With a record-breaking 21 Oscar nominations, Meryl Streep is considered the greatest actress living today. In honor of the 91st Annual Academy Awards, which air on ABC on Feb. 24, 2019, Wonderwall.com is looking back at all the looks she's worn to the Oscars over the years… starting with this gorgeous red Christian Dior Haute Couture gown Meryl wore to the 2018 Oscars when she was nominated for her performance in "The Post." Keep reading to see more of Meryl's Oscar looks through the years…
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Meryl Streep arrived at her first ever Academy Awards ceremony in 1979 with her long blonde locks flowing and her husband, sculptor Don Gummer, by her side. The actress, who'd received her first Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for her work in "The Deer Hunter," arrived with some serious '70s style in a sheer black bohemian dress with a decorative lace panel top.
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Meryl Streep wore this gorgeous white evening gown by "Project Runway" Season 4 alum Chris March to the 2010 Oscars. The look featured a wide cowl neck, a belted waist and a subtle slit that allowed Meryl — who was nominated for best actress for "Julie & Julia" that year — to show off her strappy silver heels while flaunting her gorgeously feminine silhouette.
Drama between Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and Meryl Streep overshadowed her appearance at the 2017 Academy Awards. Karl told WWD that Meryl had backed out of wearing a $105,000 couture Chanel gown in favor of donning a dress by a designer who would pay her to wear their clothing — which Meryl vehemently denied. The actress arrived on the Oscars red carpet wearing Elie Saab Haute Couture. The jewel-encrusted off-the-shoulder navy gown featured a wide train and, best of all, cropped pants underneath. Meryl, who was nominated that night for best actress for her work in "Florence Foster Jenkins," dazzled while on stage as a presenter alongside Javier Bardem.
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Possibly our favorite Meryl Streep Oscar look is this dusky purple Rogelio Velasco gown studded with plum and royal purple gems down the skirt and train, which also had a seriously cool frayed hem. Meryl wore the dress to the 2006 Academy Awards where, surprisingly, she wasn't nominated for any awards, though she did present.
Meryl Streep was a bombshell blonde at the 1980 Academy Awards in a white gown and high-collared matching jacket by Pauline Trigere, who added tiny colorful square embellishments on the bust and along the jacket's length in place of buttons. Meryl won her first Oscar that night, taking home the best supporting actress prize for her performance in "Kramer vs. Kramer."
It makes sense that Meryl Streep arrived at the 2007 Academy Awards wearing Prada since she was nominated for best lead actress for her work in "The Devil Wears Prada." The knee-length black tunic and underskirt (or are they culottes?) shortened her stature and made her look kind of frumpy. The teal sash tied around her waist was a good move because it gave her some much needed shape, but that chunky orange and metal necklace was totally out of left field and didn't really mesh with the look.
At the 1984 Academy Awards, Meryl Streep went for something nontraditional: a tea-length white cocktail dress with a floral bodice and super-cute embroidered floral cuffs. The actress, seen here with her husband, Don Gummer, was nominated for best lead actress in "Silkwood."
Meryl Streep was ready for business at the 2015 Academy Awards in this tuxedo-style dress by Lanvin. Featuring a black velvet floor-length skirt, a pleated white V-neck blouse and a black jacket, the look was pulled together with a rhinestone-encrusted belt and some seriously sparkly earrings. That night, Meryl was celebrating her nomination for best supporting actress in the musical dramedy "Into the Woods."
Meryl Streep was five months pregnant with actress daughter Mamie Gummer at the 1983 Academy Awards when she won the Oscar for best actress for her performance in "Sophie's Choice." The radiant mom-to-be glowed throughout the night thanks in part to her heavily sequined gold caftan by Christian Leigh.
Meryl Streep rocked a gold gown one more time at the 2012 Academy Awards, where she won the Oscar for best lead actress for her work in "The Iron Lady." (Perhaps gold is her lucky color?) Meryl chose this gathered wrap dress from Lanvin featuring eco-friendly fabric and a glittery belt, making her look even better than the statue she won.
