The red carpet show at the annual Academy Awards is the fashion industry's strictest exam. Hollywood's most glamorous A-list celebrities are glittering ambassadors for some of haute couture's biggest designers and entire reputations are made and lost on one bad gown or ensemble.

And then, of course, there are the awards themselves. But even the biggest Oscars show doesn't have the same dramatic resonance.

On Hollywood's biggest night of the year, all eyes are on the red carpet and some lucky celebrities strike gold with absolutely the most perfect creation. Oscar fashion favourites include Nicole Kidman's stunning green Dior gown in 1997 and Halle Berry's Elie Saab couture gown, with floral embroidered burgundy silk skirt, in 2002. Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez then presented red carpet viewers with a fairy tale-like gown in 2007 - a Marchesa creation coupled with jewellery from Lorraine Schwartz and a Daniel Swarovski clutch.

Cameron Diaz's 2008 Dior by John Galliani ensemble, a flowing soft pink gown, was almost as beautiful as supermodel Heidi Klum's bold, bright red high-necked gown (also, incidentally, by Galliani). Jessica Alba comes to mind as well, for the superbly-fitted Versace frock she wore to the Oscars in 2006.

Check out some of the most memorable and stunning Academy Awards red carpet gowns through the years...

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Academy Award nominee for Best Actor Tom Cruise arrives with his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, at the 69th annual Academy Awards March 24. Cruise was nominated for his role in "Jerry Maguire." Kidman is wearing a Christian Dior dress.Reuters
Actress Halle Berry makes her way down the red carpet as she arrives at the 74th Academy Awards March 24, 2002 in Hollywood. Berry is nominated for Best Actress for her work in the film "Monsters Ball". REUTERS/Fred ProuserReuters
Actress Kate Winslet, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the film "Iris," arrives at the 74th annual Academy Awards March 24, 2002 in Hollywood.Reuters
Actor Jessica Alba takes the stage to present the Oscar for sound mixing at the 78th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 5, 2006.Reuters
Stepmum claims Reese Witherspoon is disrespectful to her dadReuters
Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez walks on stage to introduce music performance from Dreamgirls at the 79th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 25, 2007.Reuters
Model Heidi Klum, dressed in John Galliano, gathers her dress as she walks up the red carpet at the 80th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars, in Hollywood February 24, 2008.Reuters
Presenter Cameron Diaz walks the stage during the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood March 7, 2010.Reuters
Singer and actress Mandy Moore arrives at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 27, 2011. Moore is dressed by Monique Lhuillier.Reuters