Helen Mirren2007

“The Queen”? Indeed. The Best Actress winner looked regal and ethereal at the same time — quite a feat — in this Christian Lacroix confection. Note how nicely the gold Oscar harmonizes with the ensemble.

Marion Cotillard2008

Formal fish scales never looked so good. Cotillard, who won Best Actress for “La Vie en Rose,” fetchingly swam down the red carpet in a gown by Jean Paul Gaultier.

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Octavia Spencer 2012

A simple shape, elaborate beading, and a perfect fit — this beautiful Tadashi Shoji gown made Spencer, who won Best Supporting Actress for “The Help,” sparkle like the sun.

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic