ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Top 10 most memorable outfits in fashion history

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Over the decades, fashion has surprised us all with its weird and wonderful creations. Here’s a round up of our top 10…

10. Elizabeth Hurley – Safety Pin Dress

In 1994, actress Elizabeth Hurley was the talk of the night when she graced the red carpet with Hugh Grant for the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral in a black Versace gown. The dress became infamous as it left little to the imagination with its plunging neckline and gold safety pins that appeared to be just about holding the fabric together. This dress was a career changer for Hurley as it took her to A-list celebrity status overnight. However the actress recently stated that she wished she had worn a more demure outfit for the premiere, as she believes her career would have a taken a more serious turn, making her “a much more worthy actress”.


9. J Lo – Versace

Known as one of the most iconic looks of all time, this dress is what led to the invention of Google Images. Jennifer Lopez wore this green, leg and belly baring, palm-leafed printed Versace number to the 2000 Grammy Awards and it took the internet by storm. Executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, claims in an interview, this dress, “that… caught the world’s attention,” was the most popular Google engine search at the time as people wanted to see the revealing, semi-sheer gown. Unfortunately, Google was only just emerging at the time and people could only view text on the search engine, however Schmidt states that in order to give “users exactly what they wanted (an image of this dress). Google Image Search was born.”


8. Alicia Silverstone – “Clueless”

Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher in the 1995 chick-flick, Clueless, is renowned for her impeccable, preppy fashion choices in a decade were minimalism and grunge dominated fashion. Through-out the movie, Silverstone wears an assortment of eye-catchy and memorable outfits, but perhaps the most iconic attire that Cher wears is her checkered, canary yellow school outfit that makes its appearance at the beginning of the film. This look is so iconic that it is often replicated for fancy dress, with its most famous iteration being worn by Australian rapper, Iggy Azalea, as she wears a replica of the outfit in her 2014 music video “Fancy,” which pays homage to the 90’s film.


7. Audrey Hepburn – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Perhaps one of the most iconic, classic looks in fashion history, fifties and sixties fashion icon and movie star Audrey Hepburn put the LBD on the map and made it a wardrobe staple for women everywhere. The dress was worn by Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s and it was an instant hit with the press for its simplistic, timeless elegance. Hubert de Givenchy was the designer behind the little black dress, but this came as no surprise as the star and designer were longtime friends and each other’s muses, making their collaboration one of the most memorable in the history of fashion.


6. Madonna –Cone Bra

This daring silk, pink number was worn by pop culture icon Madonna on her controversial 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour. Gregory DelliCarpini Jr., a writer for Billboard, stated that this cone bra “redefined the female silhouette and moved many designers to add some edge to their undergarments,” making this piece of lingerie revolutionary for the fashion world, at the time. The garment itself was designed by Parisian designer Jean Paul Gaultier and was heavily influenced by the bullet bras of the fifties and the 1980s street style trend of wearing underwear as outerwear. The sexy pink corset reflects Madonna’s racy and controversial style and has become so iconic that the garment has featured in numerous exhibitions, including The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk exhibit, which was dedicated to displaying Gaultier’s creations that spanned 35 years of his career.


5. Marilyn Monroe – “The Seven Year Itch”

This white pleated halter-neck dress, created by designer William Travilla, features in one of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history. Worn by fifties pop icon Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder’s 1955 film The Seven Year Itch; this dress has become infamous, not for the garment itself, but for the way it blows up suggestively on Monroe, when she stands on top of a subway grate in New York City, in the film. At the time, this scene caused much controversy as during this period, it was considered indecent and unladylike to show any skin above the knee. It has also been suggested that this scene contributed towards Monroe’s divorce from baseball player, Joe DiMaggio, as he legendarily stormed off set in the making of the film, as he felt this scene was “exhibitionist.” This simple white dress has now become synonymous with Monroe and is often thought of when thinking of the fifties star.


4. Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake – All Denim

It’s hard not to forget Justin Timberlake’s and Britney Spear’s matching double denim ensemble for the 2001 American Music Awards. The patchwork denim dress and matching denim suit has become iconic and the “relationship goals” outfit for couples everywhere. Katy Perry and Riff Raff famously revived the look in 2014 in what Katy calls her “best impression” of the iconic look. Britney even took to Twitter after Katy tweeted her look and said she thought it was “amazing” and was glad the couple had bought the look back.


3. Lil Kim – 1999 MTV Video Music Awards

Otherwise known as the “boob onesie,” rapper Lil Kim’s unconventional and outrageous look for the 1999 MTV Awards is another attention-grabbing outfit that is hard to forget. The custom, sequined, pastel purple jumpsuit by Misa Hylton was a show-stopper and the talk of the night, not just for how revealing it was, but because of what happened when Kim was presenting the Best Hip-Hop Video Award with Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross. Diana famously jiggled the exposed breast to greet her co-presenter which caused much laughter from the audience and Lil Kim herself. In 2013, Miley Cyrus paid homage to Lil Kim’s iconic look by wearing a replica of the outfit for Halloween, to which Lil Kim felt honored as she stated that Miley “did me well” by wearing the outfit.


2. Lady Gaga – Meat Dress

In 2010, Lady Gaga shocked the world when she turned up to MTV VMA’s wearing an outfit made entirely from raw meat. Everything from the dress to her shoes to her hair accessory was made from flank steak and was created by Los Angeles-based artist and designer, Franc Fernandez. Fernandez has stated in an interview with MTV that the inspiration behind the dress came from a photo-shoot that Lady Gaga had previously featured in for Vogue Hommes Japan, in which she wore a raw meat bikini. The VMA’s outfit today surprisingly still exists, as it has been preserved and was displayed in 2015 in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Women Who Rock exhibition, with the Director of Collections, Jun Francisco, saying that the texture of the dress is now like beef jerky.


1. Bjork – Swan Dress

Finally, the outfit that raised many eyebrows and caused a lot of double takes was Icelandic singer Bjork’s swan dress. Bjork wore this quirky number to the 2001 Oscar’s and it was created by Marjan Pejoski, a Macedonian designer who made the dress from many different fabrics, including woolen felt, suede leather and lots of down (goose and swan feathers). During the walk on the red carpet, Bjork kept pretending to lay eggs, as she brought a total of 6 ostrich eggs to the Oscar’s and proceeded to scatter them along the red carpet. Although she was originally ridiculed for the absurdity of her dress, Bjork’s look is now being praised by critics as an iconic piece of art.


Hannah Pidcock

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