What’s the all-time best red dress?
Amber Scott as Tatiana in Onegin. Photography Lynette Wills

What’s the all-time best red dress?

Here we have Principal Artist Amber Scott, wearing the much-coveted red ball dress from the third act of the ballet Onegin – the one in which Tatiana captivates the world-weary sophisticate who has rejected her years ago.

What makes Onegin look twice at Tatiana? It’s got to be that red dress! Hollywood sirens, fashion designers and Pre-Raphaelite painters all know it – the red dress is the essence of seductive glamour. So what’s the best, the most iconic, the droppest-dead red?

Tell us your all-time favourite red dress in a comment on this blog and you’ll be in the running for a fabulous Ballet V Fashion pack featuring pointe shoes signed by Amber Scott, a Sambag Ballet tote, a lipstick from Napoleon Perdis (red of course!), a chip chop! Plié Chassé Jeté All Day T-shirt and Pavlova tote, and a Ballet V Kat Mcleod T-shirt.

The competition ends on Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5pm (AEST).

To get you thinking, here’s a few of our favourite scarlet women:

Vivien Leigh facing down the gossips in Gone with the Wind:

Audrey Hepburn showing off her wingspan in Funny Face:

Nicole Kidman working up a smoulder in Moulin Rouge:

Pondering Fate in John William Waterhouse’s Destiny:

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell bringin’ the double trouble in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes:

So what’s your ultimate red dress?

If you want to see Tatiana’s red dress in person, get your tickets to Cranko’s 20th-century masterpiece Onegin.

A big thank you to our sponsors Sambag and Napoleon Perdis for their contribution to the prize pack.

28 March 2012

126 Responses to What’s the all-time best red dress?

  1. arby3777 says:

    Scarlett O’Hara’s dress is pretty amazing, and there’s been some really beautiful dresses in the movies. Cyd Charisse’s was pretty good, but she rocked the green one in “Singin’ in the Rain” that the red one ripped off! Personally, I’m a big fan of the Rodarte dress that Natalie Portman wore to the opening of the Venice Film Festival (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/01/natalie-portman-venice-film-festival_n_702393.html#s133553). Different, but Natalie looks absolutely stunning.

  2. juliact says:

    I have to say that the most stunning red dress I saw was on my best friend at her wedding! It was strapless, deep red velvet and satin with a matching organza wrap. She was so stunning there were audible gasps! She matched the red dress with tiny rubies embedded in her wedding band. If I win this I will give the prize pack to her. We share a long passion for ballet dating back to when we were children, going to ballet class, subscribing to the Australian Ballet back when it was in the Palais in St. Kilda. In fact, she still dances today at age 51! And she’s still the most fabulously fun person I’ve ever been around!

  3. christine shields says:

    there is only one red dress that worn by Julia roberts in pretty woman

  4. Rebecca says:

    Nicole Kidman’s, Satine, in Moulin Rouge …. breathtaking.

  5. Samantha says:

    Definitely Vivien Leigh’s dress from Gone With the Wind!

  6. Libby says:

    In the public arena it is definitely Vivien Leigh in ‘Gone with the Wind’ and the scene when Rhett Butler escorts her to the party and leaves her there to face the crowd alone.
    In the private arena, I had a red dress once that never failed to bring out the vavavoom in me and the corresponding result n men! I can’t elaborate more, I’m afraid

  7. Cheryl Linke says:

    Definitely Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. They ‘sizzle’ in red, like steak on a red hot barbecue; they ooze sexuality, which is what a red dress does to a woman like me!

  8. Mother of 5 says:

    Queen Amidala in Star Wars Episode 1 was glorious, epitomising grace and fantasy in one.

  9. Claddagh says:

    Scarlet O’Hara’s scarlet dress ( worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind )

  10. mk says:

    I would have to say the best red dress would go to Sugar Rum Cherry in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker Sweeties’……it’s a stunning gown that moved with the dancer beautifully and complemented the choregraphy and bluesy music – sassy and classy!

  11. Angie says:

    I particularly like the red dress Julia Roberts wears in the film ‘Pretty Woman’.
    It looks so elegant and feminine on her and Rchard Gere appears to be totally captivated!

  12. Suzanne Cunningham says:

    Kelly Le Brock’s red dress in the 1984 movie ‘The Woman in Red’. I loved the dress so much that I went to my 21st Masquerade Party as her. It was floaty and sexy and such an eye chatcher!

  13. Barb Gray says:

    The red dress worn by Lisa Bolte that performed in Stephen Baynes, The Edge of Night. Designed by Michael Pearce. Simplicity, strength and elegance. Every woman’s ‘must have’ in her wardrobe.

