Perhaps no other Hollywood actress embodies the noughties as much as Halle Berry. While the actress made her career start in the early 90s, starring in rom-com Boomerang alongside Eddie Murphy, and, of course, in 1994’s beloved The Flintstones remake, Halle really made massive cinematic waves at the turn-of-the-millennium. In 2000, Halle had a leading role in one of Y2K’s foremost superhero franchises; in 2001, she became the first woman of colour to win the Academy Award for best actress; and by 2002, she was a Bond girl, opposite the era’s Pierce Brosnan. Like her movie roles, Halle’s style also encapsulates the zeitgeist of the aughties in tutus, gradient shades, toe rings and red carpet bikinis. Here, we take a look back at some of Halle Berry’s most iconic outfits from the 90s to Y2K.
At the MTV Movie Awards, 1994
Halle Berry is the unsung hero of the 90s slip dress. When she wasn’t wearing blazer jackets and miniskirts, the actress spent the better part of the decade decked in myriad iterations of the lingerie-leaning gown. Super sleek satin to the SAGs, crushed velvet to film premieres, beaded and sequinned at the Blockbuster Awards, or this lace-y, bustiered number for the 1994 MTV Movie Awards. Halle even continued to be a proponent of the slip into Y2K, where she wore them embellished with the era’s ubiquitous sequins.
Off-duty at LAX, 1994
What’s a Hollywood style retrospect without at least one airport look? In this photo, taken at LAX, Halle wears an eclectic take on her quintessential off-duty uniform. In place of her staple blazers and motorcycle jackets, the actress pairs a leopard coat with her favourite stovepipe jeans, ankle boots and wire-rimmed shades.PHOTO BY RON DAVIS/GETTY IMAGES
At the Academy Awards, 1996
Halle cranked the slip dress up to 10 for her very first Academy Awards red carpet. A maximalist take on a minimalist style — and a best-of-the-best of all things 90s — this lavender Valentino gown was cut in velvet, satin and chiffon, and featured intricate floral sequin straps.PHOTO BY RON GALELLA, LTD./RON GALELLA COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES
At the Emmy Awards, 1999
By the turn-of-the-millennium, slip dresses were out and — thanks to Carrie Bradshaw! — tutus were in. Halle channeled the newly-minted trend in a floor-length tulle two piece by Y2K favourite Versace, worn to the 1999 Emmys. The look also embodied two more of the era’s top trends: crop tops and beaded eveningwear. More on that in a bit…PHOTO BY RON GALELLA, LTD./RON GALELLA COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES
At the MTV Movie Awards, 2000
Rivalled only by Britney and Justin, and Bennifer, themselves, Halle Berry and husband Eric Benét are Y2K’s foremost couple, sartorially speaking. From 1999 until their 2003 divorce, the duo walked the red carpet premieres of Halle’s Swordfish,X-Men and Monster’s Ball twinning in the era’s most popular (and, sometimes, most outrageous) trends. Eric matched Halle’s pointed square toe boots with red carpet sandals, her bedazzled singlet with his shredded knitwear and patchwork pants with tie-dye jeans. Here, to the 2000 MTV Movie Awards, the duo wear a pair of the aughties’ all-timer outfits. Eric dons a studded denim shirt (and embellished trousers, to match.) Meanwhile, Halle wears a sequinned two-piece with gradient sunglasses, beaded fringe and exposed thong.
At the X-Men premiere, 2000
Throughout the aughts, not only did Halle star in Oscar-nominated dramas and Bond flicks, she earned her superhero franchise stripes as well. In 2000, Halle made her iconic — and extremely stylish — turn as X-Men’s Storm, all leather-suited and white ‘do-ed. During the film’s press tour, the actress, herself, sported some equally iconic, equally fashionable looks. To the movie’s London premiere, Halle wore metallic pleather pants, massive hoop earrings and even a toe ring. Here, in what is unquestionably her most major fit of the tour, she wears a patchwork bikini set with diamanté belly chain and her perennial gradient shades.
At the Oscars, 2002
In 2002, Halle made film history, becoming the first woman of colour to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Monster’s Ball. In a sartorial choice perhaps prescient to her historic win, the actress wore that Elie Saab dress: the Venus de Milo-inflected mesh number that’s gone on to become one of the Oscar red carpet’s most iconic dresses, ever.