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Exploring vintage Oscar fashion: the quirks, the glamour, and the trends that never go out of style

This Twitter thread explains how the awards have defined glamour over the decades.

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Elizabeth Taylor’s 1969 Oscar gown on display in 2004.
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Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

Those who don’t learn from the past may be doomed to repeat it, but in the case of Oscars fashion trends, that may actually be a good thing.

Canadian blogger Sarah Ganske took to Twitter Saturday to share a fascinating and revealing look back at vintage Oscar fashion through the years.

In the thread, Ganske outlined what fashion codes said about their eras — like the matronly caftan that in the ’60s declared the presence of an established figurehead:

She also homed in on personal style evolutions. Particularly revealing were the Three Stages of Elizabeth Taylor:

What becomes immediately apparent from Ganske’s thread is how timeless certain looks have remained over the years.

After all, style trends may come and go, but having to walk in high heels is forever.

But what’s especially surprising is how much personal style has managed to seep onto the red carpet over the years. As my colleague Constance Grady noted, in the age of the best-dressed list, the Oscars aren’t really the moment for risk-taking fashion anymore. It’s refreshing, then, to see how expressive many Oscars looks from yesteryear could be.

The thread gained traction on Twitter in the buildup to Sunday’s Oscar night, and Ganske picked up a few new followers as a result.

She knew just how to welcome them.

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