Cher Says She Wore Her 'Controversial' 1986 Oscars Gown to Send a Message to The Academy

'I wanted it to be so over-the-top," the singer recalls as she reflects working with her longtime fashion collaborator, Bob Mackie, in new Vogue video

Cher just confirmed she has always been the ultimate style rebel.

While breaking down 22 of her most iconic looks from 1965 to now in a new video for Vogue, the singer shared the story behind her controversial midriff-baring 1986 Oscars ensemble.

Created by her longtime friend and designer, Bob Mackie, Cher wore a black jewel-encrusted bralette, a matching low-rise side-slit skirt, thigh-high black boots and an embroidered shawl. The artist finished off her look with a voluminous feather headpiece.

“This was one of my favorite outfits,” the icon explains in the video. “I came to Bob with an idea. I said I want to have a mohawk, [but] that is not actually Indian. I want it to be so over-the-top that it’s next week. The beautiful shawl was cashmere. I loved the whole thing”

Julian Wasser/Liaison

While Cher has never been afraid to show skin (just take her 1974 Met Gala “naked” dress for example), she revealed the real reason she chose the risqué Oscars outfit.

“I had the idea mostly because the Academy didn’t really like me,” Cher adds. “They they hated the way I dressed and I had young boyfriends so they thought I wasn’t serious. So I came out and said, ‘as you can see I got my handbook on how to dress like a serious actress.’”

And much to her surprise, Cher walked away with an Oscar for Best Actress one year later for her role in the 1987 flick, Moonstruck.

“I didn’t really have a speech because I could never imagine [winning],” Cher continues. “First of all, it was a comedy and it’s hard to win for a comedy. Second, I just thought I’m never going to get this. Why would I?”

Oscars Awards Ceremony, Los Angeles, America - 1988

The singer and actress also reflected on other unconventional outfits, including her 1974 Met Gala “naked” dress (another Bob Mackie creation).

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“If you look at it, it looks like it’s stuck to me, and that’s because it is,” she says in the video. “When I put it on, Bob sprayed it and it just sticks to your skin so it looks like your skin is beaded. I think people were a little taken aback.”

The actress and singer also pointed out her fashion faux pas, saying, “I didn’t look like me” about one of her Vogue covers and calling other looks “unfortunate.”

And to this day, Cher creates her own fashion rules, most recently at the 2019 Met Gala.

“I just said f*** it,” Cher says referring to the looks she wore on stage during her surprise performance at this year’s Met Gala. “I had another outfit to wear, but in the ‘Believe’ era, nothing goes. It’s kind of a mismatch.”

“My style was pretty much what I was feeling at the moment, no matter what anyone else was doing,” she concludes. “I didn’t pay too much attention.”

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