Whether they were worn in movies or made a strong impression on the red carpet, some dresses become iconic and end up influencing fashion and pop culture in a really meaningful way.
From designs that have timeless appeal to creations that are so modern that they started trends, see a few of the most iconic dresses of all time, that continue to symbolize either fabulous elegance or a daring spirit of innovation.
Princess Diana’s Wedding Gown
Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the wedding dress of Lady Diana Spencer was made from ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown and had a 25-foot train.
Decorated with over 10,000 pearls, this iconic wedding gown with large puffed sleeves still inspired brides who want a romantic look, more than 30 years after its creation.
Jennifer Lopez’s Versace Grammy Awards Dress
The stunning Versace creation worn by J-Lo at the 2000 Grammy Awards is one of the most iconic dresses of all time. The green sheer silk chiffon dress with a plunging neckline was barely kept in place with double stick tape. It’s responsible for giving Donatella Versace the cred she needed to keep Versace’s place at the top of fashion after the death of her brother.
Marilyn Monroe’s White Halter Neck Dress
Created by costume designer William Travilla, the dress Marilyn wore in “The Seven Year Itch” is definitely one of the most iconic designs of the last century. The impact of the dress is connected to the sex bomb wearing it over a New York subway grate in the film and was sold at auction for $5.6 million in 2011.
Cher’s Bob Mackey 1988 Oscar Dress
The see-through dress with sequins in the right places might be over the top when worn with the headdress, as Cher did at the 1988 Academy Awards, but it’s definitely one of the most iconic dresses of all time.
Audrey Hepburn’s “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” Dress
Designed by Hubert de Givenchy, the black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” is one of the most elegant creations of the past century. Even without the perfect accessories, a pearl necklace, tiara and black elbow-length gloves, the dress still remains iconic.
Elizabeth Hurley’s Versace ‘Safety Pin’ Dress
Some of the most iconic dresses of all time are so revolutionary that they can start careers even outside of fashion. Worn by Elizabeth Hurley at the “Four Weddings and a Funeral” movie premiere, the dress helped the actress transition from ‘Hugh Grant’s girlfriend’ to a household name.
Björk’s Marjan Pejoski Swan Dress
For many people the swan dress created by the Macedonian designer is forever linked to the Icelandic singer’s image. Turning expectations upside down, Björk didn’t go for high fashion at the 2001 Oscars. Instead, the singer turned her appearance into an art installation, “laying” golden eggs on the red carpet.
Yves Saint Laurent’s “Mondrian” Dress
Inspired by the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, the Yves Saint Laurent dress launched in 1965 is definitely one of the most iconic dresses of all time, both for transforming art into fashion and for starting the color block trend.
Madonna’s ‘Boy Toy’ Wedding Dress
One of the most influential dresses of the ‘80s, Madonna’s wedding dress worn on the cover of her “Like A Virgin” album in the music video of the song started a huge trend. Her punk inspired look and the “Boy Toy” belt turned it into a classic.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s Alexander McQueen Tartan Dress
British designer Alexander McQueen created multiple tartan dresses, but Sarah Jessica Parker ended up wearing the best one, truly one of the most iconic dresses of all time at the 2006 Met Gala.
Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen Wedding Gown
Designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, the wedding dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge gave Lady Diana’s dress a run for her money. After the wedding was watched by over 2 billion people, the dress instantly gained iconic status.
Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress
Worn at the 2010 Video Music, Lady Gaga’s meat dress is definitely one of the most iconic dresses of all time. Created by Argentinian designer Franc Fernandez, the dress was kept refrigerated before Gaga shocked the world on the red carpet.