The talented ladies that we’ve been exposed to throughout the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s are filled to the brim with confidence and overwhelming character. Icons like Marilyn Monroe and Madonna, alliteration aside, were hypnotic in more ways than one. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, or just want to enjoy the vibrant pictures, sit back, relax, leave that “nine to five” on your shelf, and enjoy yourselves…
Wow… where do we start with Barbra? If you aren’t sure how influential this woman is on modern culture, consider the fact that a dance artist named Duck Sauce dedicated an entire song as a tribute to her, and the only two lyrics are “Barbra Streisand.”
She’s such an iconic singer and actress that you can’t even count the amount of awards she’s won on two hands. This picture is from 1969, and people certainly loved her sparkling pantsuit with a sealed bow.
This picture of Elizabeth Taylor was taken in 1957, over 60 years ago, and it demonstrates better than any just how wonderful she was. In fact, this was taken at the Oscars, and her gown truly reflects the style of the event. What with that crown and her shimmering earrings, she almost looks like she could be the Queen of England.
In a funny way, Elizabeth always was somewhat of a queen when it came to the world of show business. Her iconic appearances in films such as Cleopatra and National Velvet, along with her stunning modeling shoots, made her a fresh sight for sore eyes for many people in those tumultuous times.
We thought we’d mix up a little bit and take a jump in time, where Cyndi Lauper was funking up the place in a good way with her radical style in 1984. Of course, if an outfit like this was worn in the ‘50s, people would’ve thought she was out of her mind.
Still, that vivid red hair and kaleidoscope of green, yellow, and blue on her dress truly make for a vibrant visual sight for people of any era, and we’d like to give her a thumbs up for that.
It would be a crime to make a list of nostalgic red carpet outfits, and to not include Miss Dolly Parton. One of the most influential singers of all time, she bridged the gap between country and pop before it was even common to do that.
She is practically royalty on the streets of Nashville, and with outfits such as these, she seems to be dressing the part. She’s more than a queen – she’s a mesmerizing mercenary, a cowgirl on a mission.
Can this outfit get any more ‘80s? Vanessa Williams first came into prominence when she became the first ever African American winner of the Miss America award, and she would later gain even more popularity as an actress, a singer, and a fashion designer as well.
This picture of her in a scarlet red blazer over a skin tight blue mini dress was actually taken at the premiere for the comedy film Coming To America, starring Eddie Murphy.
At MTV’s 1984 first annual Video Music Awards, Madonna wore this edgy, radical wedding style dress. She was so important to the industries of both music and fashion, that pop singer Britney Spears even said that she would rather meet her than the president.
If you think about it, she really did revolutionize a certain genre of music. It’s hard to imagine singers such as Shakira and Britney doing their thing if not for her.
Five years after the hit musical film Grease came out in theaters, Olivia Newton-John was showing her peers that she still hasn’t fully said goodbye to good old Sandra Dee.
Seriously though, when you look at the outfit she’s wearing here, which version of Sandy can you see wearing that? The answer is obvious – it’s more appropriate for Sandra Dee. Still, after the release of a song like “Physical,” we can derive that Olivia wasn’t a total goodie two-shoes either.
And here we have yet again another picture of Madonna from the ‘80s, because she’s just that awesome. This picture was taken at the 1985 American Music Awards, and she just looks mesmerizing in that outfit.
Her hairstyle also is accurately reflective of that particular time period, but it’s also timeless in a way that still managed to have a strong effect on us even at this moment. And how about all that bling, to go with those hardcore biker gloves?
Grace Kelly (again)
We know that we already gave you a look at one of Grace Kelly’s outfits in an earlier post, but what we have here is one of the most nostalgic things you could ever hope to look at. Talk about dressing traditionally… that dress is so old fashioned we’re surprised the lens was big enough to cover the entire thing.
It’s almost like the gown is her own personal way to ward off unwanted suitors. But all jokes aside, we think she looked fabulous.
Cher may be most popular for her memorable songs like “I Got You, Babe”, but she’s also known for her consistently radical wardrobe choices, generally at high class events such as this one. How can we even describe what she’s wearing here?