  14. Rebecca says:

    I love all things red, therefore Nicole Kidman’s red dress in Moulin Rouge is my first choice. Her hair and most likely shoes as well, matched the red dress. Red and ravishing.

  15. Emma Munro says:

    The red dress moment at the end of Mary’s (Meg Ryan) fashion show in the film ‘The Women’ … It symbolises everything women can be, all the potential and inspiration that lives in every woman when she lives to acomplish her dreams. The moment gives me goosebumps every time!

  16. Nikki says:

    The red dress that Rebecca Twigley wore to the 2004 Brownlow Medal ceremony. The whole nation talked about it the next day – in newspapers, radio, television, magazines and watercoolers around the country.

  17. Jane says:

    I’m with Barb Gray – Lisa Bolte in the my most favourite 20th century work by Stephen Baynes ‘At the Edge of Night’ is perfect and so was she in th role. Any dress can be worn on screen, but to dance in a red dress makes it even more soectacular. Princess Diana of Wales of course was THE style icon of the 20th century and she wore a lot of red from her early days with Prince Charles, to her last days – she loved red, but my fave was a bruce Oldfield gown she wore in June 1981 – when she first stepped into the spotlight and wowed everyone. Nothing makes a statment like a red dress. it shows style, confidence and passion and she had plenty of it.

  18. arby3777 says:

    Actually, I’ve changed my mind. I think Dior’s Zemire dress is the ultimate red dress of all time. It’s got the old-fashioned Victorian full-skirt, the nipped-in waist, a simple but stunning silhouette, and embodies all the New Look’s post-war hope and end of rationing. Not just the amount of material (enough to make at least two other war-time dresses) not just the luxuriousness of the material, but the stunningly eye-popping colour. What better to symbolise the rebuilding of nations after a shattering world war?
    The dress in all its glory: http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwdbq5Viae1qidnqfo1_500.jpg
    Black and white photograph with the Eiffel Tower in the background: http://arttattler.com/images/Design/Couture/foto_relang_dior_zemire_19.jpg

  19. Dulce Lelo says:

    I simply adore Audrey Hepburn in her red wingspan – true knockout elegance but my husband would most definitely prefer Kelly LeBrock in her red dress in the movie “Woman in Red”…

  20. Annie says:

    You always look back fondly at your first love and mine was of the plushest velvet, a deep crimson dress with puffy sleeves (as befits a child!), a pristine white peter-pan collar and a chain of white daisies encircling the waist, from which flared a gathered skirt perfect for twirling around in till you got dizzy. I thought it highly appropriate for any occasion, unlike my mother whose opinion on that differed somewhat! Alas, all too soon I outgrew it (as you always do your first crush). However, even now I still wear my “best” just to give me pleasure because “best” is all too fleeting.

  21. Definetly Audrey Hepburn’s red dress. It’s simply stunning, and she looks wonderful.

  22. Renee says:

    Its absoulutely got to be tatina’s ballgown. This dress is dazzling and beautiful. It is the loveliest dress. You can just imagine waltzing around with a hansom prince, wearing this gorgeous gown.

  23. d oconnor says:

    Nerd alert!

    I’ll put a vote in for Hermoine Granger’s red dress in the Half Blood Prince. Reportedly handmade by Jenny Packham, it was stunning, charming and absolutely unforgettable!

    I know you loved it too. Admit it!

    and take a look: http://images.xenite.org/features/emma-watson/Hermione-Red-Dress-01.jpg

  24. nicolakate3 says:

    I couldn’t think of a famous red dress that hadn’t already been mentioned, but after much searching I realised: it’s in my favourite movie! That bouncy little red dress Sandra Bullock wears in Miss Congeniality when she plays the water glasses and teaches the world self-defence 😀 And really, the puffy little skirt is just like a tutu – short and sweet! For me, that dress symbolises girl power, and what’s more attractive than a girl who is confident and strong? As they say in the movie, “We’re all winners!”, but that red dress really takes the prize!


  25. Mrs Valerie Hayes says:

    Growing up in the 1950’s without any brothers I was terrified of meeting boys. My mother made for me a magnificent red velvet dress. She sent me off to my first church dance wearing the dress and a boy came up to me and said what a beautiful dress for a beautiful girl. No boy had ever spoken to me prior to this and I was so tongue tied and embarrassed I blushed as red as the dress. For me the red velvet dress was a symbol of leaving the cacoon of childhood behind and entering the stage of life as a quiet and shy young woman.

  26. lenore says:

    There was a late ’80’s Spanish film called ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’. In it one of the characters wears a little red dress which I loved so much I traipsed all over Sydney for a month to find one similar, which was a fitted, long sleeve mini dress by Lisa Ho, with a scalloped sweetheart neckline. Oh to be young and slim enough to wear it again. I felt very special in it.

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