Same, Nicole. Same. 

By PEOPLE.COM/Katie Intner
Updated Jul 27, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
Nicole Kidman
Credit: Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Nicole Kidman has dressed up in couture for award shows countless of times, but there was one look that she considers better than all the rest — the royal blue Armani Privé gown she wore to the 2018 Oscars.

The Academy Award winner wasn’t nominated in 2018, which made the experience very different. “When you’re nominated for an award, you’re very emotionally invested,” Kidman, 52, writes in a personal essay for Harper’s Bazaar. “But going to the Oscars as a presenter was just plain fun.”

Despite the corset top and giant structural bow on the statuesque gown, she revealed it was actually “unbelievably” comfortable. “I have to say they really take care of the details, like how to make a giant bow sit,” she said about the Armani Privé design team. “Because remember, you have to be able to sit in the dress for four hours.”

The talented couturiers also did amazing work leading up to the event. “It took only two fittings because the [Armani Privé] team knows my body so well,” Kidman notes. “I’m five foot 10½—I’m very proud of the half because I don’t want to be five foot 11—so structurally there are certain things that suit my frame, you know?”

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Sitting through fittings is something she says has a very close childhood connection for her.

“Doing a fitting reminds me a bit of being a little girl in Sydney,” the actress adds. “My mother would sew all of my dresses, and she would stand me up on the table or on a chair to make sure the hem was just so.”

In her essay, the Big Little Lies actress called attending award shows a “glorious sidebar” to her career because she gets the “fairy-tale aspect” of wearing couture. She also admitted to getting “starstruck” by celebrities like Jane Fonda and Clint Eastwood.

“It’s an opportunity to acknowledge other actors’ craft and go up and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I saw your film, and I loved it,’” Kidman adds. “Many times you would never cross paths otherwise.”

After having her “Cinderella” moments on red carpets, she says she usually prefers going home to her kids than hitting up the afterparty circuit.

“I take everything off, and I fold the dress and am very protective of it because obviously it’s art. Just like with Cinderella, everything needs to be returned to its maker!”

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