Skip to main content

Great Outfits in Fashion History: Barbra Streisand's Oscar-Winning 'Funny Girl' Ensemble

It became one of the all-time most memorable fashion statements made at the Oscars.
babs oscars 1

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.

Barbra Streisand is one of the few celebrities who genuinely embodies the role of an icon, and that extends to her approach to personal style, too. If there's one outfit I remember "oohing" and "aahing" over as a young person falling in love with the art of fashion, it's Streisand's glittery pantsuit from the 1969 Academy Awards, worn to accept her first Oscar for "Funny Girl."

As a first-time attendee and nominee, Streisand was predestined to make a splash on the Oscars carpet that year. Her nude-mirage of an ensemble surprised not just the general public, but also Streisand herself: In a 2016 interview with W, she recalled, "I had no idea that when the lights hit that outfit, it would become transparent!" 

Though it was a bit scandalous for the time, the look certainly overpowers its past critiques by way of its classic touches, and it went on to be remembered as one of the all-time most beloved fashion statements made at the Oscars.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Barbra (center) poses with Jack Albertson (left) and Anthony Harvey (right),

Barbra (center) poses with Jack Albertson (left) and Anthony Harvey (right),

Designed by Arnold Scaasi, the outfit consisted of a shimmering blouse and matching bell-bottomed trousers adorned with dime-sized clear sequins. Featuring a basic white collar and cuffs and finished with a black satin bow at the neckline, it went on to become the most famous of Scaasi's career. In his book "Women I Have Dressed and Undressed," the Canadian designer remembered taking inspiration from a gown he made for Polly Bergen's nightclub act; he loved its shiny black see-through effect and wanted to create a custom version for Streisand's career-making moment. It's also worth mentioning that while the controversy of the look lay strongly within its sheerness, part of it also came from Streisand being the first actress to ever wear pants to the Oscars — and to then accept an award in them.

Streisand had held onto the headline-making garments until she eventually put them up for auction to benefit the Streisand Foundation, which supports a variety of charities. The winning bid? Arnold Scaasi himself, who sought to create a full archive of his designs. 

In the gallery below, we've curated pieces to help you embody your inner "Funny Girl" — though, to be frank, you may not cause as much of a stir as Streisand.

Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.

Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.