Oscars 2023: The 10 wildest Academy Awards red carpet looks of all time

These daring outfits left us scratching our heads for years to come.

The Oscars is not just about recognising cinematic masterpieces, it's also about showcasing the most glamorous and jaw-dropping fashion statements. While some celebs stick to the traditional Hollywood glam, others dare to be different, showing up in outfits as bizarre as they are memorable.

So, buckle up and get ready to see the wackiest and most unforgettable looks ever to grace the Oscars red carpet.

Björk's swan dress (2001)

Singer Bjork arrives at the 73rd annual Academy Awards
Singer Bjork wore a crystal-encrusted body stocking surrounded by a puff of white tulle, with a long neck that draped around her own, the orange beak resting on her chest. Photo: JP/RCS

Icelandic songstress Björk arrived at the 2001 Oscars wearing a swan-inspired dress that made fashion history. The quirky outfit, which included a large swan headpiece, garnered a lot of attention and has since become one of the most iconic red carpet looks of all time.

Celine Dion's backwards tuxedo (1999)

Celine Dion at the 1999 Academy Awards
Dion found herself on worst-dressed lists after she showed up to the 1999 Academy Awards in this backwards white tuxedo by John Galliano. Photo: Getty Images

In 1999, singer Celine Dion made a statement by wearing a backwards suit designed by John Galliano. The outfit, which was deemed too casual and lacking in glamour for the Oscars, was a rare fashion faux pas for the usually elegant and stylish singer.

Despite the criticism, Celine proved that even the most fashionable stars can have an off day, and to this day she refers to the look as far from a faux pas, but rather fashion forward.

Cher's feathered headdress (1986)

Cher in her legendary sequined ensemble and feathered headdress.
Designer Bob Mackie pulled out all the stops when he designed Cher's legendary sequined ensemble and feathered headdress. Photo: Getty Images

Cher's fashion risks are legendary, but her 1986 Oscars outfit was a misfire that made many "Believe" fans cringe. She arrived in a black, feathered headdress paired with a revealing, midriff-baring black dress that left little to the imagination.

The unconventional outfit was panned by many fashion critics, but it cemented Cher's reputation as a fearless style icon who wasn't afraid to take risks. Despite the criticism, the outfit has become an iconic moment in Oscars fashion history.

Demi Moore's bike shorts (1989)

Demi Moore at the 1989 Oscars
This 1989 Oscars look from Demi Moore received widespread criticism for not being appropriate for such a formal event. Photo: Getty Images

Sure it was the '80s, but perhaps Demi Moore should have thought twice about this Oscars look, but that's what happens when you steer away from acclaimed designers and fashion an outfit yourself. This DIY dress-bodysuit, made out of spandex bike shorts, a corset and a metallic floral print fabric, landed Demi on worst dressed lists for years to come.

Kim Basinger's one-sleeved half-jacket dress (1990)

Kim Basinger's at the 1990 Oscars
Kim Basinger's 1990 Oscar's gown was topped with a half-jacket that featured cryptic lettering down its single sleeve. Photo: Getty Images

Kim Basinger followed in the footsteps of Demi Moore by creating her own Oscars dress the following year, and it was just as unconventional. Basinger's outfit was an unfortunate mix of mismatched pieces, featuring one opera glove, half a blazer, and a massive ball skirt.

Lizzie Gardiner's American Express dress (1995)

Australian Lizzy Gardiner arrives at the 67th annual Academy Awards March 27 wearing a golden gown made of American Express credit cards
Australian Lizzy Gardiner wore a self-designed gown made of 254 expired American Express credit cards to the 67th annual Academy Awards. Photo:

At the 1995 Oscars, costume designer Lizzie Gardiner made a bold statement with her dress made entirely out of American Express credit cards. It was a creative and attention-grabbing way to promote the company, but also a risk that paid off in terms of publicity. The unique dress received mixed reviews, with some praising its originality while others criticised it for being too gimmicky.

Nevertheless, it remains one of the most memorable and talked-about Oscar red carpet looks to date.

Gwyneth Paltrow's gothic gown (2002)

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow poses for photographers at the Vanity Fair 2002 Oscars party
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has since revealed she wishes she wore a bra with this Alexander McQueen dress and paired it with simple beachy hair and less makeup. Photo: Reuters

Gwyneth Paltrow's infamous Alexander McQueen gown was called everything from an "unflattering, figure-flattening goth getup" to a "fashion disaster" to "the worst dress ever." Despite the criticism though, Paltrow's bold choice cemented her status as a risk-taker in the world of Hollywood fashion.

Uma Thurman's pirate gown (2004)

Uma Thurman's at the Oscars in 2004
Uma Thurman's 2004 Oscar's look has gone down in the Oscars red carpet hall of shame. Photo: Getty Images

Uma Thurman's iconic 2004 Oscars dress was a bold departure from traditional red carpet gowns. With its unique design, it quickly became one of the most talked-about outfits of all time, joining the ranks of Bjork's swan dress and Celine Dion's backward tuxedo.

The dress was widely compared to everything from a German milkmaid to a pirate, one critic even wrote that she was 'the victim of an exploding kimono'. Uma has since said it was a beautiful dress, she just wore it badly.

Kristin Wiig's lasagne dress (2020)

Kristin Wiig's at the 2020 Oscars
One Twitter user said Kristin Wiig's 2020 Oscar's ensemble looked like a "hot piece of lasagne". Photo: Getty Images

Kristen Wiig made a bold fashion statement at the 2020 Oscars by donning a unique Valentino Couture gown that turned heads on the red carpet. The dress featured voluminous ruffles, mesh cut-outs, and a rectangular train, and was accessorised with gold Christian Louboutin heels, black gloves, and fringed Nikos Koulis earrings.

However, viewers were quick to share their hilarious opinions on social media, likening the side ruffles to bacon, lasagne noodles, and even sea creatures.

Lady Gaga's dishwashing gloves

Singer Lady Gaga at the 2015 Oscars
Singer Lady Gaga wore three custom-made Azzedine Alaia pieces and a white embellished gown with long red gloves to the 87th Academy Awards. Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Lady Gaga, the queen of unconventionality, didn't disappoint at the Oscars red carpet when she paired her stunning Alaïa gown with a pair of enormous red gloves. While she undoubtedly looked fabulous, some couldn't help but notice the striking resemblance to a certain household chore. Let's face it, the gloves were so big that it wouldn't be a surprise if she was heading backstage to scrub some pots and pans.

Nonetheless, Lady Gaga once again cemented her status as the ultimate fashion risk-taker.

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