My Top 5 Oscar dresses

Sarah Rosenberg

There are just some things in this life that go perfectly together: peanut butter and jelly, the beach and a good book, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. These couplings are examples of things we love, expect and admire (for the most part). And now, in these chilly winter months, we can expect another flawless combination: the Oscars and fashion. The awards season is always in the front of your mind if you are as obsessed with celebrities, movies and clothing as I am.

As the excitement of who will be nominated and eventually win buzzes in the media, I reflect on the couture I have admired over the last five years. I can’t help but tap into my inner Joan Rivers (with less plastic surgery and harsh words, of course). My top five dresses of Oscar history are all quite different, but deserve a spot on the list nonetheless.

Michelle Williams (2006)

The always beautiful Michelle Williams wore a dress at the 2006 Academy Awards that I have truly come to admire. Accompanied by the late Heath Ledger and a “Best Supporting Actress” nod for “Brokeback Mountain,” Williams pulled off a look that could have gone terribly wrong. Wearing a canary yellow Vera Wang dress with a deep V-neck and ruffled shoulders, Williams was a breath of fresh air on the red carpet. Literally looking like a ray of sunshine, although she didn’t come home with the Oscar, Williams gets points for being bold and unique.

Reese Witherspoon (2007)

Reese Witherspoon’s Nina Ricci gown at the 2007 ceremony showed the beauty of simplicity, and how letting the dress speak for itself is often the way to really make a statement. The all-purple strapless gown was accented only slightly by descending ruffles down the dress and the understated layer of lavender at its hem. Witherspoon wore her hair sleek and straight, kept her jewelry minimal and her makeup very natural. That way, the focus was drawn to the stunning violet dress, rather than how she was accessorizing it.

Marion Cotillard (2008)

In 2008, Marion Cotillard wore a dress that seriously contends for the No. 1 spot on this list. Her white Jean Paul Gaultier dress made the French actress look like a real-life mermaid. It was exceptionally form-fitting with a plunging neckline, accentuating her body at the hips and flaring out the slightest bit on the bottom. Most notably, the dress was patterned with lace that mimicked scales. The long necklace she wore added a vintage touch to the dress, accompanied by side-swept hair and a touch of red on the actress’s lips.

Sarah Jessica Parker (2009)

Sarah Jessica Parker, as many of you know to be my personal style icon, looked like a goddess in the dainty strapless ballroom gown she wore in 2009 on the red carpet. The Christian Dior Haute Couture dress was pale blue and emblazoned on the bust with intricate beading. The voluptuous skirt of the dress was scattered with embroidery as well. Perhaps my favorite detail of the dress was the belt that was cinched at the waist – who else could pull off wearing a belted dress at the Oscars, and do so in such a fashion-forward, classy manner?

Carey Mulligan (2010)

Carey Mulligan takes the top honor for last year’s show. When it comes to a black dress, I truly believe that shape, structure and accessories really help to make the dress stand out. Mulligan wore a black Prada number to the Kodak Theatre, and definitely turned heads. This dress was also strapless and tight in the bust with a billowing skirt. What I liked most about this gown was the shortened hem in the front that revealed her black, lace-up peep-toe shoes. In the back, the train of the dress flowed behind her without being too overwhelming. Mulligan’s platinum blonde pixie haircut also contrasted yet complemented the black dress, enlightening the sequined bust.