Red HOT! My favourite red dresses from the movies

February 2024

I adore movies (well, mostly romantic comedies to be exact) and you already know how much I love dresses. It should come as no surprise then that stunning dresses worn on the silver screen, stick with me long after the credits have rolled!

With Valentine’s Day having just passed, and with all things red and love-hearts framing our lives for a little this week, it had me thinking about my favourite red dresses from the many rom-coms I’ve seen.

So I thought I would write about a few of them, just for fun, before the week is out. Have a read! I wonder how many of these fiery red numbers are burned in your memory too?

A few of my favourite red dresses from the movies. ©Theodora Kouts 2024.
Illustrations intended as simple artistic impressions of dresses seen on screen, to accompany this article only.

1. The off-the-shoulder long red gown in the 1990 film, ‘Pretty Woman’

My favourite moment in this film is when we see Vivian, played by the beautiful Julia Roberts, walking out to meet Edward (played by the dashing Richard Gere), wearing this masterful creation.

Beyond the unparalleled impact that a dress in the perfect shade of red has, the reason it is one of my favourites is because it fits beautifully and looks meticulously sewn. The neckline sits perfectly, as does the fabric which has been draped delicately around what I can only imagine is a carefully constructed internal structure.

Beyond the gown, the styling is flawless – from the white gloves and the classic up-do, to the natural make-up and red lip. And then there’s Prince Charming in a tux waiting with a jewelled necklace – the perfect final touch to an already stunning look.

2. The red little number in the 1999 film ‘She’s All That’

I mean could Laney, played by the beautiful Rachael Leigh Cook, in this 90s classic, be anymore adorable?

A total beauty from the very first scene we see her in, but then she goes ahead and walks down the stairs in this little red dress, where waiting for her was Zack (played by none other than the dreamy Freddie Prinze Jr), making everyone’s jaw drop. Honestly, the look on his face when he sees her walk down the stairs in this dress is what all teenage dreams were made of… and my guess is that the talented costume director in charge of wardrobe for this scene knew no other colour would have had the same effect.

A slip dress with spaghetti straps and gorgeous gathering at the neckline, finished with a tie. I don’t know if it was this dress, Zack, or the fact that Laney reminded me a little of myself in high-school, but it’s really no wonder this movie was one of my favourites and one I watched over again in the school holidays.

3. The red midi-length cocktail dress in the 2016 film ‘Me Before You’

Firstly, this movie made me cry. A lot. So it’s not so much a romantic comedy as it is a romantic drama. However, there was no number of tears that could have kept me from noticing the stunning ruby red cocktail dress worn by Louisa Clark in the film, played by the beautiful Emilia Clarke.

We first see Louisa in this dress in a scene with William (played by the handsome Sam Claflin). At first she is wearing a soft pink scarf over the dress but as soon as she sees William, he playfully quips, “if you’re going to wear a dress like that Clark, you have to wear it with confidence” and so she loses the scarf. He’s right; I mean red dresses are made to stop traffic, the same way stop signs and red lights do, right?

The look was perfectly complemented by dainty earrings and 50s Hollywood hair without a strand out of place. The satin shine, the precise seams in the bodice, the full skirt with box pleats and gorgeous red-lipped smile complete this polished and pretty look.

4. The red couture creation in the 2021 Disney movie, Cruella

That. Red. Dress. What a spectacular example of movie magic that scene was! Cruella, played by the beautiful Emma Stone, just waltzes into a black and white themed party she wasn’t invited to, and then proceeds to light her white robe on fire, and with a single stroke of a match, it transforms into this fiery red creation.

With so much draping and ruching and with many layers, I can’t imagine this was an easy dress to create but, my goodness, was it ON FIRE. As an evening wear designer, this dress and scene made the movie for me. I could watch this, as well every movie with Emma Stone in it, all day.

5. The red latin dance costume in the 1992 film, Strictly Ballroom

Ok, this is taking it back a little bit. I wasn’t even double digits when this movie was released but the TV repeats meant I saw it a few times growing up. The final scenes with Fran and Scott (played by beautiful pair, Tara Morice and Paul Mercurio) were powerful; made even more so by the sparkly red dress worn by Fran with a gradating ruffle hemline, that fit like a glove.

Yes sure, it’s a dance costume technically, but it is one of my favourite red dresses from the movies because it represented everything the film was about. I’ll never forget the line in the film ‘A life lived in fear is a life half lived‘, in reference to following your dreams, your heart and living authentically.

LASTLY, how can I possibly finish a piece like this without mention of one of my favourite rom-coms of all time? One that also happens to feature copious amounts of red (because it’s actually a Christmas rom-com)?

Yes, Love Actually.

Now I know this is not a dress but the red coat worn by my favourite character in this 2003 film, Natalie, played by the stunning Martine McCutcheon, gets an honourable mention. It’s perfection in every way; the kind of coat that’s worthy of a love heart eye emoji (or a few!), and there has not been a winter that has gone by since I first saw this film where I haven’t looked for a coat just like it.

The red coat worn by Natalie in Love Actually.
Image source: Universal Pictures as seen in Grazia Magazine UK

Who knows, maybe this winter I’ll find a coat as chic as this one. For now though, it’s still summer and so I’ll be out in a little red dress, like many of you I’m sure, painting the town, well… RED!

Dora xx



Hi, welcome to THEODORA KOUTS® and thank you for taking the time to read my article. I am a fashion designer and dressmaker based in Sydney, Australia. I started my eponymous label in 2016 offering high-end, made-to-measure and custom-made evening gowns. With a sophisticated yet delicate aesthetic being the hallmark of my brand, my pieces reflect an unwavering love of structure, soft silhouettes and subtle detailing. 

Beyond being a designer, I have a background in corporate communications and I am a mum of two (endearingly energetic!) young children. When I am not working or running around with the kids, chances are you’ll find me at a concert or at the theatre, on the tennis court, with family and friends having a laugh, or sitting poolside on holiday! 

You can find out more about me and how I can help you at


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