If there was ever a legend that personified ‘iconic,’ it was Cher. In the last six decades, the raven-haired diva has remained the supreme fashion trailblazer and forever the Goddess of Pop. Cher has graced us in different eras, from disco to movie stars. From flower child in Sonny and Cher to a style superstar during her partnership with designer Bob Mackie, Cher has expressed female agency radically in the otherwise male-dominated music industry in the 1960s and 1970s. It is rightly said that “Cher was born naked, and Bob Mackie was the rest.”
One half of the folk-rock singing duo Sonny and Cher, Cher had risen to fame in the late ’60s. Almost instantly, she had established a strong sense of style that showed she wasn’t afraid of taking risks (or showing a little skin) and shying away from bold, statement-making outfits. Then, in the ’70s, she hit a fashion vibe that was so unique and powerful, it still impacts her outfits today.
Throughout the decades, the songstress has pushed fashion boundaries with feathers, sequins, midriff-baring tops, and other memorable and eye-catching outfits. So to commemorate Cher’s 75th birthday, let’s go back in time and witness her best style moments over the decades.
45th Annual Oscars: March 27, 1973
Next to then-husband Sonny Bono, Cher wore one of her most iconic looks at the 45th annual Oscars. Designed by Bob Mackie, she rocked a sheer gold jewel two-piece gown that showed off her entire toned midriff. She paired the gold, jewel-encrusted look with hoop earrings, pink dagger nails, and abs for days. She may not have been nominated for an award, but she won the whole damn show.
Oscars: April 2, 1974
Cher walked the 46th Academy Awards red carpet in yet another Bob Mackie-designer look that flaunted her killer abs. The singer slid into a coordinating top and skirt set made out of colorful, flowy fabric that some may call a laid-back beach sarong. Many remember it as the watercolor fabric, too. Cher transformed it into evening wear when she paired it with an ornate flower headpiece and matching choker. The matching eyeshadow and nails also added charm aplenty.
3rd Annual Met Gala: November 20, 1974
Way before Met Gala came to be known as the fashion mania it is today, Cher pulled out all stops at the 1974 edition of the event. Her outfit became one of the most iconic Met Gala outfits and one of the most-referenced naked dresses of all time. In a sheer gown covered in sparse crystalline beading and wispy white feathers designed by legendary designer Bob Mackie, Cher was not only stunning but timeless. Her 1974 dress has inspired Met Gala attires of many starlets like Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner.
Joseph Andrews L.A. premiere: March 9, 1977
The Grammy award-winning singer decided to wear a skirt and bra outfit, covered head to toe in blue and gold sequins at the Joseph Andrews L.A premiere. The bra and skirt were slashed in just the right places. The outfit definitely goes down in her most iconic looks because, like Cher, it’s bold, and you just can’t not talk about it. Even decades later!
Oscars: April 9, 1984
1984 was Cher’s first year as an official Oscar nominee. She left no stone unturned when she showed up for the occasion in a sparkling, remarkably naked dress designed by frequent collaborator Bob Mackie. Cher went with dangling diamond earrings and, of course, boyfriend Val Kilmer when it came to accessorizing.
Oscars: March 24, 1986
When the Academy asked Cher if she could present the award for Best Supporting Actor for Oscars in 1986, she said yes. And boy, did she show up to present the award. The songstress stole the whole damn show when she walked on the red carpet in a black Bob Mackie headpiece and black jewel-encrusted look that deserved an Oscar, too. Showing off her sculpted and god-like tummy, Cher looked straight out of a period novel in an embellished black gown with a huge feathered headpiece.
Oscars: April 11, 1988
Cher’s piece de resistance was her iconic 1988 Oscars look, hands down. The nude, jewel-encrusted gown she walked the red carpet in for her Best Actress win for the movie Moonstruck is still a hot topic when it comes to red carpet gold. Completely transparent, her dress looked like a veil of black netting with some very beautifully organized bead patterns. Looking back now, we see those designs as amazing and fantastic. However, it’s important to remember that the moment Cher stepped out of the limousine and into the spotlight, her look wasn’t instantly known, that what she was going to wear would be acceptable and not made fun of, the FIDM curator Kevin Jones had once said.
MTV Video Music Awards: September 9, 1991
Cher is not to stick to all glam looks on the red carpet. She decided to follow the playful dress code for the MTV Video Music Awards to the T when she showed up in a sheer and buckled black bodysuit with a royal blue blazer. The Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again actress also proved that she could be iconic without her raven hair when she changed her classic long black hair for a curly red wig. Yas Queen!
67th Annual Golden Globes: January 17, 2010
Even though multiple decades have passed since Cher rose (and re-rose) to prominence and fame, she still manages to leave a mark on fashion on the red carpet. At the 67th annual Golden Globes, Cher showed up in a classic black gown with a tiny train. The star of the show was the corset-lacing asymmetrically up one side of the bodice. Timeless, indeed.
Late Show with David Letterman: September 24, 2013
While arriving at the Late Show with David Letterman, the Mask star brought retro back in style. She slid into a black skirt over her black jeans with thick-heeled boots as she ditched her raven hair and went blonde. Her black blazer had gorgeous gold prints, and her pleated skirt and boots were also embellished in gold chains. She finished the look with a vibrant, two-toned scarf.