We don’t know the exact formula for creating a lasting impression on the red carpet, but some celebrities – and their stylists – certainly know a thing or two about it. From blundering the basics to baring it all, Savoir Flair’s round-up of the ten times that a gown managed to cause a global sensation will be your favorite trip down memory lane this week.
When J.Lo Wore This to the Grammys
Although Jennifer Lopez is a red-carpet veteran with a penchant for revealing clothing, no single look of hers stands out more than the ultra-revealing Versace dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards in 2000. In fact, long before Kim Kardashian attempted to #BreakTheInternet, Lopez’s gauzy dress was the actual reason that Google’s “Image Search” was created!
Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt explained the phenomenon by saying, “[Google users] wanted more than just text. This first became apparent after the 2000 Grammy Awards, where Jennifer Lopez wore a green dress that, well, caught the world’s attention. At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no sure-fire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: J.Lo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born.”
When Angie Wore This to the Academy Awards
In the era of “nude” dresses that leave little to the imagination, it was surprising when Angelina Jolie’s high-slit Atelier Versace gown caught the public’s eye. It was her gleaming gam, however, peeking from beneath the slit that sparked the real sensation. The internet immediately seized upon this red-carpet moment, even generating a hilarious parody Twitter account called @AngiesRightLeg.
When Bey Wore This to the MTV Video Music Awards
Beyoncé sparked a worldwide sensation when she appeared at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in this regal, red gown for one simple reason: no one knew she was pregnant until this moment. In grand Queen Bey fashion, she chose to ignite the hive by revealing her baby bump on the red carpet, then announcing the pregnancy while on stage after performing to an audience of millions.
When Lupita Wore This to the Oscars
Lupita Nyong’o went from a relative unknown to a household name overnight after her magical appearance at the Oscars – not only did she win an award for her breakthrough performance in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, but also caused a sartorial stir in her beautiful “Nairobi blue” Prada dress.
When Halle Berry Wore This to the Oscars
Halle Berry’s iconic red-carpet dress will proudly live forever for three reasons: it represents the first instance of an African-American woman winning an Oscar, caused a sensation because it was strategically revealing, and turned designer Elie Saab into the undisputed “King of the Red Carpet”.
When Kim Wore This to the Met Gala
Sometimes a red-carpet dress causes a global sensation because it’s so good – as is the case with most of the looks on this list. But sometimes, it produces the same effect because it’s so bad. This was the case with Kim Kardashian’s controversial and full-coverage Givenchy gown, which she wore to the 2013 Met Gala while heavily pregnant.
The backlash against her look was immediate and loud, causing designer Ricardo Tisci to publicly defend his dress. However, years after the fact, Kardashian is clearly still owning her “ugly dress” moment – it’s now an iconic highlight of her ‘Kimoji’ app.
When Gwynnie Wore This to a Premiere
When the eternally stylish Gwyneth Paltrow showed up to the red-carpet premiere of Iron Man 3 in this Antonio Berardi dress, it caused a serious head-scratching moment: what on earth is going on here? This confusing dress featured sheer side paneling and odd kimono sleeves, and was topped off with what appears to be a cummerbund. Needless to say, this style blunder was instantly seized upon and panned worldwide.
When J.Law Wore This to the Oscars
When Jennifer Lawrence arrived at the 2013 Academy Awards in this sensational Dior gown, she instantly shot to the top of every Oscar best-dressed list in the world – a moment that was made even sweeter by the fact that she won an Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. She also won the hearts of millions around the world during the post-Oscar press conference, during which she got real (and really adorable) with the media.
When Liz Hurley Wore This to a Premiere
It’s not every day that a dress manages to launch a celebrity’s career or earn the nickname “that dress”, but based on these two stats alone, it’s clear that we’re referring to Elizabeth Hurley’s infamous Versace safety-pin dress. When Hurley appeared on the arm of A-list actor Hugh Grant for the 1994 premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral, she went from a relatively unknown model to a household name overnight. Her racy dress garnered global media coverage and is considered by many to be one of the most iconic red-carpet dresses of all time.
When Kendall Wore This to the Met Gala
The theme and exhibition at this year’s Met Gala was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, which offered up plenty of potential for stars who wanted to go all out with futuristic looks. However, emerging supermodel Kendall Jenner went for an approach that garnered plenty of attention without any of the theatrics. She opted for a glitter-flecked slipdress by La Perla that left very little to the imagination and helped coin the term “naked dress”.