15 Oscar Red Carpet Gowns That Didn't Even Try To Look Like Clothing

Even the most talented couture designers make sartorial missteps, and at no time are these mistakes more evident than during awards season. In their haste to create something memorable and buzz-worthy, occasionally designers take a step too far and create a look that is talked about for all the wrong reasons. In honor of the upcoming 2015 Oscars red carpet on February 22, here are 15 ensembles from Academy Awards past that regrettably appear to look nothing like actual clothing.

by Tyler Atwood

Helena Bonham Carter's British Flag-Accented Robe

Call it a patriotic statement, a shredded bathrobe, or a glorified corset, but this garment barely qualifies as a red carpet gown.


Anne Sweeney's Surgical Gown

The reasoning behind Anne Sweeney’s split navy gown with crimson underlying is clearly quite innovative, but in reality the gown appears to be a horrifying Halloween costume.

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Viola Davis's Lurid Green Gown

As much as I admire Viola Davis’s sartorial choices and on-screen talent, the actress’s lurid green Vera Wang gown looked more like an asparagus tip than an ensemble.

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Laura Gorenstein Miller's Cabbage Patch Gown

I understand the impetus behind Laura Gorenstein Miller’s tiered mint gown, but the creation too closely resembles a head of lettuce to achieve “Best Dressed” status in my book.

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Melissa Leo's Hole-Punched Paper

Perhaps if Melissa Leo’s gown were more fitted or less stiff, the ensemble would have been a match made in heaven. However, in reality the look was incredibly akin to hole-punched thick stock white paper.

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Uma Thurman's Belted Blanket

Simply because a haute couture designer created a confection does not necessarily makes the piece aesthetically pleasing. Case in point: Uma Thurman’s 2004 Christian Lacroix design appeared more like a belted duvet cover than a gown.


Bjork's Swan Song

Much has been made of Bjork’s swan gown, but the simple conclusion is this: the “gown” was little more than a stuffed animal sewed onto a skating costume. However, Bjork can get away with such a bizarre statement because she’s Bjork.


Brandi Glanville's Pasties

Forget qualifying Brandi Glanville’s Oscar ensemble as a dress; the look barely constituted clothing, let alone a couture gown.

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Sally Kirkland's Seven Veils

Sally Kirkland evidently enjoyed performing Salome’s “Dance of the Seven Veils” on the Oscars red carpet, not once showing remorse for the fact that her ensemble didn’t actually feature clothing.

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Selma Blair's Knotted Yarn

I do appreciate the rich crimson hue of Selma Blair’s look as well as its ’20s connotations, but the fact remains that the dress is little more than a knotted, twisted ball or yarn.

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Tilda Swinton's Black Draperies

Even Tilda Swinton appeared genuinely distressed to be dressed in what looked remarkably like a black velvet drapery of some sort.


Jennifer Lopez's Space Suit

Far be it for me to criticize the work of Giorgio Armani, but Jennifer Lopez’s 2004 Oscar gown did resemble a sort of space suit at certain angles thanks to its bubble wrap-esque fabric and avant-garde design.


Angelina Jolie's Mourning Shroud

Why Angelina Jolie chose to wear a mourning shroud as a gown is anyone’s guess.


Faith Hill's Rainbow Bird

Faith Hill’s decision to wear a rainbow-plumed bird to the Oscars was certainly a questionable one.

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Pamela Anderson's Itsy Bitsy Getup

The lack of clothing in Pamela Anderson’s 2001 Oscars ensemble was all the more apparent when the star stood next to the elegantly attired Elizabeth Hurley, who did remember to clothe herself before she walked out the door.