In recent years, there has been a concentrated push for celebrities to embrace sustainability on the red carpet, which has led more and more A-listers to wear vintage during premieres and award ceremonies. While this has an eco-friendly benefit, wearing vintage has morphed into something more. It's a wonderful way to give tribute to time-honored designers, give archival pieces a fresh spotlight, and honor bygone eras full of glitz and glamour.
1. Rita Moreno
When Rita Morena won Best Supporting Actress in 1962 for her role in West Side Story, all eyes were on her fabulous dress. Her Japanese-influenced gown was so amazing, in fact, that she decided to wear it again to the Academy Awards 56 years later, in 2018!
2. Jennifer Aniston
In 2020, Jennifer Aniston wore a vintage Christian Dior by John Galliano silk dress to the SAG Awards, where she picked up a Best Actress in a Drama Series award for her work in The Morning Show. The bias-cut dress was from her own vintage collection, and came from the Dior spring/summer 1999 season.
3. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow made quite the retro statement at the 2019 Emmy Awards, in which she presented the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. The actor-turned-beauty-guru wore a Haute Couture Valentino dress from 1963, which incorporated mesh, black organza leaf sleeves, and typical '60s color-blocking.
4. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon wore a vintage Christian Dior gown to the 2006 Oscars, where she won the Best Actress Academy Award for her work in Walk The Line. The beaded silver number was made by Dior in 1955, making it a special mid-century find.
5. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez wowed with a vintage sea foam green Valentino gown at the 2003 Oscars. Even though the artist has worn a number of memorable dresses over the years, this one is still constantly buzzed about — and for good reason. The sari-style gown was based on a dress worn by Jackie Kennedy Onassis on an official visit to Cambodia in 1967. Jackie O happens to be one of Lopez's style icons.
6. Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts wore a vintage Valentino dress from 1992 to the Academy Awards in 2001, where she accepted the Best Actress Award for Erin Brockovich. According to The Telegraph, Roberts took her first ever trip to a couture house to find this dress, and landed on this particular archival design because she "thought it was pretty." She went with her gut, and it turned out to be spot on. This Valentino look is voted as one of her most famous red carpet looks. And for good reason: Check out the dress's stunning back!
7. Cardi B
Altogether, Cardi B wore four Mugler couture outfits at the 2019 Grammys, but this Aphrodite stepping-out-of-a-shell number had to be her most daring one. Her stylist for the evening was Kollin Carter, and he cinched the archived Fall 1995 couture look months in advance.
Rihanna jumped on the archival fashion train in 2018, when she wore a vintage Yves Saint Laurent look to the 2018 Grammys. Styled by Mel Ottenber, the artist wore vintage YSL semi-sheer harem pants and a tie-front crop top while sitting in the audience. She also wore this same look to the after parties.
9. Jennifer Lopez
In 2006, Jennifer Lopez walked yet another red carpet wearing stunning vintage. The artist arrived at the 2006 Academy Awards wearing a structural vintage Jean Dessès gown. If you feel like the dress had some definite Old Hollywood vibes, then you would be right on the money. The gown was from 1959.
10. Natalie Portman
In 2012, Natalie Portman went retro to the 84th Annual Academy Awards. She donned a 1954 polka-dot gown by Christian Dior. The dress came from the designer's spring/summer 1954 collection, which was made during the height of Dior's career and three years prior to his untimely death.
11. Penelope Cruz
Penelope Cruz opted for a sweet look for the 2009 Academy Awards and wore a vintage 1950 Pierre Balmain couture gown. The ivory lace was hand embroidered with gold bouillon threads, and the gown took over half a year to complete!
12. Jada Pinkett Smith
In 2002, Oscars night was an important evening for the Smiths. Will was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Ali, a movie in which Jada also starred in. Her publicist, Karynne Tencer, searched the internet for a memorable and unique dress, and found this vintage Lanvin yellow gown for sale. It was a 1950s Antonio Canovas del Castillo for Lanvin creation, but Jada had some reservations.
13. Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst wore a vintage Dior design from 1952 to the 2017 Oscars. It first was designed by Christian Dior for the autumn-winter Haute Couture collection, and in 2017 the fashion house made a custom re-creation for the actor.
14. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston practically invented the minimal-gown look, rocking outfits like this vintage Galliano number since the '90s. At the 2015 SAG Awards, she paired her Galliano dress with a delicate lariat necklace that extended down her gown in a "1920s flapper" sort of way.
15. Kate Moss
Kate Moss wore a vintage frock with lots of character to the Oscar-winning Ed Wood premiere in 1994. The model found the silver fringed mini in a vintage boutique in Florida. The dress supposedly once belonged to Errol Flynn’s wife.
16. Marisa Tomei
In 2009, Marisa Tomei wore a 1940s vintage Adrian gown to the Met Gala. She was supposed to wear this very gown to the Oscars that year, but decided it was better suited for the Met red carpet.
17. Kaitlyn Dever
Kaitlyn Dever looked like a Swinging Sixties dream at the 2020 Vanity Fair and Lancôme Women in Hollywood celebration. She wore a 1960s Christian Dior Couture gown, which her stylist acquired from Shrimpton Couture.
18. Kathryn Hahn
In 2017, Kathryn Hahn attended the Emmy Awards wearing a vintage Courreges column dress that dated back to 1971.
19. Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney looked like a vintage vision at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, where she wore vintage Yves Saint Laurent. The sheer ball gown dated back to 1981.
20. Renée Zellweger
To the 2001 Academy Awards, Renée Zellweger wore an understated Jean Dessè dress from 1959.
21. Jamie Lee Curtis
In 1983, Jamie Lee Curtis wore a vintage dress to the Academy Awards that was given to her by Marlene Dietrich. It was reportedly made in the 1950s for Dietrich by Jean Louis. Curtis acquired it because she was engaged to Dietrich's grandson, Michael Reva, at the time.
22. Vanessa Paradis
In 2004, Vanessa Paradis looked like a vintage flapper at the Academy Awards. The singer wore vintage Chanel couture.
23. Kate Moss
For The Golden Age Of Couture party at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2007, Kate Moss wore a vintage Dior gown that was reportedly from the 1930s.
24. Priyanka Chopra
In 2019, Priyanka Chopra wore vintage Roberto Cavalli to the Cannes Film Festival, and she narrowly avoided a wardrobe malfunction. "The delicate zipper to this vintage @roberto_cavalli dress broke as they were zipping it up minutes before I had to leave for the red carpet at Cannes last year. The solution? My amazing team had to sew me into the dress on the way in the five-minute car ride!" Chopra shared on Instagram.
25. Marisa Tomei
Marisa Tomei wore a Charles James couture dress from 1950 to the 2011 Oscars red carpet.
26. Winona Ryder
In 2000, Winona Ryder wore a 1940s Pauline Trigger gown to the Academy Awards.
27. Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith wore vintage Dolce & Gabbana from Resurrection Vintage at the 2017 People’s Choice Awards.
28. Jennifer Garner
In 2004, Jennifer Garner wore a 1970s vintage Valentino couture gown to the Oscars red carpet. "For some actresses, high-end vintage evokes an idea of old Hollywood, because their idols and fashion icons were wearing those very designers these celebrities want to wear now," Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig, Garner's stylist, told The New York Times.