The Oscar Best Actress Red Carpet Looks From The Past 14 Years, Because Acting Isn't The Only Thing These Ladies Deserve Awards For

Each year, the Oscars results in victories and losses for some of the big screen's greatest actors. However, not all triumphs relate to their acting abilities. The gowns worn on the Oscar red carpet by Best Actress nominees are as much a part of awards season as the roles which catapulted each into stardom. Though critics may disagree on their favorites, each ensemble is extraordinarily winsome in its own way, as are the actresses who sport them. If you're already itching to know what creations designers have dreamt up for the 2015 Oscars, read on to reminesce about the best Best Actress gowns since the turn of the century.

by Tyler Atwood

Julia Roberts In Valentino

Julia Roberts’ impossibly beautiful Valentino gown added elegance to her win for Erin Brockovich in 2000.


Halle Berry in Elie Saab

A triumphant Halle Berry secured an Oscar for her performance in Monster’s Ball. In sartorial terms, her Elie Saab gown also deserved accolades for its intricate design.


Nicole Kidman In Jean Paul Gaultier

Clad in a Jean Paul Gaultier column that accentuated her statuesque beauty, Nicole Kidman won a Best Actress trophy for her role in The Hours.

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Charlize Theron In Gucci

Her Oscar-winning role in Monster may have been terrifying, but Charlize Theron’s curve-hugging Gucci gown was simply inspired.

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Hilary Swank In Guy Laroche

Hilary Swank’s deep blue Guy Laroche gown at the 2005 Oscars was a modernist, tailored masterpiece of design.

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Reese Witherspoon In Vintage Dior

June Carter Cash had nothing on Reese Witherspoon when the Best Actress winner walked away with her Oscar in a vintage 1950s Dior gown with champagne-hued ribbon, a dipped neckline, and wreaths of intwined embellishment.

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Helen Mirren in Christian Lacroix

Helen Mirren looked no less than regal when she accepted her Oscar for The Queen in an ivory and gold gown by Christian Lacroix with a delicately beaded bodice and full skirt.

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Marion Cotillard

Call it what you will, but Marion Cotillard’s scaled Jean Paul Gaultier mermaid gown was yet another win for the actress at the 2008 Academy Awards


Kate Winslet In Yves Saint Laurent

An ever-elegant Kate Winslet selected a satin Yves Saint Laurent gown rendered in not-quite-fifty shades of grey for her 2009 Best Actress win.

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Sandra Bullock In Marchesa

A radiant Sandra Bullock not only won over film critics for her earnest performance in The Blind Side, she also earned rave reviews for her floral-embroidered silver Marchesa gown with its illusion paneled bodice and slim mermaid train.

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Natalie Portman In Rodarte

A pregnant Natalie Portman drew focus on the red carpet in a simple amethyst gown with a bejeweled bateau neckline by Rodarte when she scored a Best Actress trophy for her part in the hallucinogenic film Black Swan.

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Meryl Streep In Lanvin

A gilded Meryl Streep matched her metallic statuette — as well as the apt title of her film — when she sported a gold ruched Lanvin gown for her Iron Lady win.

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Jennifer Lawrence In Dior Haute Couture

Before her Dior attire became a foregone conclusion on the red carpet, Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence caused several fashion critics to swoon when she sported this pastel strapless Dior Haute Couture gown with a fitted bodice and full train at the 2013 Academy Awards.


Cate Blanchett In Armani Prive

Cate Blanchett may have won the Oscar for her frenetic role in 2014’s Blue Jasmine, but it was her eye-catching Armani Prive gown and dripping gems which took center stage on the red carpet. The beaded, petal-shaped embellishments of her nude Armani gown and her assorted Chopard jewels gave the actress the impression of being covered in fresh florals.