8. Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen, 2012

Jessica Chastain was more than just a blip on the radar when she arrived at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. She was a movie star ready for her big moment. After a breakthrough year in movies like The Tree of Life and Take Shelter, Chastain capped it off with her Oscar nominated turn in the big-screen adaptation of The Help. After some rocky red carpet missteps all year, this dress felt like a revelation. Here she was at long last: Jessica Chastain, superstar. The gold detailing kept the black gown from veering into heavy territory, and the choice to let her trademark gold locks flow freestyle was an inspired one. She’s never looked better.

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