02.24.11

Oscar's Red Carpet Disasters: Not Always as Bad as They Seem?

We once called them "train wrecks," but some Academy Award red carpet outfits that earned stars places on "worst-dressed" lists have actually come to be seen as fashion genius. From Bjork's swan dress to Cher's headdress, Brad Goreski revisits the most memorable Oscar dresses of all time.

At the Academy Awards every year, there are best-dressed stars—and worst-dressed stars. But it’s the worst-dressed that go down in history. Who can forget Celine Dion’s backwards white suit at the Academy Awards in 1999—or Bjork’s swan dress in 2001?

Gallery: Oscar Red Carpet Savants

While these looks were called disasters at the time, they’ve certainly grown more fashionable with age. Looking back on some red-carpet “train wrecks” is a big surprise: these stars were actually more fashion-forward than anyone at the time could have ever imagined. A version of Kim Basinger’s asymmetrical satin ball gown from 1999 popped up on Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2011 runway—and Chloe Sevigny recently wore a version of Barbara Streisand’s famous 1969 Arnold Scaasi gown. Some of the “worst” red carpet looks of all time, it turns out, were really just ahead of their time.

Overall, we’ve lost risk-takers on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. All too often, stars play it safe. This is an homage to the people who gave us something to talk about—and created award-show moments that we’ll never forget.

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Continuing to emerge as one of fashion and entertainment's most engaging talents, Brad Goreski most recently appeared on The Rachel Zoe Project as Style Director. He picked up his first Vogue at the age of 12 and has been enthralled by the world of fashion ever since. Originally from the small Canadian town of Port Perry, Ontario, he has resided in Los Angeles for the past nine years. High points of his career include going to the Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway, being photographed by Terry Richardson, and being featured on the cover of the Styles section of the New York Times in September 2010.