32 of the wildest '90s red carpet outfits, from plunging necklines and leopard print to all-out sequin glamour

These wild '90s red carpet outfits are as iconic as they are outrageous

32 of the most wild '90s red carpet outfits round-up
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These wild '90s red carpet outfits made history of some of the most daring looks to grace awards ceremonies and black-tie events across the globe. From Liz Hurley's famous safety-pin dress to pretty much anything seen on teen sensation Christina Aguilera, these are the looks that went down in the fashion history books. 

The '90s were a time of sartorial experimentation, with clashing prints, brash accessories, barely-there dresses and all manner of textures - including that iconic pink feathered worn on the red carpet by Pamela Anderson in 1999. No '90s outfit was too outrageous, from Christina Aguilera's sequin bolero to Mariah Carey's thigh-high split. A-listers also had a knack for catching us all off guard with casual outfits that bucked the super-glam or risqué dress trend, opting for '90s classics like high-waisted jeans and comfy knitwear instead.

When it comes to the best red carpet looks, it's usually sleek gowns and smart suits - a far cry from some of these more eclectic ensembles. While we're not suggesting this round-up of the most wild '90s red carpet outfits will give you much inspiration (unless you're off to a fancy dress party, that is) what it does provide is a dose of pure '90s nostalgia. These are the out-there red carpet looks people are still talking about today. 

Liz Hurley's safety pin dress

Liz Hurley wearing her iconic safety pin dress

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It was the plunging neckline to end all plunging necklines when Liz Hurley stepped out in an iconic Versace gown to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral as Hugh Grant's guest. Held together by oversized safety pins, there's no doubt it was a bold look, but the gamble paid off and Liz's dress went down in history as one of the best (and wildest!) red carpet moments of the '90s - and perhaps all time. 

Red Carpet: 21 Years of Fame and Fashion by Frank Trapper | £16.99 at Amazon 

Red Carpet: 21 Years of Fame and Fashion by Frank Trapper | £16.99 at Amazon 

Celebrity photographer Frank Trapper had a front-row seat to dozens of awards shows, premieres and events across the globe. In this collection of 1000 pictures, he takes us along the way, showcasing all the best (and most scandalous) looks of the time.

Rose McGowan's barely-there dress

Actress Julia Roberts attends the 47th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 20, 1990 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills

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Julia Roberts is one of the most glamorous women in Hollywood, so it was a surprise to see her wearing this oversized grey suit for the 47th Annual Golden Globe Awards. But le's be clear, we're still big advocates for a killer suit on the red carpet! 

Juliette Lewis's bling headdress

Juliette Lewis on the red carpet

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If you can't wear a sparkling headdress to the Golden Globes, when can you? Paired with a simple black dress and heels, this showstopping accessory does the talking for Juliette Lewis, who wore it to the annual Hollywood event in 1994. 

Pamela Anderson's pink feathered hat

Pamela Anderson wearing a pink feather hat

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Baby pink feathers are a 90s trend most of us would like to forget - but it was one Pam Anderson loved!

This was quite the look for Pammy, who teamed a bright pink fuzzy hat with sparkling multicoloured pants and a statement, 80s-inspired makeup look. Pamela wore this loud and proud look for the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999. 

Christina Aguilera's sequinned bolero

Christina Aguilera wearing a red sequinned poncho

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Christina Aguilera was a complete '90s icon, often spotted on the red carpet wearing outlandish outfits, with sequins, glitter and animal prints seemingly a key part of the singer's capsule wardrobe at the time. This sequin bolero in rainbow tones worn for the first Annual Teen Choice Awards is a prime example. 

Jada Pinkett Smith's crochet tights

Jada Pinkett Smith wearing crochet leggings

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We loved to layer in the 90s, even if the respective components didn't quite work together and it's reassuring to see we weren't the only ones. 

We're not sure exactly what's going on with this mismatch of crochet tights (or are they leggings?), denim shorts and a cute shirt, but Jada Pinkett Smith still looks fresh-faced and fabulous for the 11th Annual Celebrity Day at McClaren Hall in California. 

Drew Barrymore's denim shorts and blazer combo

Drew Barrymore on the red carpet in the 90s

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Drew Barrymore is the epitome of of '90s style done well, but there were times her outfits veered towards the unwearable, including these denim shorts, heeled boots and what appears to be a fitted black blazer, worn for the Reservoir Dogs Los Angeles Premier. However, if you opted for a looser fit on top up that top half and swapped out heels for stylish flats, we could see this '90s red carpet outfit working in the modern day. 

