Björk's iconic swan dress at the Oscars is still memorable 20 years later

Love it or hate it, the famous swan dress Björk wore at the Oscars twenty years ago is one of the most iconic outfits in history

By Ingrid Mateos

- March 28 , 2021 - 12:58 hs

Björk (Twitter)

While many dresses come and go, not all of them ingrain in our head, let's just take as example Jennifer Lopez's green dress. However, we here are going to talk about one of the most hated but loved gowns, the iconic dress resembling a swan, worn by Icelandic singer Björk.


The 73rd Academy Awards were held in 2001 and the big winner was Russell Crowe and the 'Gladiator' film but something more commented than the movie and the winners was the red carpet. Singer Björk made her first appearance at the Oscars, she was nominated for Best Original Song 'I've seen it all' included in the Lars von Trier film, “Dancer in the Dark.” where she is also the main protagonist and all eyes were on her.


Designed by Macedonian designer Marjan Pejoski who had dressed Björk in a pink princess-style dress at the Cannes Film Festival, the swan dress was described as “A giant swan dress, a full-body stocking that was covered with a giant swan whose neck wrapped around her with its head and beak resting on her breasts". At the time many mocked her and her decision to wear this.  Steven Cojocaru called the dress "probably one of the dumbest things I've ever seen", late Joan Rivers noted, "the girl should be put into an asylum," Ellen DeGeneres wore a similar one at the Emmys the same year and it was parodied in the 2004 comedy film 'White Chicks'.

Pejoski declared about his creation, that he did not mind bad publicity "If you are an artist you don't expect everyone to love what you do. And anyway, I love that there has been such an issue." Twenty years have passed, and while in the short time it was ridiculized, in the long run, it has become one of the boldest choices ever. This can be backed up by designer Valentino, who reimagined it at its Spring 2014 Couture fashion show at Paris Fashion Week.


The singer has mentioned why she decided on such oddity, explaining she was sure that it was his first time at the Oscars, and most probably the last time too “So I thought my input should really be about fertility, and I thought I'd bring some eggs." With eggs, she is not being metaphorical. At the awards ceremony, Björk literally had an egg underneath her gown.  "I was actually amazed at how many people thought I was serious. I didn't mean to cause a riot."

Her then manager, Scott Rodger even declared there was another option for her to wear. “There were two dresses [from Pejoski]: the swan and a peacock. None of us on the team had any idea what she was going to wear for the Oscars.” Could you imagine someone else with the swan-dress on a red carpet? Of course not!

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Ingrid Mateos

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