Red Carpet

What 12 Hollywood Stars Wore To Their First Oscars

When it comes to the Oscars, the awards themselves are only half the story: arguably the biggest dramas of the night are the sartorial ones, taking place on the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Red carpet fashions come and go, with the passage of time proving kinder to some Oscars dresses than others (if you need a refresher, look back at the dresses worn by every Best Actress winner since the awards began in 1929). Even the most seasoned awards goers had to start somewhere, though, whether that's with an immediate winner of a dress or with something a little more divisive. From this year's leading ladies to Oscars stalwarts, this is what some of our favourite stars wore to make their Academy debut...

Emma Stone in 2012

It's now almost a given that on 26th February 2017, Emma Stone will be walking away with a little gold man named Oscar (although, hey, it's 2017! Anything could happen...) For her first Academy Awards in 2012, Emma opted for pinky-red Giambattista Valli with statement draping at the neck, a dress which drew comparisons to the halterneck Balenciaga style worn by fellow redhead Nicole Kidman back in 2007.

Amy Adams in 2006

We're still getting over Amy Adams being robbed of a Best Actress nomination for Arrival. Back in 2006, when she celebrated her first of five Oscar noms for Junebug, the actress chose a chocolate brown gown by Carolina Herrera, complete with the sort of suitably dramatic train that demands a dress-straightening minion on the red carpet.

Lupita Nyong'o in 2014

Cast your minds back to the awards circuit of 2014, when 12 Years A Slave's Lupita Nyong'o made waves as a major acting talent and rising style star. For her first Oscars, she opted for a custom made Prada design worthy of a Grecian goddess, in a pale blue shade that harked back to her hometown: 'It's a blue that reminds me of Nairobi [in Kenya], so I wanted to have a little bit of home,' she told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.

Cate Blanchett in 1999

Never one to shy away from a fashion statement on the red carpet, Cate Blanchett's debut Oscar dress helped set a dramatic precedent. Attending in 1999 with her first Best Actress nomination (for Elizabeth), Cate chose a translucent style with a subtle fishtail and floral embellishment by John Galliano. Since, she's since picked up six further nominations, winning twice, and as a face of the brand has worn dramatic Armani Privé on her past two Academy Awards appearances.

Beyoncé Knowles in 2005

Beyoncé has graced the Oscars with her presence, both on stage and on the red carpet, a handful of times since her 2005 Academy Awards debut, but this timeless black gown remains one of her most memorable looks to date. She teamed the vintage Atelier Versace style in velvet with a pair of I-mean-business chandelier earrings by Lorraine Schwartz, the jeweller who designed her engagement ring. Bow down.

Michelle Williams in 2006

A quick straw poll of the Grazia digital desk puts Michelle Williams' yellow Vera Wang amongst our favourite Oscars dress of all time. From the bold, sunshine hue to the ruffled shoulder detailing, the draped skirt and Michelle's swept-up hair, there is nothing we don't love about this look. Plus, it's the ultimate proof that you can wear a bright colour and a bright red lipstick.

Gwyneth Paltrow in 1994

Gwyneth is an Oscars veteran, attending her first ceremony all the way back in 1994 after starring in her first film, Flesh and Bone. While it's the princessy, pale pink Ralph Lauren she wore for her tear-soaked acceptance speech in 1999 that's probably engrained on your memory, this silver Calvin Klein slip dress (complete with pearl choker) would still work on the red carpet today.

Viola Davis in 2009

Third time will presumably prove a charm for Viola Davis, whose performance in Fences has made her a shoe-in for Best Supporting Actress later this month. Back in 2009, attending with a nomination for Doubt, the actress went down the 'dress for the trophy you want to win' route in this gold halterneck (did we mention it's gold?) style.

Jennifer Lawrence in 2011

These days, she's almost exclusively seen in Dior during awards season, but back when Jennifer Lawrence was an Oscars ingenue, nominated for her role in indie drama Winter's Bone and riding high from the first Hunger Games film, she chose sleek, simple Calvin Klein in a scarlet shade to match the red carpet. It's still one of our favourite J-Law looks to date.

Kate Winslet in 1996

Kate Winslet has been colour-blocking since 1996. Attending as a nominee for Best Supporting Actress (recognising her role in Sense and Sensibility), Kate took inspiration from the stars of Hollywood's Golden Era for her first Oscars ceremony in a classic pale pink Vivienne Westwood gown, with a fuschia wrap thrown over her shoulders. Shades of Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, no?

Freida Pinto in 2009

Attending the Oscars in 2009 with her Slumdog Millionaire castmates, Freida Pinto opted for an asymmetric, bright blue gown with intricate embellishment, straight from the John Galliano catwalk (although on the runway, this look was a little more... daring, worn without the layered under-dress). Look closer at her hands and you'll see a ring bearing a 150-year-old Indian diamond.

Natalie Portman in 2005

Back on the awards circuit this year thanks to her stunning performance as the former First Lady in Jackie, Natalie Portman's first Oscars outing was over ten years ago and called for a simple, Grecian style gown in shimmering gold by Lanvin, complete with beaded headband.

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