The Most Non-Oscars Oscar Dresses of All Time

Though most stars tend to go for Old Hollywood glamour at the biggest awards show of the year, these stars weren't afraid to use the opportunity to take a major red carpet risk

01 of 17

Demi Moore – 1989

61st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
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Biker shorts were one of the most popular lower body coverings of the ‘80s, but it takes a truly bold woman to bring these Tour de France fashions to the biggest black tie affair of the season.

02 of 17

Barbra Streisand – 1969

Barbra Streisand with an Oscar

Every celeb who now regularly wears a naked dress on the red carpet should bow down to this icon, who was sporting fully sheer fashions decades before most of them were even born.

03 of 17

Whoopi Goldberg – 1993

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Whoopi’s Oscars dress is the equivalent of a couture mullet—business purple ball gown on top, party paisley pants on the bottom.

04 of 17

Jada Pinkett Smith – 1997

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While we could easily see this look being worn today by Rihanna or any number of next generation supermodels, at the time Jada Pinkett-Smith’s green, liquid metal Versace crop top and maxi skirt (complete with belly chain and coordinated hubby) were nothing short of scandalous.

05 of 17

Celine Dion – 1999

71st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
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While Celine Dion is currently experiencing a bit of a sartorial renaissance, the backwards white tuxedo she wore in 1999 proves she’s never not been a red carpet queen.

06 of 17

Björk - 2001

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Ron Davis/Getty

For better or worse, Björk's swan dress is undeniably one of the most memorable and maligned Oscars dresses of all time.

07 of 17

Gwyneth Paltrow – 2002

The 74th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

While this dress isn’t all that unusual (especially in comparison to some of the other looks in this gallery), for Gwyneth this goth McQueen gown was far more Wednesday Addams than her usual glamorous Grace Kelly vibes. For the record, she still regrets not wearing a bra that night.

08 of 17

Faith Hill – 2002

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Ron Galella/WireImage

Surely, there is no dress more appropriate to perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in than this technicolor ombré column.

09 of 17

Uma Thurman – 2004

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Oscars were alive with the Sound of Music when Uma Thurman attended in this dirndl-inspired gown.

10 of 17

Lady Gaga – 2015

87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Jason Merritt/Getty

While opera gloves were once black tie de rigeur, Gaga’s very specific red ones had everyone rushing to make comparisons, ranging from a Palmolive commercial to Cruella de Vil.

11 of 17

Lizzy Gardiner – 1995

The 67th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

The Oscar-winning costume designer’s dress cut right to the chase: it costs a lot of money to look this good. Well, unless your dress is made entirely out of gold American Express cards, that is … in which case it probably still requires a pretty high spending limit.

12 of 17

Isaac Hayes – 1971

Isaac Hayes Holding His Oscar Award

Men’s suiting doesn’t involve nearly enough fun fur accents, as Isaac Hayes proved in this suit with ruffled cuffs, fluffy baby blue lapels and a matching fur bow tie.

13 of 17

Trey Parker and Matt Stone – 2000

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When attending your first Oscars, it’s best to take a style cue from the red carpet pros, like these two South Park creators did, recreating Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow’s iconic ensembles.

14 of 17

Dennis Rodman – 1997

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Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

The basketball player has never met a flourish he didn’t like, accessorizing his brocade blue tux with a crushed velvet top hat, ruffled sleeves, pocket watch, and a swipe of matching blue eyeshadow just for good measure.

15 of 17

Juliette Lewis – 1992


While the actress’s ensemble was pure "classic debutante" thanks to the sheath dress and long single-strand pearls, her beauty look was pure ‘90s hip hop with a head full of unexpected cornrows.

16 of 17

Cher -1973 and 1974

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty; PHIL ROACH-IPOL-GLOBE

For Cher, the Oscars have always been all about the abs, from her first time attending in a yellow bejeweled bandeau and the tropical bikini top and sarong she wore the very next year…

17 of 17

Cher - 1986, 1988 and 1998

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To the showgirl phase of her career during which she wore two of her most memorable looks of all time, a black bedazzled bra and skirt complete with feathered headpiece and a similar belly dancer-esque sheer, spangled dress. Almost a decade later, she returned to the ceremony in yet another futuristic chapeau and semi-sheer gown.

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