• Oscars badge
  • All Awards, All The Time badge

It's Totally Stunning How Much Oscar Fashion Has Changed Over Nearly A Century

A look at Oscar's fashion is a look at all the styles that made the last century what it was.

The Oscars are one of Hollywood's biggest nights of the year. There can be openings, or highly-anticipated premieres, but nothing beats the air of competition and fashion that the Academy Awards brings.

Actors are there for the official accolades, but they're very much about their fashion, too. Viewers at home (like me) are very into critiquing those looks.

In the nearly 100 years since the award show's debut, we've seen how styles have shifted and changed.

Let's take a look back at all the major moments in Academy Award fashion history.

1. Janet Gaynor was the first Best Actress winner at the inaugural Academy Awards ceremony in 1930. The event wasn't televised or broadcast via radio.

Douglas Fairbanks presents Janet Gaynor with the first Academy Award for Best Actress

2. The next year, things got more formal when Mary Pickford won her Best Actress Oscar for Coquette, which was also the first win for a sound feature.

Writer Hanns Kraly, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William C. DeMille, actress Mary Pickford, and actor Warner Baxter attending the Oscars in Hollywood

3. There were two Academy Award ceremonies in 1930. The November 1930 Best Actress award went to Norma Shearer for The Divorcee.

Canadian star Norma Shearer receives a Best Actress Oscar from Conrad Nagel for her role in "The Divorcee"

4. If you're wondering about men's looks, the tux took the lead from the very beginning. Here's November 1930 Best Actor George Arliss accepting his award.

George Arliss holding Best Actor Oscar 1930

5. Helen Hayes had an LBD moment when she accepted the Best Actress statue for her role in The Sin of Madelon Claudet in 1933.

Louis B Mayer presents the Best Actress Oscar to American actor Helen Hayes for her role in the film 'The Sin of Madelon Claudet'

6. French-born actress Claudette Colbert wore a smart suit when accepting Best Actress in 1935 for It Happened One Night.

Shirley Temple presents Best Actress Oscar to Claudette Colbert for her role in "It Happened One Night"

7. Bette Davis wore something of a design by costume designer Orry-Kelly that she believed looked like a domestic uniform in 1936. It was in protest of her Warner Bros. contract she wanted to be released from.

Bette Davis accepts Best Actress Oscar in 1936

8. There was another major Oscar moment when Vivien Leigh took home the Oscar for her role as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind in 1940.

Vivien Leigh proudly holds her Best Actress Oscar on March 2, 1940 for "Gone With The Wind"

9. Carmen Miranda, aka The Brazilian Bombshell, turned heads with a head wrap in 1941.

Carmen Miranda at the 13th annual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

10. Greer Garson showed how a war-time award look could be both classy and respectful at the 1943 ceremony.

Greer Garson posing with Best Actress Oscar in 1943

11. Joan Crawford accepted her 1946 Best Actress award for Mildred Pierce in a nightgown, in bed, while battling the flu.

Joan Crawford accepting her Academy Award from bed

12. Loretta Young's big, ruffly, green dress caught the attention of everyone at the 1948 Academy Awards, where she took home Best Actress for her role in The Farmer's Daughter.

Loretta Young accepting her Best Actress Oscar in 1948

13. Elizabeth Taylor was at the 1953 ceremony with husband Michael Wilding, though she wasn't a nominee. Her light pink, corset-style dress was a statement for the time.

Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding at the 1953 Academy Awards

14. Audrey Hepburn wowed in her white, floral Givenchy dress and pixie cut as she accepted the Best Actress award in 1954 for Roman Holiday.

Audrey Hepburn accepts her Best Actress Oscar in 1954 for "Roman Holiday"

15. The 1950s had a lot of iconic Oscar fashion, since that was followed up with Grace Kelly's 1955 Best Actress win for The Country Girl.

Grace Kelly and William Holden at the 1955 Academy Awards

16. Elizabeth Taylor was back and became a Best Actress winner in 1959 for BUtterfield 8, in a full-skirted Dior design that epitomized the '60s.

Billy Wilder and Elizabeth Taylor at the 1961 Oscars

17. Rita Moreno kept that chic, fabulous silhouette going in 1962 when she won Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story.

Rita Moreno dabs her tears while accepting her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "West Side Story"

18. Julie Andrews may not have taken home any awards on Oscar night 1968, but her statement sleeves definitely stole the show while she presented Best Picture.

Julie Andrews during 40th Annual Academy Awards

19. Barbra Streisand accepted the 1969 Best Actress award for Funny Girl in a sheer, sequined bell-bottomed jumpsuit by Arnold Scaasi.

Barbra Streisand holds her Oscar for Best Actress won for the performance as Fanny Brice in the musical comedy-drama movie "Funny Girl"

20. Jane Fonda made a fashion statement and a political one in 1972 when she wore a black Yves Saint Laurent pantsuit as part of her anti-Vietnam War stance.

