The most iconic backless gowns to hit the red carpet

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Straight-on isn’t always the best view for these show-stopping gowns...

For the A-list (and their stylists), the red carpet is their moment to shine. And to ensure their spot on the best dressed lists, a show-stopping dress is essential. Enter, the sexy back dress.

Embellished, cut-away or jewel encrusted, these business-at-the-front, party-at-the-back dresses are guaranteed to surprise and amaze.

Be it Charlize Theron’s elegantly off-the-shoulder yet plain and form-fitting black Dior midi dress with an exquisitely decorated sheer back decorated with beautiful 3D metallic butterflies, or Hilary Swank’s long sleeved, navy floor-sweeping Oscars gown which looked, from the front, to cover and hug pretty much every inch of the star’s skin – yet at the back a strikingly angular cut out detail with swishing train completely stole the show.

Red carpet trends come and go but this one is has serious staying power. A look through our most-loved red carpet moments makes it clear to see why the most stylish stars rely on these statement-making looks time and time again.

A glance at the archives – right through to Princess Diana’s head-turning backless dress for her dance at the White House – shows that the most demure way to make a statement is with a reveal and conceal backless dress – and the more statement-making the better. Whether it’s the 90s or 2010’s these well-dressed stars fully appreciate the timeless appeal of a sexy back dress.

On a white-tie red carpet full of princess gowns and cascading trains, the backless gown stands-out; it’s provocative without the overt sexiness of a low-cut gown or daringly short hemline.

Proving that straight-on isn’t always the best view, the backless dress will forever be a red carpet highlight.

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