The 2023 Met Gala (opens in new tab) was a homage to late Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, and despite the fact the designer famously disliked any form of retrospective, the red carpet was a decidedly nostalgic affair.
While many celebrities donned dresses from previous Chanel runways—we’re talking, Dua Lipa (opens in new tab) in a bridal gown (opens in new tab) from Fall/Winter 1992 and Margot Robbie in a recreation of a 1993 couture dress—Nicole Kidman opted to pay tribute to the past in a slightly different way, by rewearing a dress she has originally sported in 2004.
In the early noughties, Kidman was revealed as the new brand ambassador (opens in new tab) and face of Chanel No.5 (opens in new tab) and subsequently created an ad for the iconic perfume, which was directed by Moulin Rouge’s Baz Luhrmann.
In the ad, Kidman plays a starlet attempting to hide from her fame and falls in love with a young man who is unaware of her notoriety. (Fun fact: Kidman’s love interest in the ad is played by Rodrigo Santoro, who you might recognise from Love Actually.)
The opening scene sees Kidman fleeing from photographers dressed in a pale pink gown, adorned with feathers. The cinematic ad and more specifically, Kidman’s dress became instantly iconic.
Now, almost 20 years later Kidman has chosen to wear the gown again, and honestly, it could not have come at a more appropriate time. Designed by Lagerfeld himself, recycling the iconic gown was the perfect way to pay tribute to the late designer, and also reminds us that red carpet events can still be sustainable.
While historically, it may have been considered a fashion ‘faux pas’ to rewear a garment on the red carpet, the tide has certainly changed in recent years with many celebrities proving that it is chic to repeat.
Kate Winslet rewore a 2015 Badgley Mischka dress to last year’s Avatar 2 premiere, while Cate Blanchett has made a habit of rewearing dresses on the red carpet lately. The Australian actress recycled a 2020 Alexander McQueen dress from the Venice Film Festival, at last year’s Governors Awards, and earlier this year sported a Maison Margiela gown at the BAFTAs which she originally wore to the 2015 Oscars.
Given the wear-once notion of red carpets past, we can only hope this sustainable trend continues.