20 best Academy Award dresses of all time

By ISABELLE CHAPMAN

The Academy Awards are as much about celebrating the greatness of film as they are about fashion. Throughout Oscar history, female stars have stolen our attention on the red carpet and set trends with their couture gowns.

No one will ever forget Gwyneth Paltrow's pale pink Ralph Lauren gown the night she took home a trophy for her role in "Shakespeare in Love" or Halle Berry's iconic, floral Elie Sabb number that she wore the year she won for "Monster's Ball." And it would be impossible to compile a list of best dresses without mentioning Michelle Williams' canary yellow Vera Wang gown, which dazzled critics and fans alike just three months after she gave birth to her first child with Heath Ledger.

This year all eyes will be on nominees like veteran thespian Reese Witherspoon, who has been known to wow crowds with her smart, sophisticated fashion choices, and British newcomer Felicity Jones who has already proven she's got some serious style chops. While we countdown to this year's much-anticipated Oscar ceremony, let's take a look back at some of our favorite gown choices from years past:

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