Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Red Carpet Style Moments

From ‘90s grunge to founding her own take on quiet luxury with G. Label by Goop, Observer charts Gwyneth Paltrow’s best red carpet looks.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s red carpet fashion never disappoints. Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

These days, Gwyneth Paltrow is most well-known as the founder of newsletter-turned-lifestyle company Goop, but she’s also a red carpet veteran. Photographed as a teen alongside her parents, producer-director Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner, Paltrow began establishing her on-screen career in the early ‘90s. As her star power rose to include leading roles in films like Emma and Shakespeare in Love (the latter for which she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1999), so, too, did her style status. 

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Embodying the trends of the ‘90s with a mix of more casual, oversized looks and simple slip dresses at the start of her career, Paltrow’s style evolved to include brightly colored custom gowns and tailored menswear, before embracing a more classic look with the launch of her clothing line, G. Label by Goop in 2016. Working with longtime stylist Elizabeth Saltzman has also helped to refine the actress’ sartorial tastes during their 15-plus years of collaboration, but Paltrow has never strayed too far from her initial preferences (or her favored designers like Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney and Tom Ford). “I always say I’m kind of preppy with a twist,” Paltrow told Vogue of her style tendencies. “I’ve always loved great tailoring and things that Anjelica Huston would have worn, or Diane Keaton,” she added of where she gets her inspiration. 

Ahead, we’re taking a look back at some of Paltrow’s most memorable moments in fashion—from her first Met Gala to wearing a custom design from her very own clothing line.

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Gwyneth Paltrow. Ron Galella Collection via Getty

1993, ‘Flesh & Bone’ Premiere

Paltrow’s earliest red carpet days were always more casual, even when attending a premiere for her own film, as was the case with this oversized leather jacket and combat boot pairing for the Hollywood premiere of Flesh & Bone.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Ron Galella Collection via Getty

1995, Met Gala

“This was my era of Calvin Klein,” Paltrow told Vogue while reflecting on her very first Met Gala in the ‘90s. Before the days of the first Monday in May, Paltrow explained that the annual event benefiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute was a quieter affair, which is how the actress landed on a white tank dress from Calvin Klein. “I was so thrilled because he always wanted to dress me and lend me beautiful things,” she said of working with the designer. For the Met Gala, Paltrow styled her slip dress with all-black accessories, and a sleek hair and brown lip liner combo that served as the decade’s defining beauty look.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Ron Galella Collection via Getty

1996, ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ Premiere

At the Los Angeles premiere of From Dusk Till Dawn, Paltrow broke up an all-black ensemble with a leopard print coat (and Converse sneakers).

Brad Pitt & Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

1996, Academy Awards

Paltrow made her go-to slip dress a little more glamorous by opting for an embellished number to attend the Academy Awards with then-boyfriend Brad Pitt.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Ron Galella Collection via Getty

1996, ‘Emma’ Premiere

1996 marked a turning point in Paltrow’s career, as she began landing more starring roles, such as the titular character in Emma, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel of the same name. Celebrating the film’s New York City premiere alongside her family, Paltrow stepped up her red carpet style with a classic black slip dress. To show off the crisscrossing strap details at the back, the actress wore her hair in a tousled updo with face-framing pieces and bolder makeup that included a smoky eye and brick-red lipstick.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

1996, MTV Video Music Awards

The actress exhibited her love for a menswear look when she walked the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards in a red velvet suit from Gucci’s then-creative director Tom Ford. “He completely revolutionized the brand,” Paltrow told Vogue of Ford’s work with Gucci, noting that the suit remains one of her favorite red carpet moments decades later. “Everybody was clamoring to get anything they could from the collection, and I was very lucky to borrow this beautiful red velvet tuxedo from him.”

