5 Most Iconic Movie Dresses

1958


Perhaps nothing warms the cockles of a fashionista more than a fabulous frock. But when it comes to mass appeal, even the most creative catwalks can’t compete with magical moments on the silver screen.

With that in mind, here’s our countdown of the world’s five most iconic movie dresses.

  1. Keira Knightley — Atonement

Keira’s emerald green silk evening gown looked slinky and sublime in 2007’s Atonement.

The sleek structured bodice contrasts with the flowing flourish of the skirt and commentators speculate that the unusual green shade signifies envy as well as character Cecelia’s doomed existence.

Regardless of the symbolism, the dress manages to look striking yet subtle onscreen — no mean feat.

  1. Liz Taylor — Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The movie adaptation of the award-winning Tennessee Williams play saw a screen-scorching performance form Liz Taylor in a series of slip dresses.

Wearing lingerie styles as outerwear no longer seems outrageous — but it sent pulses racing in 1958, generating priceless publicity for the film.

Audiences appreciated Liz’s slip selection so much that she donned another silky number in Butterfield 8 a couple of years later.

  1. Julia Roberts — Pretty Woman

Any plot that hinges on character transformation provides the perfect excuse for creative costume changes.

And there are glamorous outfits a-plenty in Pretty Woman.

When it comes to cocktail dresses this movie features the pick of the bunch — the short black number worn by Julia Roberts delights Richard Gere’s character Edward so much that he’s practically drooling with desire.

But if you love haute couture, this 90s classic is well worth re-watching — it’s a celluloid catwalk of iconic costumes.

  1. Marilyn Monroe — Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

You’d struggle to describe the ultimate blonde bombshell as a shrinking violet on screen.

And choosing one outfit from a career that featured so many stunningly stylish examples is tricky.

But the award for Marilyn’s most iconic dress goes to the shocking pink number she lit up theatres with in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

According to legend, Marilyn made a pact with her then spouse Joe DiMaggio at the beginning of that year that she’d stop wearing revealing dresses for her roles — but thankfully for fans, she saw sense and broke her promise.

  1. Jennifer Lopez — Maid in Manhattan

J-Lo looked beautiful in an iconic low-cut pink evening dress in 2002’s Maid in Manhattan.

If you spent most of this modern-day Cinderella movie willing Jennifer on to transform from put-upon domestic worker to glamour queen, this delightful dress provided the piece de resistance.

J-Lo looks stunning in the whole spectrum of feminine styles — from revealing choices like the green chiffon ensemble she wore on the Academy Awards red carpet in 2000 to this more reserved effort.

But everyone loves a fairy-tale, so this outfit’s our prime pick.

If you’ve marvelled at the five most iconic movie dresses, borrow a few style tips to supercharge your own wardrobe — classics never go out of fashion.

What’s your favourite movie dress? Share your thoughts in the comments section.