“You didn’t fly to Paris to get outfitted for the awards. And Paris didn’t fly to you,” Anjelica Huston told the Cut about the early days of Oscars dressing. When she won her statuette for Prizzi’s Honor in 1986, she had a dress made from fabric she bought at Beverly Silks and Woolens. “In those days, you shopped.” In those days before stylists, professional handbag-holders, Giuliana Rancic, gushing press releases about which celebrity wore which Gobstopper-size gems, and next-day red-carpet knockoffs, things were a little bit simpler.
Boxy suits, wispy lace dresses, and even pajama tops were all acceptable attire, not the peg for a “Worst Dressed” segment. Here, a look at some of our favorite unsung moments from the pre-E! epoch.