It’s Oscar Sunday: the pinnacle of award show season and the equivocal super bowl for many a movie goer. I mark the Academy Awards on my calendar-it’s that big of a deal-and not just because I have an excuse to watch a top-notch assemblage of films the week leading up to the big night. Each year I sit on the edge of my seat, ballot in hand, oohing and ahhing over the stunning fashion and sulking over Leo’s losses.
This is not a directory of memorable Oscar gowns; any look can be memorable, but not every look can be iconic. The shock value of an outlandish red carpet look dies down and its value is eventually buried in a photo essay somewhere titled, “The Top 10 Worst Oscar Gowns Ever.”
The following Oscar looks are each iconic in their own right. Some are minimal; Angelina Jolie’s Lorraine Schwartz 115-carat Colombian emerald drop earrings and matching 65-carat ring completely stole the spotlight from her simple Elie Saab gown in 2009, but those earrings are still being duped. Some looks are extravagant; Amy Adams’ dusty grey and princess-worthy Oscar de la Renta gown commanded the red carpet in 2013. Yet each share an underlying classicality, a candor key to any Oscar look with staying power. Every year this list will change and grow, and I can’t wait to add to it.
The 89th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air Feb. 26 at 7p.m. Eastern on ABC. To keep up with the latest Oscar news, visit Oscar.go.com.
Grace Kelly (1929 – 1982), pictured with actor Edmond O’Brien (1915 – 1985), in Edith Head at the 27th Academy Awards, held at the RKO Pantages Theatre on March 30, 1955
Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011), pictured with husband Richard Burton (1925 – 1984), in Edith Head at the 42nd annual Academy Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 7, 1970
Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy at the 26th annual Academy Awards, held at the NBC Century Theatre in New York City on March 25, 1954
Lauren Hutton in Halston at the 47th annual Academy Awards, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 8, 1975
Archived photo by Ron Galella
Farrah Fawcett, pictured with Marcello Mastroianni, in Stephen Burrows at the 50th annual Academy Awards on April 3, 1978 (photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)