April 10, 2012 01:00 PM

Terry Richardson for Harper’s Bazaar

When Penélope Cruz is choosing a red carpet dress, she has but one requirement: “All I look for is to be able to breathe,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar.

Working looks from Givenchy, Atelier Versace, Chanel and more as the magazine’s May cover girl, Cruz reveals her designer dream list: “Alaïa, Armani, Dolce, Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano,” she shares. But none have yet topped her favorite fashion moment, her arrival at the 2009 Academy Awards in a vintage white Balmain gown. (She won the Oscar for Vicky Cristina Barcelona that year, too.)

These days, the actress is more likely running around after son Leo in Mother jeans and black Isabel Marant wedge sneakers (“They are sold out everywhere! Tell her to make more,” she jokes). But she still has her fill of pinch-me style moments.

Speaking about her idol, Meryl Streep, she says she first “became obsessed with acting” watching the master on film. But seeing her in person came with a twist when the two did a magazine shoot for AIDS charity (RED) a few years ago. “As soon as she got to the set, I had to sit topless on top of her,” Cruz recalls. “It was the most interesting love scene I’ve ever done.” For more with Cruz, visit harpersbazaar.com/penelopecruz.

Terry Richardson for Harper’s Bazaar


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