How The Best Actress Award Winners Dress Evolved From 1930 to 2017

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Each January, the entertainment community and film fans around the world turn their attention to the Academy Awards. Interest and anticipation builds to a fevered pitch leading up to the Oscar telecast in February, when hundreds of millions of films lovers tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honours in film making.

For sure, some of the coolest moments are the red carpet and the award consignment where the best actors and actress show up themselves and “compete” with each other to look the best in front of the screen.

They are used to surprise the audience with the latest trend or the most attractive, gorgeous or even controversial dress. But how does the style changed throughout the years, from 1930 to nowadays 2017? Is it better or worse? How the actress looked? Did they improve or is it just a matter of taste, habit and culture?

Let’s have a look at the 64 best actress winners and what they have worn to the Oscars.

November 1930: Norma Shearer won for the role in “The Divorce”. For the occasion she wore a jacket over her dress that had fur-trimmed sleeves.

november-1930-norma-shearer
AP

 

November 1931: the best actress award winner was Marie Dressler for her role in “Min and Bill.”

november 1931 norma shearer
AP

 

March 1937: “The Great Ziegfeld” made Luise Rainer win the Oscar as the best actress.

march 1937 luise rainer
AP

 

February 1939: Bette Davis wins her second best actress Oscar for her role in “Jezebel.”

february 1939 bette davis
AP

 

February 1940: Vivienne Leigh was the winner thanks to her role in “Gone with the Wind”. For the occasion, she wore a single-strapped dress.

february 1940 vivienne leigh
AP

 

March 1941: wearing a sheer dress, Ginger Rogers accepted the Oscar for “Kitty Foyle”.

march 1941 ginger rogers
AP

 

February 1942: the best actress winner was Joan Fontaine for “Suspicion”.

february 1942 joan fontaine
AP

 

March 1945: the film was “Gaslight” and made Ingrid Bergman the happy winner while wearing a dark skirt and blouse .

march 1945 ingrid bergman
AP Photo/Harold P. Matosian

 

March 1947: Olivia De Havilland takes home the Oscar for her part in “To Each His Own”.

march 1947 olivia de havilland
AP

 

March 1948: Loretta Young won the Oscar for “The Farmer’s Daughter”. She accepted the award in a green satin gown with matching gloves.

march 1948 loretta young
AP

 

March 1949: she is Jane Wyman and her role in “Johnny Belinda” awarded her as the best actress.

march 1949 jane wyman
AP

 

March 1950: Olivia de Havilland thanked her role in “The Heiress” for making her win her second Oscar, accepted wearing a pair of gloves.

march 1950 olivia de havilland
AP

 

March 1954: Audrey Hepburn, awarded for her role in “Roman Holiday”. She wore an ivory Givenchy dress

1954 audrey hepburn
AP

 

March 1955: the best actress winner was Grace Kelly in “The Country Girl.”

march 1955 grace kelly
AP

 

March 1958: Joanne Woodward wore a strapless gown with white gloves when she accepted her award for “The Three Faces of Eve”.

march 1958 joanne woodward
AP

 

April 1959: Susan Hayward was awarded as the best actress for the role in “I Want to Live!”. She wore a black dress.

april 1959 susan hayward
AP

 

April 1960: Simone Signoret was the best actress winner for “Room at the Top” and this is how she looked with Charlton Heston.

april 1960 simone signoret
AP

 

April 1961: Elizabeth Taylor had a role in “Butterfield 8” and accepted the award in a floral Christian Dior gown.

april 1961 elizabeth taylor
AP

 

April 1965: Julie Andrews, in a pale yellow gown, is hugging the Oscar won as the best actress in “Mary Poppins”.

april 1965 julie andrews
AP

 

April 1966: Julie Christie decided to dress shiny gold like the Oscar won for the role in “Darling”.

april 1966 julie christie
AP

 

April 1968: Barbara Streisand played a role “Funny Girl” and was awarded as best actress. She wore a Arnold Scaasi pantsuit with a see-through effect under the lights.

april 1968 barbara streisand
AP

 

March 1972: Jane Fonda decided to go conservative with a black Yves Saint Laurent suit when she received the Oscar for “Klute”.

march 1972 jane fonda
AP

 

March 1973: Liza Minnelli won the Oscar as the best actress for her part in “Cabaret”. She accepted the award in a bright yellow Halston dress.

march 1973 liza minnelli
AP

 

March 1976: the best actress winner was Louise Fletcher for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. She wore a gown by Alfred Fiandaca.

march 1976 Louise Fletcher
AP Photo/JFM

 

March 1977: Faye Dunaway wore a loose-fitting black Geoffery Beene dress to accept her award for her role in “Network”.

march 1977 faye dunaway
AP Photo/Penderbrass

 

April 1978: this year was the time for Diane Keaton and her role in “Annie Hall”. She accepted the award in a Ruth Morley suit.

april 1978 diane keaton
AP

 

April 1979: Jane Fonda was awarded for “Coming Home” in a gorgeous James Reva gown.

april 1979 jane fonda
AP

 

April 1980: Sally Field accepted the Oscar for “Norma Rae” wearing a white Bob Mackie dress with a sheer floral cover.

april 1980 sally field
YouTube/Oscars

March 1981: Sissy Spacek decided to wear a a black jumpsuit when she accepted the award for her part in “Coal Miner’s Daughter”.

march 1981 sissy spacek
AP

 

1983: Maryl Streep too decided to match the Oscar statue wearing a gold Christian Leigh dress. She was awarded as best actress for the role in “Sophie’s Choice”.

