Let's face it, the real thrill of the Oscars are the dresses! The billion or so viewers who tune in only to watch the red carpet arrivals are a testament to what a momentous fashion event the Oscars really are. The right gown can catapult a C-list celeb to the A-list ranks overnight, ditto for the designer, so much time and preparation is put into finalizing flawless Oscar looks down to the tiniest details. Over the years some starlets have passed with flying colors, while others have failed miserably. In anticipation of this year's event on February 27, ESSENCE.com is taking a look back at the alluring haute gowns that have graced the Oscars red carpet in recent years.