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The Dresses Worn By All The Best Actress Oscar Winners

[Mediarun are now part of Big Group. Our most popular blog posts can all be found here now.]

UPDATE: We have now released a new version of the infographic, adding many more designer names as well as 2014’s winner, Cate Blanchett. See it here. You are also able to purchase an A2 copy of The Oscar Dresses poster from Love Miss Daisy.

We don’t often feature work of this type on our blog but it was one of those ideas we had that just wouldn’t let go, despite not having an ideal home in a client’s content strategy. We therefore decided to do it anyway and present it as a case study or portfolio piece that demonstrates the kind of thing we do for fashion brands.

We wanted to do something to explore the fashion aspect of the Oscars and thought it would be great to have a poster that displays as many of the dresses as possible. Pretty early on, we realised we had to limit it to just the Best Actress winners in order to fit them into a reasonable file size while making the dresses large and detailed enough to be enjoyed. I would still like to do another one featuring all nominees from major categories, but I need to work out the logistics of that first.

The reason we took this approach to the topic (as opposed to say, a stats breakdown with icons and lots of facts and numbers about how many dresses of which designer were worn etc) is because we try to make our work reflect the needs of the intended audience. In general, we prefer infographics that show, rather than tell but in fashion, people respond well to beautiful imagery, so we did our best to represent that. We instructed the designer to emulate the visual style of a dress designer when depicting the frocks, using freehand lines and watercolour-style shading.

Other than the pleasure of looking at the dresses and remembering them from the occasion (depending on your age), it is interesting to see how styles change over the decades. The 50s are classically elegant, as one might expect, while the love/hate relationship people have with 80s fashion is on full display with wildly different and highly original designs each year. The early ceremonies were a far less extravagant occasion and fashion choices reflected that, while today’s events see luxurious flowing gowns from the world’s leading designers.

Research for this required us to look up every award-winner and find several photos of them in the dress. Older photos, being in black and white presented an issue so we made every effort to find written references to the dresses so we could recreate them in colour. The other significant challenge was in finding the name of designer of each dress. We’ve done our best within the time we could spend on this but many are still marked as ‘unknown’, due to the scarcity of this information. If anyone who sees this can tell us which ones we’re missing, we’ll happily update and re-release the infographic at a later date.