Iconic Red Carpet Look Behind-The-Scenes Facts

Iconic Red Carpet Look Behind-The-Scenes Facts

“Of course it’s not fashion. It’s a crazy getup for attention.”


You might be aware that Jennifer Lopez’s 2000 Grammys Versace dress is the reason Google Images exists (it was the most popular search query Google had ever seen). However, J.Lo wasn’t the only celeb to have worn it.

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In fact, in 1999, Donatella Versace wore the dress to the Met Gala, and Sandra Bullock wore the dress in a different color. Spice Girl Geri Halliwell actually wore it a month before Jennifer to the NRJ Music Awards.


Lupita Nyong’o’s Prada dress for the 2014 Oscars contains a ton of small details and references. According to Lupita’s stylist, Micaela Erlanger, the beading on the skirt is supposed to resemble Champagne bubbles.

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Lupita also wore a tiny frog ring, as the animal is a family totem, and there’s even a frog label sewn inside the dress. The dress was further inspired by Elizabeth Taylor, and the color was chosen as Lupita said it reminded her of Nairobi.


Billy Porter’s Christian Siriano gown for the 2019 Oscars ran into a small problem — Billy was hosting ABC’s pre-show coverage, but the gown couldn’t physically fit on the podium where Billy would be interviewing celebrities. Subsequently, a second outfit with palazzo pants inspired by Karl Largerfeld was made. It took 18-hour days to get it all done.

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Sam Ratelle, Billy’s stylist, said that the gown was inspired by Renoir’s “Madame Georges Charpentier and Her Children.”


The 35 pounds of meat from Lady Gaga’s 2010 VMAs meat dress was from designer Franc Fernandez’s family butcher. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eventually paid a taxidermist $6,000 to preserve the dress — which had been frozen for a couple of weeks.

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The taxidermist had to dye the meat dark red so that it resembled its original color. Apparently it smelled as it thawed.


Björk’s swan dress at the 2001 Oscars was first modeled at the Marjan Pejoski autumn/winter fashion show, which was “inspired by the motion of a merry-go-round, with all these different animals.” The designer didn’t know that Björk would wear the dress to the Oscars until he saw the photos the next day.

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Björk even left eggs on the red carpet, which was her idea. “I was very aware when I went to the Awards that it would probably be my first and last time. So I thought my input should really be about fertility, and I thought I’d bring some eggs,” Björk explained.


Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala dress was handmade by Guo Pei and took two years to make. Guo didn’t actually know who Rihanna was when she called to ask to borrow the dress — which had a 16-foot train and weighed almost 50 pounds, meaning that Rihanna couldn’t easily walk in it without help.

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“I imagined a Queen while I was creating this collection. In my opinion, to be a Queen, one needs more charm and responsibility than physical beauty. So I used the weight of the dress and the height of the shoes to embody the difficulty of being a queen, the difficulty of becoming a strong and confident woman,” Guo later explained.


Angelina almost didn’t wear her now-famous black Versace dress to the 2012 Oscars. “I had a more complicated dress and I wore the more comfortable dress, which was that one,” she explained.

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Angelina further said that she didn’t really pay attention to any of the memes that ensued, explaining, “It’s as simple as being a woman picking a dress you like and having a night, and not really thinking about anything else.”


Thierry Mugler came out of retirement to make Kim Kardashian’s 2019 Met Gala look. It took eight months to make and appears to have been inspired, in part, by Sophia Loren’s dress in Boy on a Dolphin. The dress was so tight that Kim couldn’t sit down or use the bathroom.

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Kim said in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians that she would have her sister wipe her leg in case of a bathroom “emergency,” so there’s that.


Revenge was part of the motivation behind the Bob Mackie creation Cher wore to the 1986 Oscars, as she was snubbed for her role in Mask. “There were a lot of people who said, ‘That’s not fashion!’ And I said, ‘Of course it’s not fashion. It’s a crazy getup for attention.’ And it did get attention — people talk about it still,” Bob recalled.

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“[The Academy] asked me to present, these people who had just said, ‘No, you can’t be one of us,'” Cher herself said a year later. “I thought, ‘Okay, you can go in a simple black dress and be just like everyone else.’ But then I decided, ‘I’m going to remind them of what they don’t like about me.’”


Ariana Grande’s custom Giambattista Valli gown for the 2020 Grammys took over 200 hours to make, included 400 yards of tulle, and was 20 feet wide. Stylist Law Roach burst into tears when he saw her wearing it, leading her to choose the dress.

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However, Ariana ended up changing into another Giambattista Valli look on the red carpet. “I had two very special custom looks made and I couldn’t decide,” she said at the time.


Finally, Britney Spears said that it was her idea to wear matching double denim with Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards. For Justin, the Costume National suit he wore on the NYSYNC Celebrity cover was remade in denim.

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“I remember I had people in New York so I called them from New Orleans and said, ‘Go buy 50 pairs of vintage Levi’s,'” Steven Gerstein, who designed Justin’s suit, explained.


Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

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