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Great Outfits in Fashion History: Marion Cotillard in Mermaid-Ready Couture

This is an all-time great Oscar gown.

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History,' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

If you're an actor looking to make a splash in Hollywood, there are few tools in your arsenal more powerful than fashion. The right red carpet look can take your profile from "up-and-coming" to "megastar" almost overnight.

For a strong example, look no further than the gown Marion Cotillard wore to the 2008 Academy Awards: Yes, she was there as a Best Actress nominee for her role as Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose," which she ultimately won. But the next morning, the bulk of the buzz around the French import was centered around her Jean Paul Gaultier gown.

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It isn't hard to see why, either, since the ivory dress took the "mermaid" style to a slightly literal place. From tip to tail, the Gaultier team covered the gown in beaded scales. It's Look 38 from the designer's Spring 2008 haute couture collection, but Gaultier and Cotillard smartly switched up from the original bronze hue — which errs closer to costume territory — to this gorgeous creamy shade that compliments Cotillard's skin tone. Finished with Hollywood-ready waves and the late-aughts-required layers of long beaded necklaces, and a star is born. 

Fortunately, you don't have to have a couture-deep wallet to replicate Cotillard's award-winning look, since mermaidcore is having a moment in fashion.

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