The Dress - the symbol of beauty and femininity - has throughout history defined women's social standing. There are countess dresses synonymous with a period in time and there are endless gowns that are synonymous with a particular woman, real or fictitious.
As the month of January begins to unfold, so does the Award Season, where TV shows, magazines and yes, blogs will be praising dresses to the high heavens or indeed ripping them to shreds. What with the dresses the stars wear being such a pivotal part of the season to come, here is a short selection of iconic dresses. Some beautiful, some not so much (ahem...Elizabeth Hurley!), some old and some new, some so iconic they are cemented into the history of popular culture, others could well be iconic, for better or for worse, in a matter of time.
Without dispute the two must iconic dresses on this list. Marilyn Monroe's white halterneck dress from The Seven Year Itch, made famous in the scene where the skirt flies up after being hit by a blast of air from a vent and of course Audrey Hepburn's legendary Givency number from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
The little black dress has been synonymous with style and elegance since it was created in the 1920's by Coco Chanel, or rather it was refashioned by Coco from something worn by maidservants and at funerals to something of great taste and class. I'm not sure can the same be said for Elizabeth Hurley's rendition of the LBD. This famous Versace gown became iconic, despite Hurley's questionable acting career, because it was held together with oversized safety pins.
Floaty, fabulous dresses. Audrey Hepburn's black and white, lace - frilled dress from the Ascot Races scene in My Fair Lady, is an iconic costume from cinematic history. Nicole Kidman's dress of sugary - pink froth from the 2004 Chanel advertisement, is one I have lusted after for some time. This Dior dress from the autumn/winter 2007 collection has been everywhere in the last couple of months and with good reason too, the magenta layers are sumptuous.
Princess Diana, captivated the world in this voluminous, fairy - tale dress of ivory silk, designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel. The dress became the wedding dress template of the 1980s. Carrie's dress of a 'thousand layers' is one that sticks in my mind. The mermaid, sea - green, Versace dress encompasses everything about fairytale glamour too.
Mary Quant's Rugby Girl dress from the 1960s, was one of Quant's famous mini dresses. Quant pioneered the short hemline which continues to be the symbol of youth and vitality today, that it was in the 60s. I love Sienna's Gold Burberry dress that she wore in 2006. She continues the 60's vibe with opaque black tights and patent shoes.
Grace Kelly - Hollywood's princess - in an ethereal gown in the 1954 film Rear window. Keira Knightley, in 2007's film adaption of Ian Mc Ewan's Atonement, wears this sinuous, emerald green, satin evening gown. The dress, is quickly gaining iconic status, due to the fact it probably had more coverage then the actual movie!
Rita Hayworth, in her defining role Gilda, caused quite a stir in this satin number designed by Jean Louis. The thigh - high slit, long gloves and figure - hugging silhouette made Hayworth a femme fatale. Bold Naomi stepped out in style in March 2007 after cleaning the streets of New York, in this glistening Dolce and Gabbana dress, creating one of the fashion moments of the year.
Halle Berry made cinematic history in 2002, as being the first African - American woman to win a Best Actress Academy Award. She collected her Oscar in this memorable Elie Saab dress. Gwyneth Paltrow received her Best Actress gong in 1999 in a girly, candy - pink, Ralph Lauren dress which probably ended up tear - stained.
Here's hoping there will be some iconic dresses in the upcoming award season!