood stars were among the first to walk the red carpet in these unique ensembles. Barbra Streisand’s transparent, shimmering pantsuit is still among the most legendary Oscar red carpet outfits ever.

The glittery ’70s

© theacademy / Instagram, Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch/Associated Press/East News

Voluminous hair, shimmering makeup, a whole lot of glitter, and the overall disco vibe of ’70s red carpet fashion makes this decade eternally cool. Flowy, bohemian-style dresses, nightgown-like creations, and even jumpsuits were pretty common outfit choices for the Academy Awards ceremony.

The excessive ’80s

Many of us remember the ’80s as the decade when everything was over the top — and the red carpet outfits were no different. This decade saw some of the most daring Oscar looks of all time, like Cher in her iconic Bob Mackie ensemble that made fashion history.

The sleek ’90s

In contrast to the ’80s, understated, refined elegance dominated the red carpets of the ’90s. Aside from simple but stunning gowns like Gwyneth Paltrow’s 1999 pink dress, one of the most memorable was the iconic Dior gown worn by Nicole Kidman in 1997, which became legendary as one of the ’’first true couture dresses’’ on the Oscar’s red carpet.

The innovative 2000s


Although the beginning of the new millennium brought a bunch of questionable fashion trends, like dresses over jeans and cropped tops, Oscar red carpet guests mainly sported classic Hollywood glamour. However, the audience witnessed a couple of creative surprises, like the outrageously extravagant swan dress that Björk wore.

The stylish 2010s

Gregorio Binuya/Everett Collection/East News, © theacademy / Instagram

The later part of the 2010s brought us some real game-changers. For example, Billy Porter was the first male star to appear in a gown at the Academy Awards in 2019. Hollywood leading ladies like Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence graced the red carpet with more classic, but equally memorable, looks.

The attention-grabbing 2020s

© zendaya / Instagram, ANGELA WEISS/AFP/East News

The 2020s have started off with quite a few gasp-inducing looks. Kristen Stewart’s twist on a classic suit surprised everyone, while Tracee Ellis Ross’s daring red dress caused quite a stir among the guests and the audience.

We can’t wait to see who will end up on the worst/best-dressed list of this year’s Academy Awards’ red carpet.

Preview photo credit ASSOCIATED PRESS/East News, theacademy / Instagram, Gregorio Binuya/Everett Collection/East News, ANGELA WEISS/AFP/East News


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