Academy Awards is the biggest show on earth to recognize and honour the great and talented artistes of Hollywood. It is also the event where women get recognized for the best dress they wear. As the walk the red carpet, all eyes are on every bit of adornment they have on them, from dress, to jewellery to shoes. How they do their hair, what brand they wear, whether the make-up is suitable in every way: everything is scrutinized. But, of course, the greatest bit of attention is given to the dresses. The dresses must be gorgeous, exclusive, and of course, extremely expensive, and the actresses who wear such dresses create history. Let us take a look at 10 Most Expensive Academy Awards Dresses.
10. Anne Hathaway
At the 2011 Academy Awards, Anne Hathaway emerged as the perfect embodiment of Hollywood glamour as she walked the red carpet and hosted the show in a lavish red gown. The pillar-box gown made of silk faille was a Valentino design, and was reportedly worth $80,000. It was a strapless gown that perfectly highlighted her $10 million worth of Tiffany & Co. necklace. She had her signature red lipped smile on all night during which she changed eight times, but the Valentino was the priciest.
9. Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett stole the show at the 2014 Oscars, as she emerged in a dress that clinched her a place among the actresses to wear the most Academy Awards expensive dresses, ever. Her entire ensemble was valued at a staggering $18.1 million, while the dress alone cost her $100,000. The nude sleeveless gown, studded with hundreds of Swarovski elements and other embellishments was an Armani Privé creation, which explains the price. The elegant couture gown was almost regal.
8. Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron tied with Cate Blanchett as she appeared at the 2014 Academy Awards wearing a $100,000 worth of dress. She wore a sophisticated white strapless peplum dress with clean-angular lines and crystal embellishments on the flair to break up the monotony. The Dior haute Couture was custom-made, and gave her a stunning appearance. Her look was further enhanced by her pixie cut hair style, and her $4.5 million worth of bracelets and earrings, by the celebrated Harry Winston.
7. Jessica Biel
The third actress to slip into a $100,000 worth of dress by Chanel at the 2014 Oscars, and become one of the actresses to wear the most expensive Academy Awards dresses, was Jessica Biel. The embellished blush column gown had a series of silver buttons, to match the silvery subtlety of the shade of the dress, gave a particularly striking look from the back. The strapless piece smoothly framed her form and flowed into a train. She teamed it with Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Collection.
6. Kate Winslet
At the 2007 Academy Awards, Kate Winslet hit the $100,000 mark with the decadent Valentino creation she wore. The vintage one-shoulder dress was of a pleasantly unusual pale sea-foam green shade. The drape around the bodice extended to an over-the-shoulder train, adding to the glamour of the gown which hugged her figure up to the knee, to flare gently below that. The ensemble, complete with a chic up-do, got her voted the best dressed actress at the event by fashion-patrons.
5. Audrey Hepburn
At the 1954 Academy Awards, Audrey Hepburn looked sublime as she stepped on the stage to receive her award for her role in Roman Holiday, appropriately in the customized version of the final dress she wore in the movie. The original design of the ballgown was altered for the event, to cut its bodice straight across at the front, and into a plunging back, including thin straps. Its original cost being unknown, the ivory lace Edith Head creation was auctioned in 2011 for a whopping $131,292.
4. Elizabeth Taylor
In 1999, Elizabeth Taylor became one of the actresses to wear the most expensive Academy Awards dresses, when her 1970 Oscars vintage dress was auctioned for a massive $167,500, though it is unclear as to what the original cost was. The periwinkle and violet chiffon number was an Edith Head creation, and its plunging neckline perfectly accentuated her frame. Her iconic look was completed with violet eye-shadow and a 69-carat diamond necklace, a gift from her husband Richard Burton.
3. Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett is the one actress to be featured in the list of actresses to wear the most expensive Academy Awards dresses, twice. At the 2007 Academy Awards, she rocked the red carpet with minimalist jewellery, and the aesthetic of her black number by Armani Privé. The one shouldered silver mesh gown with a black tulle overlay, embellished with Swarovski crystals and a black spangle floral motif, made her a vision, as it glided over her curves. The dress cost her a staggering $200,000.
2. Nicole Kidman
Jumping from the hundred thousand dollar mark right to the million mark is Nicole Kidman’s Christian Dior Haute Couture dress. She wore the gold-green shift dress to the Academy Awards in 1997. The couture shift dress with intricate embroidery on the neck and sides and a slit at its right, is one of the most iconic of Academy Awards dresses. It was valued at $2 million. But the value of this dress is determined, surprisingly, by the amount Kidman was paid to slip into it for the ceremony.
1. Jennifer Lawrence
At the 2013 Oscars, Jennifer Lawrence tripped on her way to receive the Oscar for Best Actress in Silver Lining Playbook, in a Dior Couture gown, and got the brand a massive $4 million worth of extra airtime and publicity to make the value of her already expensive dress skyrocket. A strapless mermaid silhouette that framed her curves nicely with voluminous skirt that flowed into a train, made of luxurious leaf-patterned fabric in a dramatic pale shade gave her a prom-queen look.
The actresses invest a lot of time and thought into selecting the dress that would make them look like the perfect diva that they are, not to mention the huge amount of money that is doled out for the dresses to be on the red carpet of the Academy Awards, be it the actress who pays the amount to acquire the dress, or the brand that pays a star to be its face. It is of no use for us to go into the technicalities about the transactions between the stars and their designers. All we can do is stare awestruck at the Academy Awards history books, ogling at these dresses, after the resignation from making failed attempts to count how many non-existent houses and imaginary assets we might need to sell off to buy such a dress.