Gwyneth Paltrow. Ron Galella Collection via Getty

1997, ‘Hard Eight’ Premiere

At the premiere of her movie Hard Eight, Paltrow paired her new cropped haircut with a fitted floral print coat that included a fur collar.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Ron Galella Collection via Getty

1998, ‘Shakespeare In Love’ Premiere

Before naked dresses became the norm on the red carpet, Paltrow wore this see-through Armani gown in an icy-blue color. The sleeveless dress included sparkling embroidery throughout, and Paltrow styled the statement-making design with matching heels, a dark shawl and polished platinum hair.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

1999, Academy Awards

Arguably her most famous red carpet look, Paltrow wore this bubblegum-pink Ralph Lauren taffeta ball gown to take home the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love. Recounting to Vogue that the look had originally been presented as a skirt that she saw in Ralph Lauren’s lookbook, Paltrow shared that she worked with the fashion house sans stylist. “I called and I said, ‘Could I borrow this for the Oscars?’ And they said, ‘Well, we’d like to make you something,” which was thrilling,” Paltrow said of how the dress, which now has its own Wikipedia page, came to be. Harry Winston diamond earrings and a necklace completed the look, and were later given to the actress as a congratulatory gift from her father, who attended the ceremony with her.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

1999, Met Gala

For the 1999 Met Gala’s “Rock Style” theme, Paltrow chose a shimmering blue snakeskin gown with cut-out detailing at the front. Though she switched up her hair with a rich chocolate color, Paltrow didn’t stray from her brown lip liner.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2000, Golden Globe Awards

Rather than go the traditional gown route, Paltrow posed on the Golden Globes red carpet in low-rise brown pants and a yellow cowl neck halter top that was trimmed with rhinestones. In addition to the necklace-like crystals that sat across her halter neckline, Paltrow accessorized with gold dagger earrings and a set of matching gold cuff bracelets.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Ron Galella Collection via Getty

2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards

A few months later, Paltrow was back to blonde and back to the pastel gowns when she attended the Screen Actors Guild Awards in a romantic lavender dress that she complemented with slightly crimped hair and diamond bracelets.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images

2002, Academy Awards

A departure from Paltrow’s usual looks, this Alexander McQueen gown landed the actress on several ‘Worst Dressed’ lists at the time. But in more recent years, Paltrow has stated that she stands by the goth gown, with its sheer bodice and full skirt, and that her only regrets were not wearing a bra and going too over-the-top with the hair and makeup.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2002, Venice Film Festival

For the opening night of the 2002 Venice Film Festival, Paltrow arrived with Valentino Garavani, wearing one of the Italian fashion designer’s creations that mixed a fitted silhouette with lace trim and the tiniest of cutouts.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2006, Golden Globes

While pregnant with her second child, Paltrow chose a cream-colored Balenciaga gown to attend the 2006 Golden Globes. Perfectly highlighting her growing baby bump with its empire waist, the design also included lace detailing, a frilly collar and cap-sleeve details that the actress played up with her highlighted skin and tousled low knot.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2007, Academy Awards

Paltrow turned to designer Zac Posen for a peachy gown that set her apart from the rest of the actresses on the red carpet at the 2007 Oscars. The classic fitted silhouette and cap-sleeve details gave the dress an Old Hollywood feel, but Paltrow added a modern twist by wearing her hair completely straight.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2008, ‘Iron Man’ Screening

By 2008, Paltrow officially entered the Marvel universe with her role as Pepper Potts in the first Iron Man film. For the New York City screening, Paltrow wore a minidress designed by longtime friend Stella McCartney. The skin-baring dress, which originally appeared on the runway at McCartney’s fall 2008 show, included cutout detailing throughout and a halter neckline with an open back.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images

2008, ‘Two Lovers’ Premiere At Cannes Film Festival

When her film Two Lovers celebrated its premiere at Cannes, Paltrow embraced French style in a navy dress from the Chanel 2009 resort collection, with a plunging neckline that was accented with black bows. The actress piled on the diamonds with rings, a bracelet and yellow diamond earrings, leaving her makeup and hair more understated with navy-lined eyes and a classic French twist.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2010, CMA Awards

Before taking the stage in a more casual look to sing the title song from Country Strong, Paltrow posed on the red carpet at the CMAs in an ombre Atelier Versace gown. The embellished one-shoulder gown, with a side cutout and thigh-high slit, started with shades of white and gray, and flowed into a pale pink train that showed off her silver Christian Louboutin heels.

