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Jennifer Lopez in Badgley Mischka, 1997
Though she's never received a nomination, Lopez is a frequent Oscar guest. Stylist Phillip Bloch, dressed the Selena star in a beaded lace Badgley Mischka dress for her first trip down the Academy Awards red carpet. J.Lo must have been pleased with the result, because she wore the label for her next two trips to the Oscars.
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Cate Blanchett in Christian Dior, 1999
The Best Actress nominee stunned in a violet gown embroidered with a Garden of Eden design of flowers, vines, and hummingbirds, which Women's Wear Daily called ''the most fantastic Oscar dress ever.''
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Charlize Theron in Vera Wang, 2000
Theron's tangerine dream gown, which was inspired by the 1930s-set movie The Legend of Bagger Vance, established her as a red carpet force to be reckoned with.
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Halle Berry in Vera Wang, 1998
Compared to the Elie Saab gown she wore to accept the award for Best Actress in 2002, Berry's first Oscar dress was forgettable, but she seemed to know this wasn't her moment. ''I'm not nominated, so I'm not diva-ed out,'' the actress told reporters in 1998.
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Helena Bonham Carter in Miss Selfridge, 1987
''I didn?t know what to wear, so I just went and got a dress from my cupboard. It was a tulle thing from Miss Selfridge. I shoved a skirt of my mother?s underneath it and tied my own bow on the front,'' the actress, who has never been one to conform to red carpet fashion rules. ''It had flair, I suppose, but looked a nightmare.''
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Jessica Alba in Versace, 2006
Alba turned heads in a gold lace and chiffon gown from Versace, one of the most popular labels among Oscar-bound actresses.
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Kate Winslet in Vivienne Westwood, 1996
Though she was a relative unknown at the time, Winslet got the star treatment from designer Vivienne Westwood, who made this pink satin gown especially for her.
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Natalie Portman in Lanvin, 2005
''I got into town two days ago, and I didn't have anything,'' Portman told EW of waiting until the last minute to choose her Grecian gown. ''I tried on 20 dresses, and this stood out. I made the final decision this morning.''
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Salma Hayek in Armani, 1997
The green eye shadow and tiara were a bit much, but Hayek's beaded gown was a study in red carpet glamor. ''Actually, I had gone to Milan, and Mr. Armani himself had helped me pick out a different dress,'' the actress remembered to People later that year. ''But then I saw this in his L.A. store and liked it even better. I sent him a note saying, 'I hope you're not mad at me,' and he sent me flowers with a letter saying I looked beautiful.''
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Anne Hathaway in Valentino, 2007
''I have to tell you, I was so upset about the response people had to this dress, because it is one of my favorites,'' the designer has said. But even Valentino had to admit the bow was a big risk. ''Photographed straight on, it looks like Annie is wearing some big bow tie in search of a tuxedo.''
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Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein, 2011
''It took a lot of confidence for her to wear such a simple, clean gown for her first time at the Oscars,'' Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa told InStyle of Lawrence's minimal gown. ''It paid off.'' And how.
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Naomi Watts in Gucci, 2002
Watts has said she chose the goth gown--complete with lace-up bodice-- because it was ''sophisticated in sort of a punk-rock way.''