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  • Jessica Taylor Yates

The Most Iconic Outfits Ever

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

If I say meat dress, you know what I'm talking about.

There are red carpet gowns we love, gowns we hate, and gowns that, for better or worse, are truly unforgettable. Love them or hate them, we take a look at some of the most iconic dresses of all time that have made their mark on fashion history.

Kate Middleton in Alexander Wang by Sarah Burton, Royal Wedding, 2011

The world watched on in awe as Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge at her Royal Wedding to Prince William of Wales. With a two-metre train, handmade lacework and a nod to Grace Kelly, the dress was featured in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace in its own exhibit. cementing its legacy in royal wedding fashion history.

Jennifer Lopez in Versace, Grammy Awards, 2000

This is not the dress that broke the internet, it's the one that arguably started it. Well, image search, that is. In 2015, the president of Google stated that the massive attention and searches for the dress motivated the creation of what we all now know as the 'Google Image' search. How's that for iconic?

Elizabeth Hurley in Versace, Film Premiere, 1994

Talk about making an entrance. Then-little known model Liz Hurley appeared on the arm of Hugh Grant at the premiere of his film Four Weddings and a Funeral - but who remembers that pesky detail over THIS? Shooting her to global superstardom overnight, the dress has been called Versace's best-known creation - so it seems the partnership for both the brand and the model/actress worked beautifully!

Michelle Williams in Vera Wang, Oscars, 2006

I know I don't shut up about this, but I don't care. I don't even know why. Maybe we hadn't seen the colour in forever, the pairing with the red, the look of delight on our beloved Heath Ledger's face when he saw her, it all fits. This dress also fits on our Top 20 Oscars Dresses of All Time (naturally!)

Geri Halliwell in the Union Jack Dress, Gucci x Geri, Brit Awards 1997

Is there a 90s kid on Earth who hasn't seen this dress? A symbol of Spice Girls, Britain and Ultimate Girl Power, the dress defined an iconic pop moment in history. Coming about after declaring the back dress she was meant to wear 'too boring', Geri got her sister to sew on a Union Jack tea towel to the garment - that's the dress you're looking at now! Girl Power!

Bjork in Marjan Pejoski, Oscars, 2001

Well, it was certainly...memorable? While this swan dress didn't land Icelandic singer Bjork on any best- dressed lists, it showed she can have a bit of fun, and has been celebrated for being outlandish, iconic, and for better or worse, making fashion history. You do you, girl!

Halle Berry in Elie Saab, Oscars, 2001

This proved to truly be Halle's night, winning not only the red carpet but the Best Actress Academy Award, where she was the first African American woman to do so. The dress took everyone's breath away - her body, the organza, the tactical and elegant sheer panelling - it was a true fashion and movie moment in one.

Rose McGowan, VMAs, 1998 [designer unknown]

Fun fact: The dress was made of intricate beads rather than mesh. Imagine the pattern on your butt after sitting...

Lady Gaga in Franc Fernandez, VMAs, 2010

Well...nobody would call Gaga shy! Arriving at the Video Music Awards in a dress and accessories made of real raw meat (stay away from those wolves, girl), love it or hate it, you certainly remember it...

Jean Shrimpton in Colin Rolfe, Derby Day, 1965

Whilst pretty innocent if not slightly conservative now, this dress caused an absolute uproar at its debut in 1965. English model Jean Shrimpton was invited as a guest judge to the Melbourne Cup Carnival's 'Fashions on the Field' competition, but her outfit defied protocol - no hat, stockings or gloves, and the dress was deemed completely inappropriate. Overnight, the dress called global scandal and outrage - although by 1966, anyone with hemlines below the knee now looked old fashioned...the times, they are a changin'...

Jackie Kennedy in Chanel, JKG Assassination, 1963

Already a fashion icon, Jackie Kennedy had many iconic looks in her time - the oversized glasses, pillbox hats and tailored coats - but none so recognisable as her pink Chanel suit.

Synonymous with the tragic shooting of her then-husband, President John F. Kennedy, Jackie insisted on staying in the suit that still had the stains of her husband's blood on it during the swearing-in of the new president on Air Force One and tragic flight back to Washington DC.

Reese Witherspoon in Nina Ricci, Golden Globes, 2007

The year was 2007. The year before, Reese had experienced some of life's true highs and lows - she won the Best Actress Oscar for Walk The Line, and finalised her divorce from actor Ryan Phillippe. In her first public appearance after the much-publicised split, instead of wallowing, she appeared smoking hot in this glowing yellow mini, being dubbed 'The Ultimate Revenge Dress' in magazines around the world. Reese was here to show everyone that she was doing just fine, thank youuu!

Rihanna in Adam Selman, CFDA Awards, 2014

There were audible gasps when songstress Rihanna appears in this shimmering creation of sheer beauty, dripping with crystals, glamour, and creating a true fashion iconic moment that was truly breathtaking.

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Diana, Princess of Wales in Victor Edelstein, White House Gala Dinner, 1985

In what became universally known as 'The Travolta Dress' when pictures of the Princess dancing with John Travolta captivated the world over - almost as much as her 'Revenge Dress' she debuted after her split with Prince Charles in 1994.

Marilyn Monroe in William Travilla, set of The Seven Year Itch, 1954

In what can arguably be known as one of the most iconic pictures in history, the picture of the Marilyn Monroe costume worn the world over was taken in between takes on the set of the above film, while almost 5000 spectators looked on. It later sold at auction for almost $5 million dollars - now that's a legacy.

Did I miss someone? Let us know!

For more fashion news, check our Most Iconic Fashion In Film and Best Movie Fashion Montages



Kate Middleton, Hello Magazine

Liz Hurley, The Telegraph

Geri Halliwell, Harper's Bazaar

Jennifer Lopez, Glamour

Michelle Williams, The Guardian

Rihanna, E! Online

Reese Witherspoon, Instyle

Bjork, Posh24

Rose McGowan, Metro

Halle Berry, Vogue

Kate Middleton, Hello Magazine

Liz Hurley, The Telegraph

Lady Diana Spencer, Wikipedia

Marilyn Monroe, The Vintage News

Jackie Kennedy, Buzzfeed

Jean Shrimpton, Nine

Lady Gaga, MTV


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