The 21 best red carpet gowns of 2021: Jennifer Lawrence's diaphanous Dior maternity dress and more

It’s official — the red carpet was back in action this year! After a long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, is celebrating the glamorous return of IRL with a lineup of the best dresses served on the rouge rug in 2021. First up? This dreamy Dior confection Jennifer Lawrence wore at the “Don’t Look Up” premiere in New York City on Dec. 5. The pregnant star’s sparkly fringed frock, complete with a dreamy sheer cape-like detail, showed off her baby bump beautifully.

Keep reading to see more of 2021’s best red carpet gown moments…

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Zendaya wowed at the Oscars in a Cher-inspired technicolor Valentino gown. With a modern cut-out silhouette in a classic chiffon fabric, the piece that took more than 300 hours to make was an impeccably fresh-yet-classic statement.

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This Barbie-inspired Met Gala look is as dramatic as it gets. And not just because it’s Billie Eilish channeling a princess in peach tulle Oscar de la Renta. In return for wearing the designer on the red carpet, the vegan singer demanded that the fashion house go completely fur-free — and they agreed.

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With her baby blues, blonde bob and this old Hollywood silhouette, Billie Eilish couldn’t look more Marilyn Monroe if she tried!

Angela Bassett may have matched the red carpet at the Oscars, but she stood out amongst the entire crowd in her fabulous Alberta Ferretti frock. With pronounced butterfly puff sleeves, a plunging neckline and a thigh-high slit, this may have been the ultimate look of the evening.

Angela Bassett’s red Alberta Ferretti dress looked even more incredible as she walked away.

Camila Cabello’s MTV VMAs look was a refreshingly regal moment for this show. The Alexis Mabille hot pink and red strapless gown was adorned with a massive bow and corset top.

Laura Dern always manages to pull a style star out of her hat and the Oscars were no exception. This Oscar de la Renta two-piece ostrich-feather ensemble may have been controversial, but the statement-maker will remain a conversation piece for many years to come. 

Kerry Washington sauntered onto the Emmys red carpet in a slinky Etro gown with a cinched corset and plunging neckline. DeBeers diamonds and a poppy red lip were the perfect punctuation mark on a wholly polished look. 

Icy blue is clearly Regina King’s color! Swathed in sequins and silver crystals, the winged Louis Vuitton frock she wore to the Oscars delivered an unforgettable moment.

Here’s a closer look at the decorative crystal embellishments on the gown.

For the Venice Film Festival’s opening ceremony, Helen Mirren donned a disco-ball of a Dolce & Gabbana dress that was expertly tailored to flaunt her slim figure. A complementary shimmering headband added a stunning splash of youth. 

In an absolute show-stopping moment, Kendall Jenner went fully sheer at the Met Gala.

Her Givenchy gown — an homage to Audrey Hepburn’s “My Fair Lady” ball scene — was topped with a thick, sparkly high-neck choker. 

Ciara was a sexy-yet-chic vision at the MTV Video Music Awards in a black lace Tom Ford confection. Tailored to perfection, the stunning gown could have been painted on her body. 

At the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, Gemma Chan shut it down in an Oscar de la Renta gold floral sequin gown. As the “Eternals” actress walked the red carpet in her asymmetrical hem, she was followed by a simply elegant mini-train.

With more than 1,800 feathers and a mini-belt, the Louis Vuitton gown Cynthia Erivo wore to the Emmys was an epic moment for couture on the red carpet. The “Genius: Aretha” actress topped it off with a dazzling diamond choker by Roberto Coin. 

In perhaps one of the most artsy looks of the year, Bella Hadid wore a Schiaparelli gilded brass necklace in the shape of bronchial passageways to the “Tre Piani” premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. This is as high-fashion as a black dress gets! (Bella’s modesty was protected with flesh-toned tape covering her chest.) 

Here’s a closer look at Bella Hadid’s gilded brass Schiaparelli necklace.

“I May Destroy You” Emmy winner Michaela Coel arrived at the Emmys in an eye-popping matching set by Christopher John Rogers. The neon bralette and column skirt culminated in a giant organza bow and glamorous train in the back.

Floral bust cut-outs and a blossoming skirt were picture-perfect on Kaia Gerber at the Met Gala. The dress was inspired by Bianca Jagger’s 1981 turn on the same event’s red carpet, but this Oscar de la Renta was still a true original. 

Taking a cue from legendary crooner Josephine Baker, Yara Shahidi arrived at the Met Gala in a gorgeously embroidered gilt Christian Dior gown. Paired with a tulle veil, gloves and Cartier jewelry, it was nothing short of awe-inspiring. 

Tilda Swinton always makes unconventionally chic choices on the red carpet and this color-blocked Haider Ackermann look she chose for the “French Dispatch” premiere at the Cannes Film Festival is no exception. With chartreuse sequined sleeves and a long column skirt, this was a breathtakingly candy-coated moment. 

Anya Taylor-Joy was a ray of pure sunshine in a two-toned yellow silk Dior ensemble at the Emmys. The opera coat was an unexpected (and practical!) accent.

We adore the surprise diamond dangle cascading down Anya Taylor-Joy’s back!

For the “Lost Daughter” premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Dakota Johnson chose a stunning sparkler by Gucci. With dramatic crystallized fringe and prominent shoulders, this was an unforgettable look. 

Amanda Seyfried stunned at the Oscars in an Armani Privé jaw-drop of a strapless tulle dress. The nominated “Mank” actress looked nothing short of en fuego!

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