1983 maryl streep
Youtube Oscar

 

March 1985: Sally Field appeared in a sleeveless black dress as she accepted the Oscar for “Places in the Heart”.

march 1985 sally field
AP

 

March 1986: Geraldine Page won for her role in “The Trip to Bountiful” and accepted the Oscar wearing a cape.

YOUTUBE OSCAR

 

March 1986: Marlee Matlin played the role of a deaf woman in “Children of a Lesser God” that made her win the best actress award accepted in a pink dress matched with a floral headpiece.

AP Photo/Lennox McLendon

 

April 1988: Cher decided to astonish everyone wearing a transparent two-piece Bob Mackie ensemble when she accept the award for “Moonstruck”.

Lennox McLendon/AP Photo

 

March 1989: Jodie Foster was the best actress and accepted the Oscar for her role in “The Accused” wearing an aqua gown.

AP

 

March 1990: Jessica Tandy was in a two-piece by Giorgio Armani as she accepted the award for her part in “Driving Miss Daisy”.

AP/Bob Galbraith

 

March 1991: that year Kathy Bates had a role in “Misery” and won the best actress award. She wore a shoulder-padded black gown.

AP / Bob Galbraith

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March 1992: Jodie Foster took home the gold statue again for “Silence of the Lambs.” An Armani jacket and matching gloves were the choice of the actress that time.

AP / Bob Galbraith

 

March 1993: Emma Thompson won the award for her portrayal in “Howards End” and wore an emerald Caroline Charles gown for the occasion.

AP / Douglas C. Pizac

 

March 1994: Holly Hunter opted for a black Vera Wang dress with a hint of sparkle when she accepted the best actress award for “The Piano”.

AP / Lois Bernstein

 

March 1995: it was the time for Jessica Lange and her role in “Blue Sky”. She chose a Calvin Klein dress.

AP

 

March 1996: Susan Sarandon wore a bronze Dolce & Gabbana gown as she accepted the gold for her role in”Dead Man Walking”.

AP / Reed Saxon

 

March 1997: Frances McDormand wore a simple black dress which showed off her arms when she won for her part in “Fargo”.

AP

 

March 1998: Helen Hunt went royalty wearing a strapless blue dress by Tom Ford for Gucci when she was awarded as best actress for “As Good as it Gets”.

AP / Kevork Djansezian

 

March 1999: Gwyneth Paltrow and her role in “Shakespeare in Love” won the best actress award. She accepted the gold in a baby pink Ralph Lauren princess gown.

AP / Michael Caulfield

 

March 2000: Hilary Swank accepted the gold for her role in “Boys Don’t Cry” wearing a strapless bronze Randolph Duke dress.

AP / Eric Draper

 

March 2001: Julia Roberts was the winner. She wore a stunning black Valentino gown with white accents and an extremely detailed back. She took home the gold for her portrayal in “Erin Brockovich.”

David McNew / Getty Images

 

March 2002: Halle Berry was awarded for her role in “Monster’s Ball”, becoming the first African American woman to win the gold. She looked memorable with her floor-sweeping Elie Saab gown where the transparencies were the real protagonists.

AP

 

March 2003: Nicole Kidman was wearing a black Jean Paul Gaultier dress as she accepted her Oscar for the role in “The Hours”.

AP / Kim D. Johnson

 

February 2004: Charlize Theron was awarded as the best actress for “Monster” and wore a stunning glittering Gucci dress that started the trend of backless dresses.

AP / Laura Rauch

 

February 2005: Hilary Swank won the Oscar for the role in “Million Dollar Baby”. She stunned the audience in a sexy backless Guy Laroche dress gown.

Chris Polk / FilmMagic via Getty Images

 

March 2006: Reese Witherspoon was thankful to her role in “Walk the Line” that made her took home the gold wearing a Christian Dior gown.

AP / Mark J. Terrill

 

February 2007: Helen Mirren wore a Christian Lacroix gown as she accepted the award for “The Queen”.

AP / Kevork Djansezian

 

February 2008: Marion Cotillard turned a mermaid with her Jean Paul Gaultier gown. She was awarded as best actress for “La Vie En Rose”.

AP / Chris Pizzello

 

February 2009: Kate Winslet, for her part in “The Reader”, took home the Oscar in a one-shouldered petrol blue Yves Saint Laurent.

AP / Matt Sayles

 

March 2010: Sandra Bullock opted for a sparkling silver Marchesa dress as she accepted the award for “The Blindside”.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

 

February 2011: Natalie Portman was pregnant when she took home the gold for “Black Swan”. For the occasion she chose a violet Rodarte dress.

AP / Matt Sayles

 

February 2012: Meryl Streep was another best actress winner who decided to match her Oscar for “The Iron Lady” in a gold Lanvin dress.

AP / Matt Sayles

 

February 2013: Jennifer Lawrence was wearing a pearl white Christian Dior gown as she accepted her award for “Silver Linings Playbook”.

AP / John Shearer

 

March 2014: Cate Blanchett wore a nude Armani Privé gown during the acceptance of the award for the role in “Blue Jasmine”.

AP

 

February 2015: Julianne Moore was the best actress award winner thanks to her portrayal in “Still Alice”. She wore a Chanel gown for the occasion.

AP / Evan Agostini

 

February 2016: Brie Larson looked radiant in her royal blue Gucci dress as she accepted the Oscar for “Room”.

AP / Jordan Strauss

 

…and we come to this year edition with Emma Stone who won the award last February 2017: She wore a fringe, beaded Givenchy Haute Couture gold gown to accept her first Academy Award for Best Actress in “La La Land”.

emma stone golden dress oscar 2017
GETTY

Are you passionate of films and do you follow the Academy Awards? Which dress and actress do you prefer? Do you think they are better today or in the past?

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