2004: CATHERINE ZETA-JONES
The star sizzled in a chiffon Atelier Versace gown sprinkled with Swarovski crystals and designed, she confided, by her “great friend” Donatella.
2007: NICOLE KIDMAN
The style icon was ahead of the fashion curve in her scarlet Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière gown accented at the neck with an avant-garde structured bow.
2006: KEIRA KNIGHTLEY
The Best Actress nominee for her role in Pride and Prejudice was perfectly poised in wine-red Vera Wang. “I’m strapped in,” she told PEOPLE. “It keeps me upright.”
2005: SANDRA OH
The Sideways star set off her ruched vermillion Michael Kors gown with dazzling circles of diamonds at her neck and wrist.
2003: RENéE ZELLWEGER
It was a red-letter day for the Chicago actress, who was up for the Best Actress award in a dazzling crimson chiffon Carolina Herrera dress that reflected the film’s Jazz Age feel. She complemented the look with a vintage Neil Lane ruby ring.
2002: KATE WINSLET
The Best Supporting Actress nominee admitted to keeping her figure in check with a corset beneath her scarlet Ben de Lisi gown. But despite the tight squeeze, “the comfort level is pretty good,” she said.
2001: LAURA LINNEY
“It has a Grecian thing going on,” the Best Actress nominee said of her red-hot Valentino dress with flowing chiffon train.
2000: UMA THURMAN
Accompanied by then-husband Ethan Hawke, the Oscar presenter epitomized simple elegance in a crimson Alberta Ferretti gown and perfectly matched lips.
1999: CATHERINE ZETA JONES
The Zorro star, whose film was nominated for two Academy Awards, lived every girl’s dream in a stunning red Versace. “It’s an event dress,” she commented. “When I saw it, it was like what I used to dream about wearing.”
1998: MINNIE DRIVER
The Good Will Hunting star, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, admitted to going commando under her body-skimming Halston gown, which she accented with a dyed-to-match fox stole.
1997: SIGOURNEY WEAVER
The actress was the picture of refined beauty in a bias-cut burgundy silk gown complemented with a ruby-encrusted cuff at her wrist and glimmering earrings.