Words Catherine McMaster
LET’S take a trip down memory lane and indulge in a bit of Hollywood nostalgia.
Tonight, the Oscars red carpet is being rolled out for Tinseltown’s best to strut down.
It’s the 90th Academy Awards and one of the biggest events of the film industry’s season.
And there’s one guilty reason most of us have for tuning in – those dresses.
We can’t wait to see who will wear what, who looks awful or unrecognisable and who’s nailing it in the fashion stakes.
The Oscars are as much about the dresses as the films.
There’s been some very memorable frock-ups over the years (take a bow, Bjork) and some outfits are more famous than the person wearing them (looking at you in the American Express Gold card dress, Lizzy Gardiner).
Yet, with this year’s Oscars so nearly underway it’s got us reminiscing: what did the big A-listers wear to their very first ceremony?
For Angelina Jolie, it was an all-black Morticia Adams-like number in 2000.
Gwyneth Paltrow went the exact opposite and preferred a sickly-sweet Ralph Lauren gown for her debut in 1999.
More recently, Lupita Nyong’o channelled pastels in Prada for her first-time Oscar ceremony in 2014.
These are some of our all-time favourite Oscar firsts from the archives. You’ll be surprised how some actresses haven’t even changed (Meryl Streep, you goddess), while others are nearly unrecognisable…
Jodie Foster 1977
Meryl Streep 1979
Drew Barrymore 1983
Drew? Is that you?
Yes, that’s right: believe it or not this too-cute-for-words tot is in fact Drew Barrymore.
She’s pictured here at her first Academy Awards ceremony in 1983.
Angelina Jolie 1986
She may only be 11 years old here, but there’s no mistaking those pouty lips and big green eyes.
Angelina Jolie stole the spotlight from her father Jon Voight on the night.
Despite looking like she’s been tangled up in a bunch of bedsheets, kudos to Ange for possibly being the only child who could rock gigantic chiffon shoulder pads and pearls.
Julia Roberts 1990
The star was invited to the Academy Awards for her role in the 1990 film Steel Magnolias.
Here, she channelled the braless slip dress look before anyone else.
Also, you’ve got to applaud her tonal dressing – the hair, dress and shoes all match.
Nicole Kidman 1991
It was in 1991 that Nicole Kidman first graced the red carpet after a star turn in Days of Thunder with the Cruiser.
Despite her style agenda being very much stuck in the 80s (a velour mini dress and black tights!!) she won extra points for her choice of date.
Tom Cruise was then the most sought-after actor in town – and the pair had married just two months before the Awards.
Kate Winslet 1996
A very fresh-faced Kate Winslet turned up to the 1996 Academy Awards ceremony wearing a saccharine pink dress.
She was then a nominee for the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Sense and Sensibility.
It’s nice to see that while her style may have changed (we haven’t seen the actress in pink since) her rosy English complexion has not.
Jennifer Lopez 1997
Jennifer Lopez was certainly not sporting a Jenny from the Block look back in 1997.
The singer turned actress was wearing a beaded and lacy short-sleeved Badgley Mischka dress.
She complemented the look with some very tight curls and looked polished to perfection. Queen.
Cate Blanchett 1999
Pictured here in 1999, the Australian actress wore a very sheer John Galliano gown with butterflies on the back.
It was her first Academy Awards ceremony and she had been nominated for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Elizabeth.
Cate’s never played it safe in the style stakes and we applaud her individuality.
Charlize Theron 2000
At the 72nd Academy Awards, Charlize Theron looked sexy and chic in a tangerine Vera Wang gown.
Her fashion, just like her cinematic roles, have been both daring and unforgettable.
Reese Witherspoon 2002
Reese is certainly projecting her southern girl charm in this photo from the 2002 Oscars.
It was her first time at the Awards and she was pictured wearing a Valentino beaded gown.
She certainly stole the spotlight on the night.
Keira Knightley 2006
Keira definitely showcased her silhouette in this custom-made burgundy one-shoulder Vera Wang gown.
The mermaid tail style certainly started a trend of copycat gowns.
Kudos to Keira for matching her eyeshadow to her dress. Not many of us could have pulled that one off.
Jennifer Lawrence 2011
When Jennifer turned up at the 2011 Oscars wearing a perfectly fitting Calvin Klein dress she was a little-known star.
How much has changed in seven years.
She’s become synonymous with every best dressed list out there, and it all started with this fiery red number.
This article first appeared on The Sun on 4/3/2018. Read it here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/5716165/awfully-memorable-oscar-gowns/#comments