Remember When Gwyneth Paltrow Caused an Oscar Stir in Pink?

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On the red carpet of the 71st Academy Awards ceremony, Gwyneth Paltrow stopped to speak to a reporter. “If you think about how much people are talking about something as silly as a dress, I think it would make me absolutely incapable of leaving the house,” she said. “So I just tuned it all out and wore what I thought was pretty.”

It was the year Paltrow was nominated for her role as Viola De Lesseps in Shakespeare in Love. She arrived at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles wearing a dress that would become a subject of heated debate to this day: a bubblegum pink taffeta Ralph Lauren ballgown paired with 0,000 worth of Harry Winston diamonds in the form of a bracelet, choker, and earrings. Her blonde hair was swept back into a sleek bun parted on the right. And an iconic look was born.

Depending on who you ask, the dress is still considered amongst the best or the worst dresses the award show has ever seen. (Her mother, Blythe Danner, famously hated the dress.) It was discussed as either the height of youthful elegance in the vein of Grace Kelly, or saccharine, ill-fitting, and stylistically out-of-touch with the era.

No matter the criticism or praise the dress received, it was everywhere that year, especially after Paltrow took home the Oscar for Best Actress. With the 91st iteration this weekend, the appearance of the dress celebrates nearly 20 years in the spotlight. Its slim spaghetti straps, v-neckline, and floaty ball skirt would also become a prom staple that spring, its style duplicated by designer Allen B. Schwartz of teen evening-wear giant ABS by Allen Schwartz.

Paltrow, now a lifestyle guru of sorts with her brand Goop, said in 2015 that she has kept all of her Oscar dresses for her daughter, Apple Martin, the pink Ralph Lauren of course included. „Maybe she’ll wear it to prom and do a Pretty in Pink thing and resew it and cut it up,” she said. In many ways, it makes sense: the dress has already lived so many lives on its own.

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