It appears to be a silver-laced ensemble with a strange looking hat perched up top. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and looking at this one, we believe that argument definitely holds true.
Pat Benatar is synonymous with the ‘80s, especially when you hear her music. There was always this sort of clash between the glamour and the grittiness in her work. Think about the contrast between songs of hers like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love Is A Battlefield.”
It perfectly sums up that mix that we just mentioned, and we honestly feel that her outfits reflected on that style as well. Her lace-up dress here has a punk feel to it, and yet her purple eye shadow suggest a certain sense of girly-girl.
When people think about Mia Farrow, the first thing that generally comes to mind is that she was the wife of the legendary rat pack crooner, Frank Sinatra. She was so much more that, though. In fact, she was already a pretty well known actress before her and Frank even met.
As the years went on, her popularity only grew, and so did her sense of fashion. Even as early as the ‘50s, she was wearing daring outfits such as this, the kind that were far from traditional.
You may think that you don’t know who Vivien Leigh is right off the bat, but hear us out, and you may think otherwise. If you’ve ever seen Gone With The Wind, or even heard of it, then you probably know who Vivien is, because she was the star of that movie, playing the role of the romantic Scarlett O’Hara.
The performance was enough to score her an Academy Award for Best Actress, which she was holding in this 1940’s picture with a traditional yet colorful floral dress.
They say that Hepburn’s heyday in Hollywood was during the “Golden Age,” and when you consider what she had on in this picture, you can sort of see what we’re talking about. She looked like she was about to get married here, even though she was merely at an awards show.
Hepburn was primarily known for her portrayal of Holly Golightly in the epic 1961 film, Breakfast At Tiffany’s. In addition to acting, she was also a humanitarian, a model and a dancer.
Now we really feel that we’ve outdone ourselves as far as turning back the clock goes. This picture was taken at the 1939 Academy Awards, where Bette Davis received an award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the spoiled Julie Marsden in the movie Jezebel.
Her outfit was certainly an intriguing one, with large white feathers extending out from the front of her dress, and curling around her neck in a strange and yet fashionable way.
Marilyn Monroe (again)
This may very well be the essence of perfection, especially when it comes to pop culture and celebrity fashion in the ‘50s. Her hairstyle made seem outdated, but it’s still shines as bright as it ever did.
Of course, the combination of this dress and that fluffy scarf is the epitome of the word classy. And yet… the thing about Marilyn was that she never gave off the impression that she was aloof in any way. Truly a candle in the wind, that smile emblazoned across her face here tells us all we’ll ever need to know.
For anyone that was around in the 70s and an active member of the television-watching population, Lynda Carter is practically a legend. This is because she was the original Wonder Woman, on the television series that was released years before actress Gal Gadot even knew how to walk.
As you can see here, Carter wasn’t spending all of her time fighting crime. With this vintage magenta gown, it’s clear she was somewhat of a fashion lover as well.
We can’t talk about ‘80s movies without talking about actress Molly Ringwald. The teen icon is best known for her work with director John Hughes and as a member of the “Brat Pack,” a group of teenagers who appeared in many films together.
In 1987, Molly stunned at the 59th Academy Awards wearing a modest yet eye catching sparkly black dress. Even though she never won an Oscar herself, she presented the Academy Award for best film editing that year.
At the 51st Annual Academy Awards in 1979, Jane Fonda won the award for best actress for her performance in the drama film Coming Home. She also received a lot of attention thanks to her dress of choice for the event.
The flowing marbled gown was an iconic look with its wide shoulders and flared sleeves. The cut very stylish for the time, and she was considered by many to have been the best dressed of the evening.
In 1975, model and actress Lauren Hutton presented the award for best documentary at the 47th Annual Academy Awards. She showed up to the red carpet wearing a long, flowing pastel colored dress.
She was stunning in the outfit, looking almost ethereal in the loose fitting gown that was gathered in the middle by a gold belt. The light shades of green, orange, and pink are very subdued and elegant. Hutton also wore a fur jacket for her walk down the red carpet.