Gwyneth Paltrow. FilmMagic

2010, ‘Country Strong’ Los Angeles Premiere

The following month, Paltrow attended a screening of Country Strong in another cutout dress—this time a long-sleeve Emilio Pucci number whose backless design ran into a smaller slit that curved around the body and laced up the side.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2011, Academy Awards

Paltrow went back to her Calvin Klein roots at the 2011 Academy Awards, wearing a custom design by then-women’s creative director Francisco Costa. The metallic dress was entirely covered in silver sequins, but Paltrow added just the slightest hint of color with a bejeweled brooch at the waist and matching earrings.

Gwyneth Paltrow. FilmMagic

2011, Met Gala

Paltrow’s crystal-embellished Stella McCartney gown at the 2011 Met Gala seemed simple enough from the front with its long-sleeves and thigh-high slit. But the dramatic open back made for a show-stopping moment as she walked up the Metropolitan Museum of Art steps.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2011, ‘Contagion’ Venice Film Festival Premiere

Going for glamour at the Venice Film Festival premiere of her movie Contagion, Paltrow wore a ballerina-pink Prada dress. The bow-adorned neckline highlighted the open back, and Paltrow accessorized with a matching pink satin Prada box clutch and diamond earrings by Bulgari.

Gwyneth Paltrow. FilmMagic

2011, Emmy Awards

Paltrow’s Emmy Awards look appeared to be matching separates, but upon closer inspection, the sequin-embroidered crop top and skirt from the Emilio Pucci spring 2012 collection were joined by the sheerest black tulle.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2012, Grammy Awards

Paltrow, who was on hand at the 2012 Grammy Awards to introduce Adele, kept things classic in a black Stella McCartney dress. A gold belt highlighted the gown’s side cutouts, and Paltrow played up the athletic neckline with a beauty look that included a sleek high ponytail and bronzed skin. 

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images

2012, Academy Awards

According to Paltrow, this Tom Ford cape dress was the first (and only) dress she tried on ahead of the 2012 Oscars. Selected by her longtime stylist Elizabeth Saltzman, the design was part of Ford’s fall 2012 collection, but Paltrow liked that it had a vintage feel to it. “I saw a picture of Jackie O in a white dress with a cape, and it’s been a while since anyone’s worn a cape, frankly, except for Superman,” she said of the design, which helped to popularize cape gowns on the red carpet.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images

2012, Met Gala

Paltrow’s powder-blue Prada minidress at the 2012 Met Gala was actually just a shirt. “There was a big skirt that came with it, but I was like, ‘No, this is great,’” Paltrow, who attended as a guest of the design house, recalled to Vogue. The shirt-turned-dress included a halter neckline and high-low hem, as well as embellished oversized pockets, and Paltrow accessorized with matching shoes, a pink box clutch and an array of colorful jewels.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images

2014, AmfAR Gala

To host the 2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala honoring Tom Ford, Paltrow went for a tailored moment in a black cutout suit from the designer’s spring 2015 collection. Wearing the blazer sans blouse, Paltrow completed the look with a sleek low ponytail, a classic red lip and diamond earrings.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2015, Academy Awards

Perhaps channeling her 1999 Oscars look, Paltrow attended the 2015 ceremony in another pink design. This time wearing Ralph & Russo, the Goop founder donned a fitted one-shoulder gown with oversized rose detailing. While her beauty look was left quite simple, Paltrow’s slicked-back half-up, half-down hairstyle perfectly showcased her massive ruby earrings, which were designed by Anna Hu, and were surrounded by a mix of yellow and white diamonds, sapphires and gemstones.

