From Glitzy Gowns to Chic Designs, These Are the Best Dresses to Grace the Oscars Red Carpet

Is your fave ensemble on this list?

By Alyssa Morin Feb 19, 2019 12:00 PMTags
Halle Berry, Academy Awards, Oscars 2002, Best Dresses. 2002, Best LooksJeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Some of the most monumental fashion moments in history didn't happen on the runway, but rather on Hollywood's biggest night—the Oscars.

It's the one awards show where viewers are just as interested in the winners as they are the red carpet fashion. While it's true that celebrities dress to the nines during awards season, there's just something special about the Oscars.

Fans will recall Hilary Swank's simple, yet striking blue Guy Laroche dress at the 2005 Oscars. She took home the Best Actress award for Million Dollar Baby but people couldn't stop talking about that open-back, silk jersey gown.

Notably, Halle Berry's Oscar win was unforgettable for many reasons. She was the first black woman to win the Best Actress award, which she won in 2002 for Monster's Ball. Aside from her historical win, her Oscar-winning dress instantly became iconic and it arguably put designer, Elie Saab, on the map.

In fact, if you type "Halle Berry Oscars" into Google, "Halle Berry Oscars dress" automatically populates.

That's the kind of power the Oscars have when it comes to fashion.

The Best Oscars Dresses of All Time

From Lady Gaga's effortlessly elegant white pantsuit-dress at the 2016 ceremony to Ava Gardner's silver sequins gown at the 32nd Annual Academy Awards, the star-studded event is full of glitz, glamour and more.

To see the best dresses to grace the Academy Awards red carpet, keep scrolling through our gallery.

Halle Berry

The actress' Oscar win was unforgettable for many reasons. She was the first Black woman to win the Best Actress Award, which she won in 2002 for Monster's Ball. In addition to her historical win, her dress became iconic and put designer Elie Saab on the map.

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita always turns heads on the red carpet, but this custom baby blue Prada gown took the grand prize. This marked the first time she won the Best Supporting Actress award for her debut film 12 Years a Slave.

Gwyneth Paltrow

The Goop founder shut down the red carpet in 2012, wearing a swoon-worthy cape dress. And it's safe to say Tom Ford outdid himself with this look.

Ava Gardner

The silver screen siren of the Golden Age of Hollywood dazzled in an ostentatious sequins gown. As if that weren't glamorous enough, she accessorized with a large and lustrous tiara, white fur and gloves.

Timothée Chalamet

The Dune star skipped the basic black-and-white tuxedo for this glitzy Louis Vuitton two-piece. He added extra sex appeal by accessorizing his bare chest with a silver pendant.

Glenn Close

Glimmering in gold. The legendary actress rivaled the golden statue with this gilded caped dress.

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett did the thing when she stepped out in this royal purple confection at the 2023 ceremony.

Gemma Chan

Perfectly pink! The Crazy Rich Asians star made a grand entrance with her bright and bold Valentino design.


The Euphoria star always turns heads on the red carpet but she pulled out all of the stops for the 2022 ceremony.

Hilary Swank

The actress, who took home the Best Actress award for Million Dollar Baby, stunned in a simple, yet striking Guy Laroche design that featured a plunging open-back. 

Elizabeth Taylor

One word: Glamourous. The legendary actress always knew how to drop jaws, and this design was no different.

Regina King

The Watchmen actress knows how to make a statement with a simple but sophisticated look. Her 2019 gown is all the proof you need.

Janelle Monáe

Never one to stick to the basics, the Moonlight actress dropped jaws in an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown, which was adorned with intricate beading, lace set with feathers and an over-the-top tulle train.

Cara Delevingne

Lady in red. The supermodel made sure all eyes were on her, as she stunned in a one-shouldered ballgown by Elie Saab.

Kate Hudson

Of her many appearances at the Oscars, Kate Hudson's 2014 look stands out from the rest, thanks in part to this caped and beaded Atelier Versace gown. 

Diana Ross

Diana Ross sizzled at the 54th Annual Academy Awards in a glittering red gown and lush white fur shawl.

Kacey Musgraves

The country singer turned heads in her bubblegum pink Giambattista Valli number at the 2019 event.

Becky G

The "Mamiii" singer brought old-Hollywood glamour to the 2022 event with a shimmery rose gold gown.

Billy Porter

The Pose alum proved why he reigns supreme on the red carpet, wearing a larger-than-life Christian Siriano design.

Viola Davis

The Oscar-winning actress stunned in this electrifying hot pink gown by Michael Kors. In addition to her bright dress, she accessorized with a matching flamingo pink clutch and statement jewelry pieces.

Nicole Kidman

The actress always shuts down the red carpet, and this powerful red gown by Balenciaga was no different. The high-neck and sleeveless design made it an instant classic, but the dramatic bow and striking color took it to the next level.

Yalitza Aparicio

The Roma actress brought a fashion fantasy to the red carpet with her dreamy and whimsical Rodarte design.

Eva Longoria

The Flamin' Hot director proved all that glitters is gold, erm, silver. She dazzled in a sparly Zuhair Murad couture gown at the 2023 ceremony.

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen channeled old-Hollywood glamour in this periwinkle Zuhair Murad gown. 

Jennifer Lopez

For the 2015 affair, JLo made sure all eyes were on her as she stunned in this glitzy Elie Saab dress.

Julia Roberts

The Oscar-winning actress may have taken home the award in 2001 for Erin Brockovich but her satin vintage Valentino gown stole the show. The black and white number was from the brand's 1982 collection.

Lady Gaga

The A Star is Born actress looked effortlessly elegant in a white pantsuit dress by Brandon Maxwell.

Zoe Saldana

Wearing a custom Atelier Versace design, the Guardians of the Galaxy actress stunned in a blush-colored, body-hugging gown.

Emilia Jones

To celebrate CODA's success, the actress wore a stunning gold dress from Dolce and Gabbana.

Salma Hayek

The Frida alum stunned on the Oscars red carpet in a vibrant ocean-blue Atelier Versace gown.

View More Photos From The Best Oscars Dresses of All Time

Don't miss the star-studded awards show on Feb. 24. We have a feeling the red carpet is going to be just as remarkable as the event itself.

For a recap of the 2019 Oscars, watch E! News tonight at 7 p.m.!