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The Most Unforgettable Oscar Dresses Of The Century

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Marion Cotillard, 2008
The white and silver Jean Paul Gaultier dress French actress Marion Cotillard wore to the 2008 Oscars caused major waves, with many critics confused by the gown's mermaid inspiration. Our vote? Spectacular.

She donned the now-iconic gown to collect her Best Actress Oscar for her role in La Vie en Rose. It was her first Academy Award nomination, and Cotillard was the first French actor since 1960 to win an Oscar in the best actress category. While at the time she was relatively unknown, the scaly white dress helped to put her on the map.

The whimsical gown was from Gaultier's aquatic-themed “Mermaids” spring-summer haute couture 2008 show, but it was tweaked slightly. On the runway the dress was black and gold. But on the red carpet, Cotillard requested for it to be white and silver.

Gaultier's "Mermaids" collection was as playful as Cotillard's gown. There was a scallop-edged trench coat that looked like it was made from fish skin, macramé made to look like fishing nets, and dresses with chiffon made to look like seaweed. 

While today we recognize that Cotillard's gown was fabulous, in 2008 fashion critics were split. But those who supported her applauded the actress for not playing it safe. The Georgia Straight said she had "the only truly Hollywood-worthy gown of the evening."