Gwyneth Paltrow. FilmMagic

2015, InStyle Awards

Paltrow received the Style Icon award at InStyle’s first-ever ceremony, and she chose a Schiaparelli gown that showed exactly why she was being honored. Part of the fall 2015 couture collection, the velvet number included crystal detailing along the neckline, which went on to create a sparkling frame around the open back.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images for LACMA

2015, LACMA Art + Film Gala

At the Gucci-hosted LACMA Art + Film Gala in Los Angeles, Paltrow wore a shorter version of a sequin aquamarine dress that then-creative director Alessandro Michele had designed for the Italian fashion house’s spring 2016 collection. Paltrow’s take included ruffles from bodice to skirt and tulle-trimmed cap sleeves instead of a tulle-trimmed skirt, but she kept the red floral detail at the neckline.

Gwyneth Paltrow. FilmMagic

2017, Met Gala

More than 20 years after attending her first Met Gala in Calvin Klein, Paltrow donned another design from the luxury brand. Raf Simons, the newly-named creative director at the time, gave Paltrow a modern update on her ‘90s slip dresses by adding an asymmetrical neckline and thigh-high slit to the fitted silhouette. But the sequin-covered dress still contained plenty of sparkle, and it was in the actress’s preferred shade of pale pink.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2019, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Premiere

Though Paltrow officially launched her G. Label by Goop in 2016, the 2019 premiere of her film Avengers: Endgame marked the first time that she wore her clothing line to a red carpet event. Inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic Le Smoking tuxedo from the ‘60s, the Goop dupe was a three-piece set composed of high-waisted shorts, a tailored jacket and a chiffon blouse with an oversized bow at the neckline.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images for The Met Museum/

2019, Met Gala

The “Camp: Notes on Fashion” theme at the 2019 Met Gala may have brought out some of the most over-the-top looks in the benefit event’s history, but Paltrow opted for something more understated in an airy chiffon gown by Chloé. The bespoke design was a pale shade of yellow with soft ruffle detailing and a high neckline.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images for IMDb

2019, Emmy Awards

In a rare vintage moment, Paltrow turned to the Valentino archives ahead of the 2019 Emmy Awards. Wearing a black and white design from 1963, the gown included oversized black organza sleeves that required minimal accessories.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2020, Golden Globe Awards

At the Golden Globes, Paltrow used the sheer fabric of her Fendi gown as a way to show off the diamond Bulgari necklaces that she layered on underneath.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images

2020, ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ Event

Paltrow opted for a more elaborate sheer look the following month when she headed to Paris to celebrate the Harper’s Bazaar: First in Fashion exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Her pastel dress came courtesy of Ralph & Russo’s spring 2020 couture collection, and it included everything from wispy ostrich feathers to rhinestone embellishments and shimmering sequin and beaded flowers.

Gwyneth Paltrow. WireImage

2023, CFDA Awards

To accept the CFDA’s 2023 Innovation Award for her work as founder and CEO of Goop, Paltrow appropriately turned to G. Label by Goop. Sporting a custom design from her brand’s clothing line, Paltrow accessorized her black turtleneck and matching maxi skirt with diamond drop earrings and a diamond bracelet from De Beers.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty Images

2023, The Fashion Awards

Paltrow chose vintage Valentino once again, this time as she celebrated the legendary designer at the British Fashion Awards. Valentino’s longtime business partner and friend Giancarlo Giammetti accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award on behalf of Valentino, which Paltrow presented in a classic strapless red dress that the designer created in 1965. On the red carpet, Paltrow added a matching crystal and feather-embellished red coat, and vintage diamond and ruby jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels completed the look.

Gwyneth Paltrow. FilmMagic

2024, ‘The Brothers Sun’ Premiere

When Paltrow attended the Los Angeles premiere of The Brothers Sun (in support of her husband, Brad Falchuk, who produced the Netflix series), she took a more understated red carpet approach in crimson separates from Vietnamese designer Cong Tri. The monochrome look included a long-sleeve top with a plunging neckline and a maxi skirt with matching belt, which Paltrow styled with statement earrings.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Red Carpet Style Moments