Next year s hottest occasion dresses will date back to decades past! It is amazing that some celebrities like Zendaya, Natalie Portman, and Bella Hadid are appearing in outfits similar to these on summer s red carpets. However, because the same outfits are generally worn at red carpet events, many important celebrities are currently digging through the past and reviving vintage designs.
In June, Zendaya attended the Time 100 Gala in New York City wearing a strapless Bob Mackie gown from the label’s autumn/winter 1998 collection. The streamlined silhouette—complete with woven blue and teal panelling—felt surprisingly fresh on the actor. Law Roach styled it, saying “Vintage and archival dressing isn’t a trend for me… [It] will always be my first choice when possible.” Roach also styled Bella Hadid’s tiered, balloon-sleeved Chanel autumn/winter 1986 gown that she wore to the Venice Film Festival in May—a striking Karl Lagerfeld-designed piece sourced from Sielian Vintage.
Of course, celebrities wearing vintage on the red carpet is not a trend that began with the 2022 Summer Olympics. It has been growing over the past few years, starting with rapper Cardi B’s performance of “Money” at the 2019 Grammys in a 1995 couture creation by Mugler, while actor Gwyneth Paltrow wore a 1963 Valentino column gown at the 2019 Emmys. In 2018, legendary actress Rita Moreno re-wore her 1962 Oscars gown to the same event.
However, there are challenges to be met when plucking archival designs. As evidenced by Kim Kardashian at this year’s Met Gala—when she wore Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy birthday, Mr. President” dress from 1962—wearing a vintage dress for more than a few moments can cause irreversible damage. That is why many stylists are sourcing and purchasing vintage dresses from specialty retailers rather than taking their priceless ones out on loan from museums.
Some recent examples of museum-worthy dresses include Ariana DeBose’s vintage John Galliano embroidered dress, worn to the season 4 premiere of Westworld and sourced from Shrimpton Couture (which specialises in vintage evening gowns). Dove Cameron also wore a 1997 Versace lace gown—with thin, bowed straps—to the Tribeca Film Festival, sourced from Tab Vintage.
Last week, meanwhile, actress Natalie Portman donned a Claude Montana skirt suit from autumn/winter 1991 to attend a Thor: Love and Thunder photocall in Rome. The outfit was sourced from Paumé Los Angeles, which has an extensive rental collection of vintage designer pieces including Halston and Mugler designs from the 1980s. While many celebrities are choosing to collect their vintage garments, Yana Kamps – a curator for Paumé – says renting such designs is another way for old creations to shine through. “Each piece we adopt into our family gets to shine again and go out in the world – showing that good design and craftsmanship are long lasting.”