This story originally appeared on ELLE AUSTRALIA
Even the most unknowing of fashion fans will know that while the Oscars red carpet offers up unparalleled glamour, the real risk-takers shine at the after-party (often in more iconic looks than the Academy Awards themselves). Thanks, in large part to the rise of social media and glam squads, celebrities that would normally wear the same look to the ceremony and after-party have since gone on to attend in entirely new gowns, meaning the night brings not one, but two show-stopping red carpets.
While we’ll always appreciate the elegant gowns earlier on in the evening, you can’t help but gaze upon the daring slits, sheer designs and couture numbers that grace the Vanity Fair event. From Emily Ratajowski’s midriff-baring custom Dundas design to Gwyneth Paltrow in Alexander McQueen, read on for the most memorable Oscars after-party looks of all time.
Emily Ratajowski, 2020
Arguably one of the most Em Rata outfits she’s ever worn, the model went for a daring two-piece ensemble at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscars party. The look was a custom made Dundas design inspired by another iconic vintage Academy Award look, Cher in 1986.
Hailey Bieber, 2020
Attending the after-party sans husband Justin Bieber, the model opted for a sleek, sheer Versace number that featured a thigh-high slit. The look was pulled together with a sleek ’90s flick and her signature minimal makeup.
Elizabeth Banks, 2020
For the 2020 Vanity Fair party, the Pitch Perfect actress decided to make a statement—wearing a Badgley Miscka gown she’d originally worn 16 years earlier to the same event. We love a sustainability warrior!
Cynthia Erivo, 2020
The colour! The smile! The everything! Cynthia Erivo’s Atelier Versace gown was pure perfection for the red carpet. Peep the matching shoes too.
Florence Pugh, 2020
Dressed head-to-toe in shimmering Louis Vuitton, Pugh screamed Oscars glam at the 2020 Vanity Fair party—all perfectly pulled together with equally as glittery eyeshadow and a daring red lip.
Emma Roberts, 2019
Dressed in a Yanina Couture number, Roberts opted for a corseted mini with a sheer detailing on top for the 2019 event. Her chocolate coloured bob and red lip were the perfect addition to the entire look.
Kendall Jenner, 2019
Perhaps one of Jenner’s most memorable looks ever, the model arrived at the 2019 Vanity Fair party wearing a dress by couture designer Rami Kadi. The daring number definitely gives Angelina Jolie a run for her money.
Jennifer Lopez, 2019
Arriving at the event in a midnight blue Zuhair Murad creation, J.Lo showed some leg with a thigh-high slit. The bouncing waves and matching makeup perfectly added to the strapless detailing.
Sarah Paulson, 2018
Starting the Opera glove trend that would later dominate red carpets everywhere, Paulson went for a yellow Marc Jacobs number on the red carpet paired with an equally as bold lip.
Zoe Kravitz, 2018
While red carpets are usually home to floor-length gowns, the queen of fashion risk-taking, Zoe Kravitz, opted for a mini Saint Laurent dress with feathered details. Her pixie cut and red lip couldn’t have been better paired with the look.
Emma Stone, 2018
Also unafraid to take a risk on the red carpet, Stone followed Kravitz’s suit and also opted for a mini dress for the 2018 event. The Louis Vuitton design was complemented with Stone’s fiery lob and dainty earrings.
Emma Watson, 2018
On top of the Beauty and the Beast actress’ show-stopping Ralph Lauren gown, Watson made a statement with ‘Time’s Up’ written across her right forearm, a nod to victims of sexual violence.
Tracee Ellis Ross, 2017
It was all about the red hues for Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2017 Vanity Fair party, arriving in a Zuhair Murad Fall 2016 Couture gown for the occasion.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 2017
Always bringing elegance to any red carpet she graces, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley debuted her baby bump in a shimmering Versace gown.
Taylor Swift, 2016
In 2016, Swift stepped out in one of her most daring looks to date wearing a plunging Alexandre Vauthier gown for the after-party. She paired it with a sleek, sharp bob and a minimal lip.
Margot Robbie, 2015
After bursting onto the Hollywood scene, Australian actress Margot Robbie also burst into the fashion world as one to watch—wearing a bold striped strapless jumpsuit and bold red lip to the 2015 Vanity Fair party.
Zoe Kravitz, 2015
Attending the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2015 wearing a nude, sheer and netted-style gown, natural locks and a smokey eye, Kravitz turned heads (as did her famous mum, Lisa Bonet, who attended alongside her).
Irina Shayk, 2015
Never afraid to make a statement, Shayk chose a glittering Atelier Versace gown to walk the red carpet—complete with a body stocking. The entire look was certainly one to remember.
Miranda Kerr, 2014
It was all about glittering silver for Kerr’s appearance at the 2014 Vanity Fair event, turning heads in a Kaufmanfranco Fall 2014 gown. The Australian model paired the look with a pink lip and deep side part.
Lady Gaga, 2014
It was a true bombshell moment for Gaga’s attendance at the 2014 event, dressed in head-to-toe Versace. The look was something one could easily imagine on OG bombshell, Marilyn Monroe.
Taylor Swift, 2011
Usually one to choose ballgowns for the red carpet, Swift surprised fans when she arrived at the Oscars after party in a gold mini dress from Zuhair Murad. She added her signature red lip and curls to finish the look.
Selena Gomez & Justin Bieber, 2011
Making a red carpet debut, Gomez chose a stunning red Dolce & Gabbana gown for her red carpet look. Of course, Bieber tied the look together with a matching pocket square.
Sarah Jessica Parker, 2009
Looking like a true princess, SJP took a note from Carrie Bradshaw’s book wearing a belted gown, which we can’t help but think drew inspiration for her character’s later wedding to Mr Big on Sex and the City.
Katie Holmes, 2007
Keeping things simple in Zac Posen, it was muted nudes for Holmes’ attendance at the 2007 Vanity Fair party. The actress look every bit Hollywood glamour with her hair pulled back into a sleek bun and muted neutral tones for her makeup.
Jennifer Lopez, 2006
J.Lo’s Versace dress might be her most famous fashion moment but the 2006 Vanity Fair party proved exactly why green is her best hue.
Mischa Barton, 2005
In the midst of her The O.C. fame, Barton turned to a stunning gold fishtail gown for her appearance at the 2005 event. We bet Marissa Cooper would have worn this to any one of her Orange County society affairs.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 2002
As one of the most iconic looks in Oscars history, Gwyneth Paltrow has since shared her thoughts about the Alexander McQueen gown she wore in 2002. “I should have worn a bra,” she famously said of the red carpet ensemble.
Nicole Kidman, 2002
The Australian actress looked pretty-in-pink thanks to her stunning frilled gown at the 2002 after-party, which was only made better by her Old Hollywood curls and matching accessories.
Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt, 2000
It-couple of the time arrived in matching black, with Aniston in a plunging gown while Pitt opted for a sleek suit. The choker and sleek straight hair really transition this look to the early aughts.
Kate Hudson, 2000
Having been nominated for an Oscar thanks to her role in Almost Famous, Hudson didn’t miss a beat sticking to a pure ’00s slinky, two-piece gown. The grey was pulled together in the actress’ beauty look, with her curls a nod to her character.
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