The Most Expensive Oscars Dress from 1955 Compared to Now

grace kelly and cate blanchett at the academy awards

When it comes to the Oscars, it’s all about the fashion. 

In anticipation of this year’s 92nd annual Academy Awards (taking place on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC) we’re taking a look back at some of the most expensive Oscar’s dresses ever—including one worn by Grace Kelly. 

In 1955, Kelly caused quite a stir with her choice of dress for the Academy Awards. Her draped green gown with double spaghetti straps wasn't scandalous because of its form-fitting silhouette (Marilyn Monroe was pretty much monopolizing the public's attention for sexy ensembles) or the fact that it was Kelly's second time wearing it (she first wore the gown to the New York premiere of The Country Girl). Instead, it was the $4,000 price tag that really got the people talking. Nowadays, that seems like a bargain.

But just how different is the cost of an Oscars dress now from Grace Kelly's day? In 2014 Cate Blanchett wore an Armani Privé gown that cost $100,000 and accessorized with Chopard jewels estimated to be worth £18 million, bringing her total look to a whopping $18.1 million. Yeah. (It should be noted that the jewelry was only on loan, but still.) 

When Edith Head designed Kelly's gown, it was thought to be the most expensive gown ever made. Blanchett's gown cost 25 times as much as Kelly's apparently extravagant dress. And Cate's embellished beige stunner wasn't the only $100,000 gown she's worn. Her 2016 Oscar's dress, also by Armani Privé, cost the same amount.

Kelly won her Oscar for Best Actress at the 1955 awards ceremony (beating out Judy Garland who was heavily favored to win for her role in the first remake/second version of A Star Is Born), and Blanchett also came away a Best Actress winner for her role in Blue Jasmine. So perhaps it's lucky to wear an absurdly expensive getup to the Academy Awards, no matter what decade you're in. Someone should probably let this year's nominees in on the hot tip...

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Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...