As an actress, singer, and dancer, Liza Minnelli has long been an iconic presence in Hollywood. Back in 1973, she won the Academy Award for best actress for her performance in the musical drama film Cabaret.
Minnelli accepted the prestigious honor wearing a brightly colored yellow dress and multicolored band around her neck. The actress stood out thanks to her bold choice of color palette as she went down in history along with her yellow Halston dress.
Even though Farrah Fawcett wore this gold dress to the Academy Awards back in 1978, people are still talking about it to this day. The famous gown was designed by Stephen Burrows and was one of the first of its kind to be seen at the Oscars.
The model and actress certainly turned heads in this sparkling getup, and paved the way for future fashion choices. Many people even say that it was one of the most memorable dresses in the history of the Academy Awards.
Singer and actress Raquel Welch killed the game in this gorgeous ensemble at the 1974 Academy Awards ceremony. Although there are some casual elements to the outfit not often seen at such a glamorous event, she really pulls off the look.
She appears just like classic Hollywood stars. Welch, of course, is the famed actress from the hit comedy The Three Musketeers, the hilarious Legally Blonde, and last year’s raunchy How to Be a Latin Lover. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in The Three Musketeers.
Nowadays she is best known as Kate Hudson’s mother, but Goldie Hawn has been a Hollywood sweetheart for decades. After winning an Oscar in 1969, Hawn’s career took off and she went on to appear in films such as Private Benjamin, Death Becomes Her and The First Wives Club.
Hawn showed up to the 1971 Academy Award ceremony sporting a flower girl look, which totally worked for her. It takes some courage to wear a boho chic outfit to one of the world’s most formal events, and Goldie Hawn definitely nailed the look.
Back in 1989 critics called Demi Moore’s Oscar dress “a disaster”. Looking back at it now, 30 years later, we must admit: it looks pretty cool. What’s even cooler is that Moore designed the outfit herself, so if she wants to try her hand at fashion design again, she might do better today now that 80s looks are back in style.
The critical response to the dress didn’t hurt Moore’s career, and in fact just two years later she was back at the Oscars representing a film that scored five nominations and two wins, the unforgettable Ghost.
Sally Field took home the 1980 Academy Award for Best Actress for her appearance as the titular character in Norma Rae, a role for which she had also won Best Female Performance Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
The win established Field as a serious dramatic actress, and paved the way for many memorable roles in film like Steel Magnolias and Forrest Gump. Her acting performance was not the only thing that left a mark in that ceremony, but also her elegant black strapless dress and a darling-bow diamond necklace.
Meryl Streep is no stranger to award ceremonies, in fact she holds the record for most nominations in the acting categories. This is mostly why she is frequently referred to as the “best actress of her generation”, but back in 1979 she was an up-and-coming actress winning her first Oscar.
Streep looked amazing in a white dress and jacket combination, which together with a wavy hairdo created a classic, beautiful look that the world still remembers decades later.
There is no doubt the Diane Keaton is a style goddess, just Google “Diane Keaton suit” or “Diane Keaton hat” to enter the glorious world of this unique dresser. Keaton made an appearance at the 1976 Academy Awards Ceremony sporting a “Classic Keaton”: white suit, striped shirt, and a polka dot tie.
It’s hard to believe anyone else can pull off this mess on an outfit, but Keaton, as usual, makes it look fabulous and effortless at the same time.
With her dark features and her beautiful figure, Sophia Loren was one of the biggest stars of the ‘50s. Her work was everywhere, and it seemed as though everyone knew her name. Of course, it certainly helped her fame when she rocked up to the 1958 Oscar Awards in this floral dress.
This figure-hugging outfit showed off all the right curves that she had in all of the right places, and after this event, everyone wanted the cinched-in look that she was rocking. After all, there’s no doubt about the fact that she looks stunning.
You’ve heard of the little black dress, but have you ever heard of the Faye Dunaway black dress? This lady changed the game when she attended this red carpet in 1968, and it’s fair to say that she turned heads all the way into the venue.
This ruffled wrap dress had everyone talking, and the fact that she paired it with a slicked-back hairstyle made people fall in love with her over and over again as the night progressed. Sure, ruffles have always been rather niche, but this was the niche that Faye loved to be a part of.