Salma Hayek's orange gown

Salma Hayek on the red carpet in the 90s

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We loved bright neon colours in the 90s and a bit of fur - and it looks like Salma Hayek was no different!

A bright orange gown is a risky choice, but somehow the stunning Salma Hayek pulls it off with ease, wrapping a white furry shawl around her strapless dress to attend Elizabeth Taylor's 65th birthday party in LA. 

Sarah Jessica Parker's embellished yellow gown

Sarah Jessica Parker on the red carpet

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It would not be a fully-formed '90s fashion round-up with SJP. And in this instance, she's a vision in yellow, wearing an embellished dress for the 51st Annual Emmy Awards, which she attended alongside her Sex & the City co-stars. 

Christina Aguilera's leopard print ensemble

Christina Aguilera wearing a sheer leopard print outfit

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This iconic look from Christina Aguilera at the 1999 MTV Music Awards in New York was super 90s and also super risque. Xtina went heavy on the leopard print with this bold ensemble, with an animal-print cami with a lace trim, a matching coat and '90s classic footwear - the platform boots. 

Penelope Cruz's silk poncho

Penelope Cruz on a red carpet in the 90s

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Penelope Cruz wore a very fancy silk poncho for the premiere of Cookie’s Fortune with dark jeans, heels and bold lips. It's not the first combo we'd think of for the red carpet, but the '90s was all about casual red carpet style - and somehow Penelope pulls it off flawlessly. 

Jada Pinkett Smith's bikini-style blue ensemble

Most wild 90s red carpet outfits - Jada Pinkett Smith

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Jada Pinkett Smith is somewhat of a '90s red carpet fashion icon, even if many of her looks are ones wouldn't necessarily try ourselves. Wearing a barely-there baby blue top and matching skirt, the actor attended the Devil in a Blue Dress in California in 1995. 

Halle Berry's heavily embroidered gown

Halle Berry on the red carpet

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Halle Berry could, quite frankly, make a binbag work as a stylish outfit, but this heavily embroidered monochrome gown is undoubtedly a little out there as a red carpet option. Halle Berry wore the look to attend the 25th Annual NAACP Image Awards in 1993. 

Drew Barrymore's oversized denim jacket

Drew Barrymore wearing an oversized jacket

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It was quite the thing in the '90s to dress down for the red carpet, with rebellious celebrities moving away from over-the-top gowns and structured 'dos, favouring casual ensembles instead. Drew Barrymore was often spotted on the red carpet with a dressed-down look in the '90s, including this oversized denim jacket (which we have to admit looks super comfy!) 

Jennifer Aniston's all-black ensemble

Jennifer Aniston on the red carpet

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This all-black ensemble is a tad, well, morbid as opposed to the fun '90s outfits we were used to seeing Jennifer Aniston wear in Friends at the time. In her defence, she was attending the Meet Joe Black premiere in New York in 1999 - and got the memo with this one.

Uma Thurman's pink-and-red dress

Uma Thurman on the red carpet

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This is a wild '90s outfit that shouldn't work, but it totally does. The pink and red colour scheme is unique and looks stunning on '90s legend Uma Thurman - and the jacket tied around the waist is a classic '90s style. 

Mariah Carey's thigh-high split

Mariah Carey wearing a dress with a thigh-high split on the red carpet

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There's no doubt that Mariah is working it here; the thigh-high split, the glowing skin, the perfect blow dry. The singer wore a super-slinky two-piece set with a sky-high slit on the skirt to the ’97 MTV VMAs. Having recently gone through a rocky break up up with Tommy Mottola, CEO of her then-label Sony, it was the ultimate revenge dress. 

Christina Aguilera's silver two-piece

Most wild 90s red carpet outfits - Christina Aguilera

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You can always rely on Christina Aguilera when it comes to wild '90s red carpet outfits. The singer wore this dramatic metallic two-piece to attend the American Teacher Awards in LA in 1999. Stars in the '90s certainly weren't shy about showing their midriff on the red carpet, with cropped tops all the rage. 

Chloë Sevigny's tiger-print tights

Chloë Sevigny wearing tiger print tights

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Fashion icon Chloë Sevigny has many a bold outfit in her fashion archives and she always manages to add a cool-girl edge to anything she wears. This look that the actor wore to a New York City movie premiere, consisting of a chic one-shoulder dress and statement tiger tights is certainly distinctive.

