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InStyle's 100 best dresses of the decade

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • InStyle fashion director Hal Rubenstein revisits most memorable dresses of decade
  • Kate Hudson's 2003 Academy Awards Versace tops the list
  • Cate Blanchett and Kate Hudson appear most often: four times each
  • Six designers all have four dresses on top 100 list
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(InStyle.com) -- Who doesn't remember Jennifer Lopez's down-to-there green floral Versace from the 2000 Grammys? And what are the other 99 most memorable looks of the last 10 years? Here's what InStyle fashion director Hal Rubenstein had to say about the magazine's top picks:

Kate Hudson's luminous gold lace Versace gown from the 2003 Academy Awards tops our list as the No. 1 Dress of the Decade. "It had a level of extravagance that just had you gasping," Rubenstein said. "The combination of her golden skin, golden hair and the yards of gold lace. I was stunned."

A close second is the strapless champagne-colored and Swarovski-encrusted Armani Prive gown Anne Hathaway wore to the 2009 Academy Awards. "The huge, iridescent paillettes came down at a diagonal and created a great mermaid effect," Rubenstein said. "This dress ... was like a burst of light underneath her."

See all 100 best dresses of the decade

We also applaud bold and empowering choices, like our No. 8 and No. 12 picks: the one-shoulder Atelier Yves Saint Laurent gown Kate Winslet wore to the 2009 Academy Awards and the short yellow Nina Ricci that Reese Witherspoon wore to the 2007 Golden Globes.

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"This dress shows the sexiness of a real woman who makes no apologies for her curves," Rubenstein said of Winslet's steely gray dress. Of Witherspoon's non-traditional choice, he noted: "This was Reese's first moment out after her split with Ryan Philippe: Strapless, short, yellow, unadorned and showing her body. I love the unexpectedness of it. It was a brilliant strategy, and it really worked."

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Perennial fashion favorite Sarah Jessica Parker floated down the 2003 Emmy Awards red carpet in a pale pink Chanel Couture gown, our No. 9 pick. "There's something so happy about this dress," Rubenstein said. "Those fabulous, weightless layers of organza. It's like cotton candy or a pink meringue soufflé."

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So who made the list most? Cate Blanchett and Kate Hudson, four times each! And designers Chanel, Donna Karan, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Prada and Valentino all have four dresses in the top 100. See if your favorites made our list at InStyle.com.

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