That Evening Gown was a Nightgown

If you liked the chart of Winning Oscar Dresses and you noticed the gown Luise Rainer wore to accept her Oscar for Best Actress in 1938, there’s an interesting story behind it.

Even though German-born beauty Rainer was nominated for Best Actress for her work in The Good Earth, she stayed home the night of the ceremony in 1938—because she’d won the Best Actress statue the year before (for The Great Ziegfeld), and she figured there was no way she’d win two years in a row. But when word got out during the ceremony that indeed she was going to win again (the names of winners were released to the press), studio honcho Louis B. Mayer sent someone to pick up Rainer and quickly bring her to the ceremony. With no time to even apply makeup, Rainer accepted her award in her nightgown—which was high-necked, long-sleeved, and, fortunately, gorgeous. "It was the nicest dress I owned," said Rainer

Sadly, winning back-to-back Oscars was not a good omen for Rainer’s career and she retired from Hollywood soon after winning her second Academy Award (although she made one last movie in 1943 to fulfill her contract). Luise Rainer is 104 years old, the oldest surviving Oscar winner. You might enjoy looking through the entire slideshow of historic Oscar fashions at Elle. -via a comment at Jezebel

(Luise Rainer image credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

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