Red Carpet Fashion Costs For The Oscars

Being nominated for an Academy Award is stepping into the dream of true stardom. Yet, such rare privilege often comes with responsibility and Oscar™ hopefuls are among those most obliged to pony up an

Being nominated for an Academy Award is stepping into the dream of true stardom. Yet, such rare privilege often comes with responsibility and Oscar™ hopefuls are among those most obliged to pony up annual dues to the god of fame. Walking the red carpet is always a study in lavish costuming that starts with the bodywork of skin, hair and nails and doesn't end until the last after-party heels are kicked off.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent dressing, transporting, displaying, and otherwise promoting each of the five nominees for Best Actress, for instance. This year's leading ladies of the silver screen are each fashionistas of one form or another. Beloved actress Meryl Streep (Osage County) could show up in a burlap sack and still merit a standing ovation, but is more inclined to wear a gown made by another artist whose work she admires, like costume designer and Project Runway alum Chris March who dressed Streep for last year's Oscars™ and other awards shows.

Stylish Best Actress Nominees

Style icon Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) tends toward high-end designers like Givenchy and Dior, who love to dress the elegant actress. The chic, understated Sandra Bullock (Gravity) graces the red carpet in a style all her own and is considered the most desirable person to dress by clothing designers because, as editorial director Lily Hollander said, according to The Wall Street Journal, “Ms. Bullock has a down-to-earth image that means millions of women relate to her,” which, apparently, sells a lot of clothes to those of us not necessarily roaming the runways.

We have yet to see whether Amy Adams (American Hustle) will choose a household name designer this year or, possibly, favor another vintage-inspired frock by Roland Mouret. Dame Judi Dench (Philomenia) is the final Best Actress nominee dressing for the gilded glide this year and has been known to outshine much younger co-stars during award season with her particularly classic style.

2 Hollywood's 'Biggest Night' Has A Big Bottom Line

Complementing the gorgeous gowns donned for Oscar™ approval are the daintily clutched  purses, faux furs and, of course, stunning jewels, often valued in the tens of thousands of dollars. Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chopard and Tiffany are among the luxe brands typically accenting carefully curated ensembles of hair, dress, make-up and accessories.

Red Carpet Dressing Expenses broke down red carpet dressing expenses last year which, even going DIY without a professional stylist, total just under $25,000, with designer duds demanding;

  • Hair and nails $12,000
  • Makeup just under $1000
  • Jewelry at least $10,000
  • Miscellaneous accessories about $2,000


While certain designers may loan jewels or even dresses to some few stars, most prefer to seek out their personal preferences in style-setting fashions to rock the red carpet. Hotels, meals, transportation, security and other expenses can easily double or triple the price tag of attending Academy Award season events and parties - where the real networking happens. Everywhere fills up and nothing is discounted during Oscar™ season.

1 Red Carpet Costs Are Pay-To-Play Gold

As with most major entertainment awards, the lucky recipient of an Oscar™ from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also foots the bill for their gold-plated trophy. Most Academy members feel that the entire cost, no matter how extravagant, pales in comparison to the added earning power that accompanies both a nomination and a win. After all, what's 50 grand when compared to an extra million or two salary bump on your next picture?

Topping off the tab is that winning the coveted statuette adds about an extra grand more to the bill this year than would losing. The golden idol of film and fantasy is the most elegant accessory of all, and carries a gilded invoice that varies, year-to-year, with the current commodities market price of all that glitters with 24-carat Oscar™ gold.

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Red Carpet Fashion Costs For The Oscars