Cher's daring sequin bodysuit

Cher in a sequinned body suit

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A daring outfit like this is nothing new for Cher, who has been shocking and delighting fashion fans with her ensembles since way before the '90s. This Bob Mackie gown was so iconic that it made it into a book on iconic red carpet fashion, titled Red Carpet, by Frank Trapper.

Geena Davis's ruffled dress

Geena Davis wearing a ruffled white dress

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What a look! This ruffled dress was teamed with sheer tights, glamorous opera-length gloves and the old-school Hollywood favourite, pearls, for the Academy Awards red carpet. Fabulously OTT with an 80s edge, this outfit worn by Geena Davis at the 1992 Oscars looks a little more 80s than 90s.

Christina Ricci's colour-block outfit

Christina Ricci wearing a 90s red carpet look

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Christina Ricci wore a bold colour combo to the Now & Then premiere, teaming a baby blue t-shirt with a deep pink maxi skirt for quite the statement look. The film was produced in 1995 and remains a '90s classic. We can't imagine seeing a celebrity on the red carpet these days wearing a simple tank top - nevermind in that tone - but that was the '90s way!

Natalie Portman's graphic dress

Natalie Portman wearing a graphic print dress

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Vintage Natalie Portman is a sight for sore eyes in this (surprisingly) on-trend graphic print sheer dress while walking the red carpet in the '90s. The dinky beaded bag has also made a comeback - clearly the actor was ahead of the times! Befitting of the era, she kept her hairstyle simple, in a low pony.

Annie Lennox's Mini Mouse outfit

Annie Lennox in the 90s

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Think Minnie Mouse... but with a wild '90s red carpet addition. So that means black-and-white latex, over-the-knee boots and a punk-style choker for Annie Lennox at the Grammy Awards. As well as the obligatory mouse ears. A great outfit to get people talking, but probably not one we'd replicate ourselves. 

Cher's matching sequin ensemble

Most wild 90s red carpet outfits - Cher

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There's no doubt that Cher turned heads in this eye-catching embellished outfit, complete with a matching choker and headpiece, as well as a glittering silver train. We're in complete awe - just look at that sequin cape detailing! One of the wildest 90s looks that still wouldn't look out of place on the Met Gala red carpet

Britney Spears's eclectic lace ensemble

Britney Spears wearing a 90s red carpet look

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Britney Spears was a real champion of the flat cap hat, often spotted on the red carpet with the '90s accessory. This particular ensemble, worn for the Crossroads premiere, features a printed corset, jeans and a lace shirt over the top. Eclectic for sure. 

Alicia Silverstone's white suit and hat

Alicia Silverstone wearing a white suit and hat

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Alicia Silverstone wore this bright white outfit - complete with a huge cowbow hat -  to the premiere of Batman and Robin in 1997. It's a far departure from Alicia's Clueless character's Cher Horowitz preppy outfits, that's for sure... 

Reese Witherspoon's white shirt and jeans

Reese Witherspoon wearing a white shirt and blue jeans

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While jeans on the red carpet may have been traditionally considered a no-go, we are here for the dressed-down A-listers showing up in casual attire. Reese Witherspoon looks fresh-faced and effortlessly chic for the True Lies Los Angeles Premiere in 1994. 

Pamela Anderson's lingerie-inspired dress

Pamela Anderson wearing a sheer outfit in the 90s

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Pamela Anderson went all out for an appearance at Caesars Palace for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), wearing a sheer lingerie-inspired dress inspired by Venus the Goddess of Love. She completed the look with huge hair and a smoky eye. Sultry! 

Jennifer Lopez's spangly top

J-Lo wearing a sequinned top

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Jennifer Lopez perfected the disco look on the VMA red carpet with this spangly chainmail crop top, in another midriff-bearing look - a classic style of the '90s. Pretty hair clips complete the look (which incidentally have come back into fashion in recent years).

Shania Twain's PVC two-piece

Shania Twain dressed in PVC

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No wild red carpet moments from the '90s would be complete without Shania Twain, who really went all out for the 1996 Country Music Awards wearing PVC trousers and a matching crop top, finished off with a bold structured jacket. 

Carman Electra's Beetlejuice-inspired look

Carmen Electra on the red carpet in the 90s

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Here we have '90s superstar Carmen Electra attending the Seventh Annual Soul Train Music Awards in 1993 wearing what can only be described as a Beetlejuice-inspired ensemble with bold monochrome stripes (and a midriff-bearing twist, of course - it was the '90s after all). 

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.