The exquisite celebration that is the Academy Awards takes place today.

And with an event so ritzy, it makes sense its dress code is equally impressive and ethereal.

The Oscars has played host to a bevy of breathtaking gowns across its 91 years, from cutting-edge frocks made well ahead of their time (we're looking at you, Gwyneth Paltrow), to the classics that have withstood decades of fashion evolution (Nicole Kidman, naturally).

Ahead of the 92nd Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, we've pulled together the most jaw-dropping looks of all time.

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Michelle Williams, 2006

At the time, Williams was critiqued for wearing a colour that didn't compliment her fair skin tone, but she was ahead of the curve and, years later, this look is still topping Oscars best dressed lists.

Michelle Williams, right. Gwyneth Paltrow, left. Photos / Getty Images
Michelle Williams, right. Gwyneth Paltrow, left. Photos / Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow, 2002

This dress was as divisive as it was risque, but trust Paltrow to push fashion boundaries before anyone else dared.

Lupita Nyong'o, 2014

From the baby blue hue, to the plunging neckline and floaty fit, Oscar winner Nyong'o's whole vibe was simply dreamy.

Lupita Nyong'o, left. Jennifer Lawrence, right. Photos / Getty Images
Lupita Nyong'o, left. Jennifer Lawrence, right. Photos / Getty Images

Jennifer Lawrence, 2013

Then 22, JLaw won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook wearing a billowing blush pink Dior gown that was made for a winner.

Keira Knightley, 2015

A pregnant and glowy Knightley went for graceful chic with this delicate soft floral frock.

Kiera Knightley, right. Nicole Kidman, left. Photos / Getty Images
Kiera Knightley, right. Nicole Kidman, left. Photos / Getty Images

Nicole Kidman, 2007

We don't throw this phrase around lightly, but Kidman is a true red carpet icon. This scarlet Balenciaga ensemble is elegance at its peak.

Renee Zellweger, 2001

We just love how effortless Zellweger looks in this lemon yellow strapless dress. The relaxed fit is tres chic.

Renee Zellweger, right. Mila Kunis, left. Photos / Getty Images
Renee Zellweger, right. Mila Kunis, left. Photos / Getty Images

Mila Kunis, 2011

Lavender and lace … Kunis was a graceful goddess in this flowing number.

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Jennifer Lopez, 2003

At the height of their couple fame, JLo accompanied Ben Affleck wearing a relaxed demure mint-coloured Valentino gown. Breathtaking.

Jennifer Lopez, right. Lady Gaga, left. Photos / Getty Images
Jennifer Lopez, right. Lady Gaga, left. Photos / Getty Images

Lady Gaga, 2019

Last year's awards season darling, Gaga was every bit the glamour queen in a mermaid-style strapless black gown by Alexander McQueen, long satin gloves and – naturally – diamonds to die for.

Charlize Theron, 2004

Theron commands red carpet attention, but perhaps none more so than the 2004 Oscars when she sparkled in this divine Gucci gown. She also took home the Best Actress award that year for her starring role in Monster.

Charlize Theron, left. Rosamund Pike, right. Photos / Getty Images
Charlize Theron, left. Rosamund Pike, right. Photos / Getty Images

Rosamund Pike, 2015

Every bit the scarlet woman, Pike was striking in a figure-hugging red Givenchy gown.

Angelina Jolie, 2004

Ange really can do no wrong, but the actress channelling Marilyn Monroe in white satin is particularly memorable.

Angelina Jolie, left. Scarlett Johansson, right. Photos / Getty Images
Angelina Jolie, left. Scarlett Johansson, right. Photos / Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson, 2004

The ultimate Hollywood glamour woman, then and now, this aquamarine satin gown by Alberta Ferretti is easily one of ScarJo's most iconic looks.

• Follow the Oscars: Get live coverage here on nzherald.co.nz and watch the red carpet and ceremony on TVNZ 2 from 12.30pm.