Actress Jane Fonda won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1971 film Klute.

21. Sonny and Cher presented at the 1973 Oscars for Best Original Song for the Picture. Cher's gold, sari-style two-piece showed off her insanely-toned abs.

Sony Bono and Cher at the 1973 Oscars

22. Diahann Carroll brought the traditional ballgown to new heights that same year. No accessories, no flashy makeup, but flawless in her simplicity.

Diahann Carroll and her husband Frederick Glusman arriving at Academy Awards in 1973

23. Farrah Fawcett was another presenter whose fashion was the talk of the night when she wore this slinky, gold chainmail tank dress by Stephen Burrows in 1978.

Farrah Fawcett presenting at the 1978 Oscars

24. Diana Ross appeared at the 1982 Oscars to perform "Endless Love" with Lionel Richie, and she showed out in a red, sequined dress with a high slit, cut front, AND she paired it with a fur stole.

Singer Diana Ross and Ernest Thompson arrive to the 54th Academy Awards

25. Cher was back to challenge Oscars' fashion in 1986, defying the dress code with her latest from Bob Mackie while presenting Best Supporting Actor.

Cher at the 1986 Academy Awards

26. That same year, Anjelica Huston wore a custom-made Tzetzi Ganev asymmetrical dress to honor her Irish upbringing.

Anjelica Huston Oscar 1986 dress

27. Marisa Tomei was radiant in a white Chanel gown with black piping when she took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1993 for My Cousin Vinny.

Marisa Tomei holds her Oscar at the 65th Academy Awards

28. Susan Sarandon shined in a Dolce & Gabbana copper ballgown when she took home the 1996 Best Actress award for Dead Man Walking.

Susan Sarandon receives an Oscar at the 1996 Academy Awards

29. Juliette Binoche had a unique look when taking home Best Supporting Actress in 1997 for The English Patient.

Juliette Binoche smiles as she holds her Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1997

30. Who can forget Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 princess moment? She shined in a pink Ralph Lauren ballgown when she won Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love.

Gwyneth Paltrow holding her Best Actress Oscar

31. Angelina Jolie gave us goth glam in 2000 with her long-sleeved column gown from Marc Bouwer. That night, she took home Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted.

Angelina Jolie with her Oscar for best supporting actress for 'Girl Interrupted'

32. That was the same year Best Original Song nominee Björk donned the swan dress by Macedonian designer Marjan Pejoski.

Bjork wearing a creation by Marjan Djodjov Pejoski arriving for the 73rd Annual Academy Awards

33. Julia Roberts looked breezy and beautiful in a vintage black-and-white Valentino when she won Best Actress for Erin Brockovich.

Julia Roberts posing with her Oscar 2001

34. Halle Berry was breathtaking in this Elie Saab gown with the sheer, flower appliqué top at the 2002 Academy Awards.

Halle Berry at the Kodak Theater

35. Charlize Theron stunned in 2004 in this beaded Gucci gown. She won Best Actress for Monster.

Charlize Theron, winner for Best Actress for "Monster"

36. Nicole Kidman looked statuesque in a bright red Balenciaga gown, complete with bow and train, that she wore in 2007.

Nicole Kidman attend the 79th Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 25, 2007

37. Angelina Jolie made the moment with this sky-high slit asymmetrical gown from Versace at the 2012 ceremony.

Actress Angelina Jolie arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards  in 2012

38. That same night, Octavia Spencer was radiant in a hand-beaded, ivory silk tulle Tadashi Shoji gown after winning Best Supporting Actress for The Help.

Actress Octavia Spencer, winner of the Best Supporting Actress Award for 'The Help,'

39. Jennifer Lawrence had the most expensive dress in Oscar history so far with her cream-colored gown in 2013, designed by Raf Simons for Christian Dior Haute Couture.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 2013 Oscars

40. Lupita Nyong'o oozed joy and fun in her sky-blue Prada gown in 2014, when she took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave.

Actress Lupita Nyong'o poses in the press room during the Oscars at Loews Hollywood Hotel on March 2, 2014

41. Viola Davis was flawless in red when she took home Best Supporting Actress for Fences in 2017 while wearing an Armani Privé Dress.

Actor Viola Davis, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for 'Fences' poses in the press room during the 89th Annual Academy Awards

42. Billy Porter brought the night to its knees with his 2019 tuxedo dress by Christian Siriano while working the red carpet for ABC.

Billy Porter attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards

43. Zendaya gave everything with her 2021 look, a yellow custom Valentino cutout dress with Bulgari jewelry and Jimmy Choo heels. Who needs to be a nominee to take home a win?

Zendaya attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards in 2021