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 Therons 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 Swanks long sleeved, navy floor-sweeping Oscars gown which looked, from the front, to cover and hug pretty much every inch of the stars 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 Dianas 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 its the 90s or 2010s 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; its provocative without the overt sexiness of a low-cut gown or daringly short hemline.
Proving that straight-on isnt always the best view, the backless dress will forever be a red carpet highlight.
Click through to see the celebs who made the most head-turning choices through the years
Charlize Theron in an elegant Christian Dior dress at the The Huntsman premiere in LA, 2016
Elegant from the front but seriously amazing at the back. This is proof, were it needed, of the power of a show-stopping sexy back dress.
Hilary Swank wore a navy Guy Delaroche gown for her 2005 Oscars win.
In this backless show-stopper, Hilary Swank proved that you don't need sequins to stand-out on the red carpet.
Sienna Miller wearing a black floor-length Dior gown to the BAFTAs, 2008
Draped beads elevated the dress from lovely to fabulous. We love.
Emily Blunt in a rhinestone-encrusted Stella McCartney gown at Cannes, 2015.
The angular cutout detailing reveals just the right amount of skin and adds a modern spin to this classic red carpet look.
Princess Diana at the White House, 1996
For her dance with Calvin Klein at the White House, Princess Diana opted for a flattering and perfect-for-the-cameras halterneck, backless gown.
Sienna Miller in a beaded Calvin Klein midi dress during the Cannes Film Festival, 2015.
A tossled bob was the perfect way to show off this modern take on the open back dress.
Cate Blanchett opted for a stunning John Galliano gown for her first Oscars nomination in 1999.
Just. So. Stunning. The floral embroidery on this sheer back dress still takes our breath away.
Christina Ricci wearing a monochrome gown to the Oscars after-party, 2000.
Elegant and timeless from the front and super dramatic at the back, Christina Ricci's dress is utter perfection for Oscars night.
Emma Watson opted for an Oscar de la Renta boatneck black gown for the New York premiere of Noah, 2014.
From the front, you might have been mistaken to think this dress was a little underwhelming, but from the back, it's all kinds of amazing.
Halle Berry opted for a classic red gown for the SAG Awards, 2001
Cut out and embellished - what's not to love?
Anne Hathway's Armani Prive Gold sequin dress stole the show at the 2011 Golden Globes.
Over-sized sequins, exaggerated shoulders, and a daringly low cut back - this is how to nail red carpet dressing.
Cate Blanchett in a stunning Jean Paul Gaultier dress at the Oscars, 2000.
Cate Blanchett has been a long-term devotee of the simple fronted dress with a statement back, and this jewelled creation is one of our favourites.