June 02, 2014 02:30 PM

The Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards are Monday night, which means one thing and one thing only: Tons of A-list stars in high-fashion gowns by American designers for us to talk about (slash drool over). Before we start discussing all the looks on the red carpet tonight, though, we wanted to pay tribute to some of our favorite gowns from years past. See who had our favorite dresses from the event and leave your thoughts and favorites in the comments.


Jackie Fields, Writer/Reporter: The minute I saw Zoë Saldana hit — excuse me — grace the 2012 CFDA red carpet alongside Prabal Gurung in his stunning, partially sheer design, I thought: “If this isn’t proof that every girl needs a designer bestie, I don’t know what is.” And then I joined a gym. I swear to you, Gurung’s tasteful take on the sheer trend (which is at times downright horrid) is the very reason these translucent panels have thrived. When done right, they can be seductive, but oh so sophisticated — in the case of this dress, it’s thanks to the perfect positioning of the panels, and the fact that Gurung chose classic black. Paired with Saldana’s smokey cat eye and simple updo, it’s the picture of perfection.


Zoë Ruderman, Deputy Style and Beauty Director: On Monday night, Rihanna is being honored with the CFDA Fashion Icon Award and while I have a feeling she’ll wear something worth talking about, nothing she chooses could beat her first CFDA Awards look back in 2006. Because this dress is incredible. It’s Max Azria Atelier in a midnight-blue shade that coordinates with the singer’s eye shadow and her velvet clutch. Everything about the cut is perfect on her, from the flattering bustline and halter to the cinched waist and the train. Combined with the simple jewelry and her classic updo, it gives me a serious case of nostalgia back to a time when Rihanna was just Rihanna, not Bad Girl RiRi in her netted veils, low-slung-double-fly jeans, crop tops and baseball jerseys.

RELATED PHOTOS: See all the stunning stars at last year’s CFDA Awards!


Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor: Leave it up to Gwyneth Paltrow to wear cutouts before cutouts were a thing. The actress’s second-skin, shimmery Michael Kors gown at the 2010 CFDAs fit her so well that I can’t remember what anyone else wore that year. I also love that she opted for a simple sleek pony to show off the asymmetrical neckline on the design and played things up with a dramatic smoky eye. And I hope she attends this year in something that blows this look out of the water. (It would be hard to do.) Maybe a sparkly jumpsuit? Palazzo pants and a crop top?

Wireimage;Splash News Online(2)

Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor: At the Met Gala, I love to see way over-the-top ballgowns that play to a theme. But at the CFDA Awards, I’m all about simplicity — favoring dresses that say the most while doing the least. Last year I gave a shout-out to Blake Lively’s gorgeous hot pink Michael Kors number, which may have been topped by Nicole Richie‘s equally simple, equally sexy Marc Jacobs creation from 2013. She wore it with barely-there accessories and a slicked-back bun — and it only further proved the minimalist power of the dress when Miley Cyrus tried it out with a turban (with less success) a few months later.

What’s your all-time favorite CFDA look? Who are you excited to see tonight? Tell us in the comments!

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