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The most ‘out-there’ Oscars red carpet fashion of all time

How to dress for the Oscars
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You may have forgotten who took home the Academy Award for best actor in 2001, but you probably remember Björk’s swan dress.

The Oscars have had no shortage of out-there looks over the years, from Cher’s bedazzled two-piece ensembles to Geena Davis’ ruffled mini dress.

Ahead of the 92nd Academy Awards on Feb. 9, we took a trip down red carpet memory lane. Here are some of the most memorable — and outrageous — Oscars outfits of all time.

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Demi Moore, 1989

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Arriving at the awards show with then-husband Bruce Willis, Moore wore black spandex bicycle shorts and a textured corset that she styled herself.

To add an element of formality to the look, Moore attached a half-skirt made out of metallic floral fabric. Despite it being the ’80s when workout shorts were all the rage, the actor’s outfit made many worst-dressed lists.

READ MORE: Oscar nominations slammed over lack of diversity

Vogue, however, fondly looked back on Moore’s DIY ensemble in 2018, calling it “enticing in many ways.”

Cher, 1986

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Whoever sat behind Cher at the Oscars in 1986 likely had an obstructed view, but this sequin outfit and feathered headdress is one of the star’s most iconic looks.

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Designed by renowned fashion and costume designer Bob Mackie, the performer wore the one-of-a-kind outfit to present the award for Best Supporting Actor.

Cher often wore Mackie’s creations to the Academy Awards; in 1973 she wore a yellow embellished two-piece and continued to sport his designs throughout the ’80s, including in 1988 when she won an Oscar for Moonstruck.

Faith Hill, 2002

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The country singer brought a lot of colour to the red carpet at the 74th Academy Awards.

Wearing Versace, Hill’s rainbow gown looked like a prom dress gone wrong. Its tablecloth-esque fabric was so form-fitting it must have been hard for Hill to just breathe.

Björk, 2001

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Who could forget the swan dress? Icelandic artist Björk turned heads at the 2001 Oscars when she arrived in a nude bodysuit under a feathered swan wrapped around her neck. She even stopped to “lay” eggs on the red carpet.

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The dress was designed by Macedonian designer Marjan Pejoski, who has since dressed other celebrities, like Katy Perry.

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Björk’s look is so iconic that it was included in a MoMA exhibit and has inspired endless pop culture references. At the Emmy Awards the same year, Ellen DeGeneres wore a swan dress knock-off, and Kevin James did the same at the 2002 People’s Choice Awards.

When hosting the Oscars in 2006, Jon Stewart even joked about the dress and said Björk wasn’t in attendance because she had been shot by Dick Cheney, referencing his infamous hunting accident.

Billy Bob Thornton, 1997

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A real mix of formal and casual attire, Thornton came to the 69th annual Academy Awards dressed in a three-piece suit and ZZ Top baseball hat.

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He took home an Oscar that year for his film Sling Blade wearing a ribbon around his neck as a tie. At least it was less controversial than a blood vial.

Cher, 1974

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This list could be comprised of only Cher’s Oscars outfits, but this two-piece ensemble is one of her most revealing looks.

Designed by her go-to Bob Mackie, the superstar wore a sheer, patterned skirt with a matching barely-there halter top that exposed her midriff. In the same floral fabric, Cher sported a scarf/necklace hybrid tied around her neck.

READ MORE: Here’s your full list of 2020 Academy Award nominees

Purple and blue eyeshadow (and nails) finished the look.

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Geena Davis, 1992

Geena Davis (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Geena Davis (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images) Getty

Even though it was the ’90s — a decade when many fashion crimes were committed — Davis’ Oscars look was just plain bad.

Nominated for her role in Thelma and Louise, Davis arrived at the awards show in a ruffled mini dress complete with satin gloves that nearly reached her armpits. To highlight the dress’ train, Davis wore contrasting black sheer tights and pointed black shoes.

Created by costume designers Ruth Meyers and Bill Hargate, the dress looked like a wedding gown that had gone through a paper shredder.

Whoopi Goldberg, 1993

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Between the neon green and purple satin, Goldberg brought a lot of personality to the 1993 Academy Awards.

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The actor and comedian wore a patterned jumpsuit underneath a cape-like skirt and collared jacket. To complete the look, Goldberg sported matching shoes. At least she was committed.

Gwyneth Paltrow, 2002

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Before she was convincing women to put jade eggs inside their vaginas, Paltrow went bra-less in an Alexander McQueen sheer gown at the 2002 Academy Awards.

Between the smoky eye makeup, side braid, and overall attempt to be gothic chic, Paltrow perfectly embodied the mood of the early 2000s.

Sally Kirkland, 2007

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… an Oscars dress?

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Kirkland really failed to take off with this caped sheer getup at the 2007 Academy Awards. The actor claimed it was made by her Kabbalah teacher and called the look “a rabbi and a reverend,” whatever that means.

Celine Dion, 1999

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This outfit is tame compared to some of the others Dion has worn, but it still caused a stir back in 1990. The Canadian superstar wore a Dior satin suit jacket backwards, paired with an oversized fedora and bedazzled sunglasses.

READ MORE: 2020 Oscars confirmed to be host-free

While she wasn’t the first celebrity to play with “menswear,” Dion was an early adopter of suits over dresses on the red carpet.

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Lady Gaga, 2015

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Known for her out-there outfits (who could forget her 2010 meat dress?! Or showing up at an awards show in an egg?!), Lady Gaga looked like she went straight from scrubbing dishes to the Oscars with her red leather gloves — which became the subject of many memes. (It was later speculated that she wore the gloves to cover her new engagement ring.)

The artist paired the oversized gloves with a custom Azzedine Alaïa gown for the red carpet and changed outfits for her on-stage performance.

Gaga’s white dress took two weeks to make and required a team of 25 people, Vogue reported.

Pharrell, 2014

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Pharrell likes hats but he doesn’t like pants.

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At the 2014 Oscars, the musician wore the top half of a suit with skater shorts. Pharrell has gone on to repeat this offensive look at other award shows and public events, including the 2019 Oscars where he wore camo shorts.

Laura.Hensley@globalnews.ca