Streep’s history of red-carpet style

Actress expected to mix it up on Oscar night

When it comes to Oscar-night fashion, Meryl Streep has had her share of hits as well as misses. From the gorgeous Valentino gown in 2006 to the regrettable Prada ensemble in 2007, Streep’s style always keeps us guessing.

“My favorite looks for her are in 1999 and 2006,” says stylist Phillip Bloch. “She really looked like a movie star. She went with Valentino and Rogelio Velasco. The Valentino had a wide-open neckline and was fitted at the top and the waist with a chic little sleeve. It was very flowy with movement toward the bottom and very classy.”

But style commentator Steven Cojocaru has a different take on the star’s red-carpet style. “Streep’s look has gone from sometimes civilized, rarely refined, to outright silly. The Prada thing in 2007 was her lowest moment fashionwise. She looked like she came off the set of ‘Seven Years in Tibet.’ ”

But in the highly subjective world of fashion, one man’s “silly” is another man’s “fabulous.”

That controversial Prada number got high marks from fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi: “She looked like a hippie, which I love. It was fabulous. She looked incredibly stylish and weirdly younger than in the suity thing she wore in 1984 when she won for ‘Silkwood.'”

Streep’s fair skin, shoulders and bustline are some of her greatest features, the experts say. “If you look at the older photos of her, she was covered up, covered up, covered up,” Mizrahi observes. “When she was young, she was very modest. Now that she is getting older, she’s excited about it. She’s going for it.”

Style guru Tim Gunn loves Streep’s sexy off-the-shoulder numbers. “It draws the eye up to her face, which is stunning,” Gunn says. “Where she makes a mistake is when she cuts herself off there. In 2000, she wore this long jacket and pants ensemble. The two textiles did not match. They were incongruous. In 2003, the gown was off the shoulder, the sleeves were a beautiful steel gray. The dress had a sweep. She looked stunning. But, boy, her fashion is back and forth like a yo-yo.”

Then there was the 1980 Oscars, when designers weren’t hawking their wares to red-carpet celebs. “She’s from the days when they had to go to Fred Hayman,” Bloch adds. “When she won in ’80 for ‘Kramer vs. Kramer,’ let’s just say she was a victim of the time.”

For this year’s Academy Awards, Cojocaru would like to see the 15-time nominee in a designer like Carolina Herrera, Dior or Chanel. “Something tasteful, simple and chic.”