The most risque red carpet dresses in history: from Liz Hurley’s safety pin number to Beyonce’s peekaboo sequinned gown

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Sarah Biddlecombe

When it comes to red carpet appearances, there's nothing we love more than an A-lister in a daring outfit.

From Liz Hurley's infamous Versace safety pin dress to Rihanna's controversial Swavorski-crystal encrusted mesh gown, some of the most iconic celebrity looks of all time have been born from a risque red carpet appearance.

And last night's Video Music Awards were no exception, with host Mylie Cyrus wearing no less than 11 outrageous styles, including a bubble gum pink latex dress by House of Holland and a barely there, head-to-toe silver look from Versace.

Here we have compiled the ultimate evolution of the most daring red carpet looks over the last 50 years; simply click on the squares below to begin.

  • Barbra Streisand, 1969

    Kicking off the trend for daring red carpet looks is none other than Barbra Streisand, who divided fashion critics in this sheer sequinned pantsuit by Arnold Scaasi.

    The actress and singer scooped the award for Best Actress in her role in Funny Girl at the 41st Academy Awards.

  • Cher, 1986

    A woman after our own heart, Cher refused to dress down for the 1986 Academy Awards after the judges failed to nominate her for her acclaimed role in hit film Mask.

    The star was adamant that she didn't want to look like a "housewife in an evening gown" and this get up, designed by her long-term collaborator Bob Mackie, put her on the front page of every newspaper the next day. Bravo.

  • Kate Moss, 1993

    Back in the early nineties, Kate Moss caught everyone's eye in this transparent floor-length dress by Liza Bruce, accessorised with black knickers and best pal Naomi Campbell, at an Elite Model party.

  • Liz Hurley, 1994

    Who could ever forget Liz Hurley's iconic safety pin dress?

    Worn to accompany her then-boyfriend Hugh Grant to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral, this Versace number helped catapult the actress to fame.

  • Rose McGowan, 1998

    What do you wear to accompany one of the world's most controversial artists on the red carpet?

    Rose McGowan achieved the unachievable and made Marilyn Manson's leopard print suit look positively demure at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards in a transparent piece of mesh held together by strings of chains, topped with killer heels.

  • Annabelle Rothschild, Meg Matthews and Naomi Campbell, 2000

    This power trio of daring dressers kicked off the naughties at a Vogue party in Club Monaco.

  • Jennifer Lopez, 2000

    Have you ever wondered what spurred Google on to create Google Images, a search engine specifically for pictures?

    Say hello to Jennifer Lopez's iconic green Versace dress, a look that caused such a stir at the 42nd Grammy Awards the search engine created the site to cope with demand from users worldwide looking for a glimpse of the dress.

  • Selma Blair, 2002

    Actress Selma Blair was a lady in red at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Los Angeles wearing this cut out, tasselled Versace dress.

  • Victoria Beckham, 2005

    Three years before quietly launching her own fashion line, ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was busy rubbing shoulders with the great and the good of the fashion world.

    She rocked up to the Swavorski Fashion Rocks event holding hands with Roberto Cavalli, who designed this green and blue cut out gown that would later made headlines across the world.

  • Lady Gaga, 2010

    Lady Gaga wore a few well-placed pieces of lace attached to a sheer jumpsuit (and her face) to collect three Brit awards back in 2010.

    Touchingly, the singer admitted she only wore this incredible white and orange wig to hide her "disappointed face" in case she lost out to other artists on the night.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow, 2013

    Gwyneth Paltrow celebrated the premiere of Iron Man 3 in this incredible, sheer panelled dress by Antonio Berardi.

    Speaking to American TV show host Ellen DeGeneres about her risque decision not to wear any underwear, Paltrow said, "I kind of had a disaster... Let's just say everyone went scrambling for a razor."

  • Rihanna, 2014

    Rihanna made fashion history when she hit the red carpet for the CFDA Fashion Awards in New York wearing a sheer Adam Selman dress beaded with no less than 216,000 Swarovski crystals.

    When questioned by a reporter on her outfit, the star gave a typically brilliant response: "Do my tits bother you? They’re covered in Swarovski crystals girl."

  • Rihanna, 2014

    The singer gained attention yet again a few months later when she unveiled this daring Tom Ford number on the red carpet of the amfAR Inspiration Gala in December.

  • Beyonce, 2015

    Beyonce Knowles certainly knows how to make an entrance, rocking up to the red carpet for the Met Gala 2015 an hour and 20 minutes late in a stunning peekaboo Givenchy Haute Couture gown.

    Custom-made by designer Riccardo Tisci and covered in glittering crystals and multi-coloured stones, the dress caused a stir worldwide.

  • Miley Cyrus, 2015

    Miley Cyrus hosted this year's MTV VMAs wearing no less than 11 outfits, but its this head-to-toe silver look by Versace that caught our attention the most.

    From the tiny leather harness and dripping strings of crystals that barely contain her modesty to the thigh high metallic boots, this has to be the most daring red carpet look yet.

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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