Although she’s often regarded for her mature personality and her love of black, it seemed as though Winona Ryder went for something different in 1990. For this red carpet event, Winona did choose to wear her favorite color – but this dress was unlike anything she had ever worn before.
Sculpting her body and showing off her slight curves, this dress also allowed Winona to show off her natural beauty with her simple hairstyle. It was a look that thrust her into the limelight, and it’s a look we still remember today.
Over the course of her career, Cindy Crawford has proved to the world that she is more than capable of taking any outfit and making it stand out. This was certainly the case when she attended a red carpet event in 1993.
Although from afar, it seemed like a regular ol’ white bodycon dress, those who got near to her and Richard Gere soon realized that it was so much more than that. Cindy looked both effortless and flawless at the same time, and this look has since inspired so many other celebs in their fashion choices.
While some would say that Mira Sorvino’s career has gone a little quiet recently, that doesn’t mean that people have forgotten about her iconic red carpet look. This actress turned up to the 1996 Academy Awards dressed in this stunning princess dress – and it was almost like she knew something the rest of the world didn’t.
That evening, she actually took home an Oscar, and it seemed as though she had planned the whole thing. After all, she was certainly dressed for the occasion and looked stunning in this large gown.
The 1950s were all about going big or going home, and we probably don’t need to tell you that Joan Collins went big rather than going home.
This actress stunned fans as she made her way down the red carpet in this beautiful bubble hem dress, and she looked as confident as ever. She was more than happy to pose for the cameras and talk to the other celebs in attendance, and that probably had something to do with the fact that she knew she looked good. You can’t deny that, right?
Audrey Hepburn (again)
Although Audrey Hepburn has already been on this list, it would be rude not to include her again. After all, she wore some seriously iconic red carpet looks over the course of her career, so we have to at least include more than one.
In 1954, Audrey donned this stunning Givenchy gown that has since gone down in history. The floral pattern and the belted waist not only showcased her figure, but it also gave her the chance to shine in terms of her hair, makeup, and smile. It’s no wonder she looked so happy to be there.
When you think of Lauren Bacall, you probably think of the legend who had made her way into the realm of Old Hollywood and taken the whole realm by storm.
Everyone seemed to want to be her back in the day, and this had something to do with her amazing sense of fashion. She proved this to be true when she made her way to the 1955 Oscar Awards. As she walked into the event with Humphrey Bogart on her arm, she got the chance to rock this dress with triangular patterns on the fabric.
Elizabeth Taylor (again)
Yes, Elizabeth Taylor also finds herself on this list again – and you probably don’t need us to tell you why. This woman wore some of the biggest and best outfits known to humankind during her heyday, and this was one of them. She wore this in 1960, and in theory, this dress shouldn’t have worked.
That’s because it was extremely simple in terms of its design and its fabric – but it worked a treat. That might have had something to do with the fact that she was wearing a huge number of diamonds.
Although you can’t really see what Lala Falana was wearing in 1970, it seems as though that’s what made it so awesome. Covered in white furs and feathers, Lala covered up her black gown with this accessory – and that summed up what everyone loved about her.
While Lala was a huge fashion icon during her heyday, she was largely famous because of her love for accessories. This particular outfit made waves when she wore it, and people still remember it popping today.
Marilyn Monroe was a huge influence on the world around her, and a fashion mogul who was ahead of her time. It wasn’t just what she was wearing – it was more about what she stood for.
Similar to the changing of the music front, she was like Elvis of the fashion world, introducing the “rock n roll” mindset of how people needed to live their lives. In this shimmering gold dress, it must have been hard for folks to not listen to her back then.
They say that Grace Kelly was somewhat of a princess when it came to elegance on the red carpet, and after looking at this picture, we can certainly see why. The sleek material on this mint green dress she was wearing certainly seems very high society style, and those added white sleeved gloves are a nice touch as well.
More importantly, when you see that blonde head of hers flanked by her radiant smile, it becomes clear why people had trouble keeping their eyes of her.