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The History of the Academy Awards Fashion

In 1927, Louis B. Mayer, president of the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, conceived the idea of awarding prizes annually to the most outstanding films, directors and actors. In nearly nine decades of its existence, the Oscars has established the awards ceremony in recognising excellence in film, in addition to becoming one of the most followed television events of the year in the world. 


The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA    

Although there are still weeks to celebrate the long-awaited Oscar Gala, we cannot stop reliving some of the best outfit moments on the red carpet. In particular, the most expensive dresses in history. The first ceremony of the Oscar Awards was held in 1929 and it was a small dinner. The awards were given three months before, so there were no great expectations. In 1953 it was televised for the first time in the United States and Canada, and in more than 200 countries around the world since 1969.

   The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA 

Each year the Oscar Awards gala is the most anticipated awards ceremony of the season and the expectations of the red carpet are the highest. From Audrey Hepburn to Lupita Nyong'o, if an Oscar was awarded to the best dressed, the winners list would be extensive.

History of the Academy Awards Fashion

Charles Chaplin, 1929
The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA   

The mythical comedian poses with his wife with the honorary Oscar that was handed to him in 1972. The actor was one of the first artists to receive one of the Academy Awards at the 1929 ceremony.   


Humphrey Bogart, 1951
The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA   

We will always remember him for his performance in Casablanca, his white tuxedo and his story with Ingrid Bergman, but the truth is that the eternal bad-tempered gallant got recognition thanks to his work in The Queen of Africa in 1951.


Marilyn Monroe, 1951
   The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA

Marilyn Monroe never won an Academy Award, nor was she ever nominated. However, she attracted the eyes of all in the ceremony in 1951. The actress had to deliver one of the prizes and to do so, she decided on a luxurious black tulle dress with a deep neckline.   


John Wayne and Olivia de Havilland
The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA    

The quintessential cowboy of the film and the mythical Melanie of “Gone with the Wind” that stole the groom from Vivien Leigh, pose in this historic 1953 image when Wayne collected two awards on behalf of Gary Cooper and John Ford.


Audrey Hepburn, 1954
The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA    

Audrey Hepburn wore this elegant dress when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in “The Princess” that occupied the highest part of the list of the best outfit. It was created by Givenchy, exclusively for Audrey, and embodies the incarnation of his famous style: elegance and refinement. The dress even has its own page on Wikipedia.


Elizabeth Taylor, 1961
 The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA  

In 1961, Elizabeth Taylor won the Best Actress award for her role in “A Venus in Mink”. To attend the ceremony, the actress opted for an impressive Dior dress that enhanced her slim waist.


Barbra Streisand, 1969
 The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA

The trouser suit that Barbra Streisand wore to receive the award for her role in the film “Rare Girl” was also included in the list that would go down in history as both the best and of the worst outfit worn at the Oscars. First, she chose a trouser suit instead of a traditional dress. Secondly, it turned out to be completely transparent. The actress confessed that she did not know that the lights would shine through her attire.


Matt Damon 2016
The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA    

Matt Damon went back to the red carpet of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. For the gala, the protagonist of Mars chose a black suit with a bow tie.     


Chris Evans, 2017
The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA   

If we see Chris Evans from top to bottom we might think he went to the Oscars almost as perfect as Captain America, but he has ended up on the list of the worst dressed because he does not seem to know how to choose the right shoes.


How was the red carpet born?
The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA   

The red carpet is something like a luxury and glamor catwalk where nothing can be left to improvisation. And we’re not just talking about the tie or the shoes, we are also referring to having the pose rehearsed to get the most out of the little time you have to show off in front of the photographers. The carpet did not reach the Academy Awards until 1961 and had a far more practical reason than initially thought: as in the case of Agamemnon, the fabric simply served to guide celebrities to the event room.

   The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA


But just three years later, in 1964, the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences realised that the public was interested to see the display of dresses, tuxedos, jewellery and hairstyles of the stars, so it extended the layout of the carpet and began to focus the start of their television broadcasts on it instead, something that remains to this day.

   In recent years, innovation has been sought in the stylistic coverage of the red carpet, with the inclusion of elements such as the Mani-cam, which showed the hands of the stars but was later removed.

 The History of the Academy Awards Fashion-OTAA  


The Oscars not only focuses on awarding the winners, hearing speeches or enjoying the musical presentations. Fashion, style and all things glamorous also captures our attention. In addition to the winners, of course, the images of the red carpet become the most talked about and desired items of discussion during the Oscars. Fascination with Oscar dresses may even have outstripped interest in the Oscars themselves. It’s what we remember the morning after. Possibly, sometimes years after because not all Oscar dresses are created the same.  

Peter Marshall is a legend amongst the men of OTAA. Sharp dressed to a point, only his wit has more edge.
An English gentleman, lover of business and an avid blogger




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