Since 1929, the Academy Awards has been the biggest night in the showbiz calendar. And who looks the best on the red carpet has become as hotly contested as who takes home the Oscars.

Leading ladies nominated for Best Actress are under the most pressure to pull off a look that will make them look stylish and glamorous.

Read more: Oscars: What they're likely to wear

Upon winning, their name goes down in history and pictures of them proudly clutching the gold statue are published worldwide so choosing the right dress is a must.

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Recipients over the years have included acting legends such as Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, while more recent famous winners include Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence.

Best actress winners Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor. Photos / Getty Images
Best actress winners Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor. Photos / Getty Images

Each of them had to choose a gown to wow on the red carpet and while some, like Joanne Woodward in 1958 and Julie Christie in 1966, made their own dresses, others turned to their designer contacts.

Some of the world's most renowned designers have dressed the best actress winners including Jean Paul Gautier, Yves Saint Lauren and Ralph Lauren. It seems the designer with the lucky touch is Dior who has dressed the most winners over the decades.

Joanne Woodward in 1958 and Julie Christie in 1966, wearing dresses they designed themselves. Photos / Getty Images
Joanne Woodward in 1958 and Julie Christie in 1966, wearing dresses they designed themselves. Photos / Getty Images

On Monday, either Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike or Felicity Jones will be added to this illustrious list of best actress winners for the first time - or Reese Witherspoon or Marion Cotillard will appear again having been nominated after previously winning.

As the 87th Academy Awards are due to take place in Hollywood, here we take a look back at the last twenty years of gowns worn by Best Actress winners:

- Daily Mail