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Dresses that shook (and seduced) the world

In ”100 Unforgettable Dresses,” Hal Rubenstein, fashion director for ”InStyle” (EW’s sister publication), brings his couture expertise to the famous gowns etched in our memories and tells the story behind each one through photos, interviews, and anecdotes

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Nicole Kidman
The dress Kidman wore to the 1997 Oscars, by John Galliano for Dior, was a gorgeous and utterly new look for the red carpet — ”a streamlined explosion of shimmering chinoiserie.”

Marlo Thomas
That Girl‘s blocky, kaleidoscopic dresses ”turned the A-line into the wardrobe template” for generations of working women.

Audrey Hepburn
Though Cecil Beaton claimed credit for Hepburn’s My Fair Lady gown, it had in fact been ”found in an antiques shop and refitted” for the film.

Elizabeth Taylor
Technically the garment Taylor wore in 1960’s BUtterfield 8 is a slip, but Rubenstein believes it sparked the whole ”boudoir” trend.

Sarah Jessica Parker
When Parker wore a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress in 2008’s Sex and the City, women lined up to buy the $16,000 gown.

Lady Gaga
Rubenstein likens this Giorgio Armani creation — which Gaga wore to the 2010 Grammys — to ”an orbiting mesh, tulle and metal galaxy.”

Marilyn Monroe
What elevated the pleated sundress Monroe wore in 1955’s The Seven Year Itch was, as Rubenstein writes, ”the back draft of a train.”