The story behind Gwyneth Paltrow's iconic Oscars dress

It's one our favourites of all time

Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar dresses
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's no doubt about it, the pale pink Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar dress created by Ralph Lauren is right up there with the best Oscar dresses of all time. In fact, it's one of her most talked-about looks, period. No small feat considering it dates back to 1999.

She wore it to the 71st Academy Awards, during which she picked up the Best Actress statuette for her turn in Shakespeare In Love.

The bubblegum pink taffeta gown was created by Ralph Lauren, and features spaghetti straps, a V-neckline and full skirt. The simplicity of the cut means it has stood the test of time while symbolising everything that was iconic of that fashion era.

The actress wore it with a matching pink shawl and a Harry Winston diamond choker, bracelet and earrings set.

It's said that at the time, Gwyneth didn't work with a stylist, and simply went to Ralph Lauren a few days prior to the event to pick something out. It originally came with a corset-like top, which was switched for the more wearable one we know and love.

She didn't want to put too much pressure on herself and simply wanted to "look really sweet" and it worked. On the red carpet, she even told 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. So I just tuned it all out and wore what I thought was pretty."

While the dress still divides some people (her mother Blythe Danner was said to hate it), it's largely still loved by most to this day, and it looks like its story is set to carry on.

Gwyneth told The Hollywood Reporter that her daughter is welcome to it for her prom: "Maybe she’ll wear it to prom and do a Pretty in Pink thing and resew it and cut it up".

Lucky girl.

How to watch the Oscars 2023 in the UK?

The Oscars will air in the UK in the early hours of Monday 13th March, at 12am until 3am. You can watch this years Oscars ceremony via Sky Showcase or NOW where you can opt for the 7 day free trial if you've never tried NOW before.

Here at Marie Claire, we'll be bringing you all the best red carpet outfits plus live reporting of all the must see moments of the night. Follow our Instagram for the latest updates. 

Make sure to check out all the Oscars Academy Awards Nominees 2023, while you're here. 

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.