We're digging really deep to find something positive to say about the navy blue Donna Karan gown that Meryl Streep wore to the 1996 Academy Awards (which she attended with hubby Don Gummer and son Henry Gummer in tow). While we love the slightly off-the-shoulder cut that allowed Meryl to flaunt her amazing neck and shoulders, the rest of the dress felt dowdy and unnecessarily bulky. Since Meryl's got such an amazing figure, we're not sure why she went with this look. On a brighter note, Meryl was nominated that evening for best lead actress in the romantic drama "The Bridges of Madison County."
If Meryl Streep's 2014 Oscars dress looks familiar, that's because it's decidedly similar to the Lanvin ensemble she wore in 2015. This black-and-white number is from the same designer though features more of a cowl neck that falls just off the shoulder. Meryl's long black skirt is given a little extra detail with a billowing side pleat and a gemstone-studded belt. That year, Meryl was nominated for best lead actress for her performance in "August: Osage County."
Believe it or not, Meryl Streep was seven-and-a-half-months pregnant with her third child at the 1986 Academy Awards. The star, who was nominated for best actress for her work in "Out of Africa," wore an ivory ensemble with a long skirt, oversized sweater, white pumps and long strands of pearls. The look was surprisingly casual but understandably so. These were the days before Hollywood stylists advised stars on what to wear to award shows, plus it's hard to wear fitted clothes when you're so close to delivery!
At the 2013 Academy Awards, Meryl Streep (seen here with best actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis) dazzled in a glittering silver sequined Lanvin evening gown that gleamed with hints of blue and purple. Meryl added heavy silver cuffs and dangling silver and gemstone earrings. The look was spectacular and made even better by her slicked-back bob.
At the 2000 Academy Awards, Meryl Streep shined in a beaded and embroidered pantsuit featuring an elongated jacket with a Mandarin-style collar. To help celebrate her nomination for best actress in "Music of the Heart," Meryl brought her 16-year-old daughter, Mamie Gummer (who looked lovely in a sheer white shift with dark webbing detail).
We're going to be brutally honest here and admit that we aren't loving the black satin ball gown with sheer organza sleeves that Meryl Streep wore to the 2003 Academy Awards. Any time the actress wears an all-black look on the red carpet, we can't help but wonder, "Why?" With this particular number, the bulky sleeves (with odd fraying near the shoulders and wrist) and unflattering cut of the bodice made it appear unfinished. On a brighter note, we love the statement necklace Meryl (who was nominated for best supporting actress in "Adaptation") chose, and her amazing, soft updo.
Meryl Streep also wore an all-black number to the 1989 Academy Awards where she was nominated for best actress for her work in "A Cry in the Dark" (also known as "Evil Angels"). This two-piece ensemble by Donna Karan actually wasn't so bad, considering how black seems to wash her out and downplay her natural gorgeousness. What works here is the off-the-shoulder neckline (there's nothing remarkable about the pleated skirt). Meryl, who was joined that night by her husband, Don Gummer, added a bit of pizzazz with a pearl choker featuring a light blue center stone.
At the 2009 Academy Awards, Meryl Streep and daughter Louisa Gummer stunned in complementary Alberta Ferretti gowns in earthy shades of grey and cocoa. Both ladies opted for minimal jewelry, finishing their red carpet looks with dangling gold (Meryl) and silver (Louisa) earrings. Meryl was nominated that night for best actress for her work in the dramatic mystery "Doubt."
We love absolutely everything about this pale lavender Valentino Haute Couture gown that Meryl Streep wore to the 1999 Academy Awards. The dress sparkled with hundreds of sparkling bead embellishments that gave way to a shimmering chiffon skirt. We especially love the cut of this dress, which played up Meryl's amazing shoulders and accentuated all her curves. That night, Meryl was up for best lead actress for her work in "One True Thing."