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The Most Iconic Dresses: Historically Speaking

BY ROXY ALLNUTT

These are the dresses we will never forget.

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5 JAN - 2023

From Princess Diana’s revenge dress to Audrey Hepburn’s LBD, walk down memory lane with us.

There are dresses, and then there are genuinely iconic dresses - the ones that stick with us long after they've left the red carpet or the big screen. Sometimes it's because they're stunning and other times, it's because they're cheeky or strange - but whatever the reason, these gowns have earned their place in history.

There's no disputing that these top ten most iconic dresses of all time have made their mark on the fashion we see today. Whether they've inspired memes or sparked trends, they’ve kept fashion aficionados and designers going back to them repeatedly.

This list is dominated by black, white, red and gold colours and some of the most dazzling diamonds of all time. These iconic outfits serve as fashion inspiration worldwide and will undoubtedly have an impact for decades to come.

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Blake Lively

The annual Met Gala encourages a more theatrical, over-the-top dress code than typical awards evenings. Classic gowns are not permitted! It's not called the "Superbowl of Fashion" for nothing. And who has always understood that sentiment? Blake Lively.

In 2018, Lively stunned the world when she wore an extravagant Versace ensemble, oozing with luxurious and queen-like energy. The bar was raised for the Met Gala from this point onwards.

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Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez in Versace jungle-print gown in 2000 was ICONIC.

This outfit was the origin of Google Images. No really. Google CEO Eric Schmidt earlier shared that '[Google users] wanted more than simply text.' This became clear after Jennifer Lopez donned a green gown at the 2000 Grammy Awards, which caught the world's attention. It was the most popular search query we had ever seen at the organisation.
“J.-Lo in that dress” was why Google Image Search was created.

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Kate Hudson

Making its rounds again on TikTok, Kate Hudson’s yellow silk gown is a rightfully iconic dress. Dina Bar-El created the buttercup yellow silk gown worn by Kate Hudson in ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.’ When the film was released in 2003, it instantly became every girl's dream prom dress. The plunging back and fluid silhouette remain one of the most worn styles at balls today too.

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Meghan Markle

Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy designed Meghan Markle's royal wedding gown in 2018.
The duchess dazzled the globe in her stunningly simplistic boat-necked gown for her marriage to Prince Harry in May 2018.

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Beyoncé

When Beyoncé wore Givenchy's' ‘Lemonade' dress in 2016, this gown was one of the most talked-about aspects of Beyoncé's one-hour visual album Lemonade. The music video for 'Hold Up,' directed by Jonas Kerlund, featured our Queen B in a mustard-yellow Givenchy ruffled gown wrecking cars with a baseball bat. Truly iconic.

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Lady Gaga

Franc Fernandez designed Lady Gaga's meat dress in 2010.That renowned meat costume… It may be revolting, but it is by far one of the most unforgettable outfits of the twenty-first century.

Franc Fernandez and Lady Gaga designed the dress to send a message: 'If we don't stand up for what we believe in and fight for our rights pretty soon, we're going to have as many rights as the meat on our bones.'

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Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell found the little black Gucci dress she was allocated to wear for the Spice Girls performance at the 1997 BRIT Awards a bit too boring. So, she requested her sister to sew a Union Jack tea towel onto the front - from that moment, an icon was born.

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Princess Diana

Christina Stambolian's 'revenge outfit' for Princess Diana in 1994 is a dress that I think about quite often. Especially with this running ‘End The Monarchy’ dialogue everywhere I look.
Princess Diana wore this LBD by Christina Stambolian the night Prince Charles acknowledged on television his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Diana’s moment was then dubbed ‘the revenge dress' for obvious reasons.

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Marilyn Monroe

You've probably seen photos of Marilyn Monroe in her windblown white gown a hundred times. Very few moments in both fashion and film history have been as memorable as this scene of this white halter dress being swept up by a gust of air in the 1955 romantic comedy "The Seven Year Itch.”

This dress later sold for more than $5.6 million in an auction in 2011.

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Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" are both famous in their own right, but Hepburn's black dress in the film, coupled with elbow-length gloves, a little tiara, and a dense necklace, is a look that created fashion history.

The black gown, which was designed by Hubert de Givenchy, was even given a 21st-century facelift for the Givenchy Haute Couture Fall presentation in 2018, shortly after the designer's death.

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Rhianna - Queen of the Met

Rihanna has become one of the Met Ball's must-see attendees throughout the years. While there are countless iconic moments that Rhianna has rocked on this carpet, IMO, this was her best. In this year she not only nailed the theme but also stunned thousands with this beyond-gorgeous fit.

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