Famous fashion moments that meant more than you thought

Whenever celebrities walk the red carpet or simply walk out their front doors, people tend to take notice. From fashion writers and editors to designers and aspiring designers, to the fashion-obsessed among us, the fashion choices celebrities make often capture our attention. It's no longer just pick the dress that's the prettiest, however, as celebrities look to make statements with their clothing and emphatically stand up for causes or people they care about.

While you may be used to hearing celebrities talk about causes near and dear to their hearts, more and more seem to be choosing to make a visual statement. Some, like Katy Perry or Joy Villa choose to make clear and overt political statements that aren't in any way hidden or subtle. Others wear clothing with meanings that aren't as easily sussed out. Whether it's a memorial or shoutout to a friend or family member or a cause they think is worth fighting for, celebrities are using fashion to express themselves in a more personal way. Fashion has always been a form of self-expression, but it seems that those in the public eye are wholly embracing this idea more now than they ever did before. When these stars strut their stuff down the red carpet, it's about more than just what meets the eye.

Emma Roberts, 2017 Academy Awards

This year, Emma Roberts took Suzy Amis Cameron's Red Carpet Green Dress Challenge and chose a sustainable dress for the Oscars red carpet. It was Armani Privé couture from the fashion house's January 2015 collection, according to POPSUGAR.

Felicity Huffman, 2017 Golden Globes

Felicity Huffman's choice of a pantsuit for the Golden Globes may have appeared to simply be a pretty, flattering, and stylish choice, however she made it clear that the choice was made in solidarity with Hillary Clinton, who, of course, is known for her pantsuits (and had lost in the Presidential election a few months before). While walking the red carpet, Huffman said, "I thought a pantsuit in honor of Hillary, right? Love you, Hillary. I'm with her."

Lady Gaga, 2010 VMAs

Lady Gaga famously wore an outfit made of meat to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. It wasn't just some crazy costume, however. Gaga told Ellen DeGeneres in an appearance on her show (via InStyle) that the dress was meant to say that it's important to fight for what we believe in or "…we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones."

Evan Rachel Wood, 2017 Golden Globes

Evan Rachel Wood wore a menswear-inspired ensemble to the 2017 Golden Globes ceremony. She told Ryan Seacrest (via Marie Claire) that her custom-made Altuzarra suit was specifically chosen to tell girls and women who aren't into the frothy, sparkly dress look that they should feel comfortable to dress the way they want to, not according to some perceived societal requirement.

Madonna, 2015 Met Gala

Madonna's 2015 Met Gala gown was decked in graffiti and designed in collaboration with Moschino creative director, Jeremy Scott, according to Yahoo Style. The pop superstar wore the gown partially in memory of her friend, artist Keith Haring, who died of AIDS in 1990.

Ava DuVernay, 2017 Academy Awards

DuVernay's gown was designed by Ashi Studio, which is based in Lebanon, according to POPSUGAR. She tweeted, "A small sign of solidarity," expressing that she made a concerted choice to wear a dress from a designer from a majority-Muslim country.

Laura Dern, 2015 Academy Awards

Laura Dern wore turquoise twice at the 2015 Academy Awards — a ring on the red carpet and a dress for the Vanity Fair afterparty. According to Philly Voice, this was a nod to the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative, which strives to raise awareness about lung cancer. Dern played Cheryl Strayed's mother, Bobbi Lambrecht, who died of lung cancer, in the film adaptation of Strayed's memoir, Wild.

Olivia Culpo, 2017 Academy Awards

Culpo's gorgeous gown is a custom-made Marchesa, which the fashion house created in partnership with the Stella Artois Buy A Lady A Drink Campaign, which calls attention to the global water crisis, according to POPSUGAR. The glass beads that adorn the gown were made from signature Stella Artois chalices.

Kerry Washington, 2017 SAG Awards

Washington wore Cavalli Couture to the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards, but she finished the look with a subtle and curious accessory designed to make a statement, according to E! News. Before the ceremony, Washington shared that she would be wearing a safety pin on the arm of her gown to show her solidarity with marginalized groups of people who feel, or have felt, unsafe.

Emma Watson, 2016 Met Gala

Watson's 2016 Met Gala ensemble featured trousers, which she has a history of wearing on the red carpet. This get-up was, according to The Huffington Post, was made of recycled water bottles. Not only that, but Watson spoke to CNN about the overall sustainability of the outfit, which was an important — and conscious — choice for her, saying that asking yourself to commit to wearing a given item at least 30 times means that the purchase you're about to make is a sustainable choice. She also called sustainability "a feminist issue."

Blue Ivy, 2017 Grammy Awards

Blue Ivy stole hearts when she was shown at this year's Grammy Awards wearing a pint-sized pink suit and looking adorably fashionable. According to Yahoo News, the Gucci suit was meant to be an homage to Prince's signature style.

Lily Cole, 2016 Academy Awards

Cole took the Red Carpet Green Dress Challenge in 2016 and wore a Vivienne Westwood design crafted from recycled plastic bottles, according to eco-fashion website, Ecouterre. As it turns out, recycled plastic bottles work remarkably well to create fashionable — and sustainable — pieces of clothing.

Ruth Negga, 2017 Academy Awards

Negga wore a Victorian-inspired red frock to the 2017 Oscars, and topped it off with a blue accessory meant to stand out. She chose (as did others walking the red carpet that night) to wear a blue ribbon to show her support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Sophie Turner, 2016 Academy Awards

Sophie Turner also took Amis Cameron's Red Carpet Green Dress Challenge in 2016, wearing an "ethical gown" designed by fashion house Galvan, according to Ecouterre.

Jake McDorman, 2015 Academy Awards

At the 2015 Academy Awards, American Sniper co-star Jake McDorman topped his typical suit off with HeForShe cufflinks, earning social media praise from Emma Watson. Steve Carrell also donned the cufflinks to show his support, according to the aforementioned article from Philly Voice. HeForShe is an international campaign for gender equality.

Madonna, 2016 Met Gala

The extremely sheer, barely-there number that Madonna wore for the 2016 Met Gala was chosen, as she told Us Weekly, as a deliberate political statement. The singer explained that the dress was meant to stand for women's rights and illustrate what she views as the long fight still to come.

Beyonce, 2017 Grammy Awards

Beyoncé made waves with her performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards, but the clothing she wore for it had a meaning beyond what you probably noticed while watching at home. According to Refinery29, designer Peter Dundas incorporated an image of Beyoncé herself, as well as images of two "cherubs" covered in ivy in the middle of the gown. Beyoncé, husband Jay Z, and daughter Blue Ivy are waiting on two more family members as Beyoncé is currently expecting twins.

Danai Gurira, 2016 Tony Awards

At last summer's Tony Awards, Gurira wore a silver ribbon on her beautiful yellow dress to show solidarity with the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. Many stars donned silver ribbons as a show of support, as reported by The New York Times. The recent event was present in fashion and speeches throughout the night, with Broadway stars preaching support and love.

Fashion choices aren't always as straightforward as they appear

From environmental causes to political ones, events to personal connections, stars choose to make empowered, deliberate choices when they walk the red carpet. Just because a particular ensemble screams "pretty dress," doesn't mean that that is all it's meant to say.