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In the 2004 advertising campaign for the iconic Chanel N°5 perfume, starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Baz Luhrmann, the Australian-American actress wore a custom Chanel pink silk tulle dress, with a lengthy, four-meter round train. At this year’s Met Gala, an homage to Chanel’s iconic designer Karl Lagerfeld, Kidman wore the same dress just shy of 20 years later.
The couture dress, which helped advertise the house’s legendary fragrance, is embroidered with 250 pink feathers, more than 3,000 silver crystals and sequins, and was “concocted out of [Karl’s] head,” Kidman told host LaLa Anthony on the red carpet during Vogue’s livestream coverage. (See all the best looks from 2023 Met Gala red carpet here.)
“I have the sketches from when he was drawing it and then we fitted it — I remember fitting it repeatedly — and I think my deep, deep sort of love of Karl came through this time together because I knew him very, very well,” Kidman shared, adding: “To be able to honor him and wear this dress now for Chanel, and show the way these couture gowns last … if you take care of them and love them, they are timeless. [I mean], to be able to wear the same thing 20 years later and it still holds — there’s whimsy to it, and it’s light as a feather and unbelievably comfortable, it’s all handmade. It’s couture.”
Kidman was in full Chanel head-to-toe, wearing Chanel makeup and shoes with her dress. She was also with her beloved husband, Keith Urban, who looked on in awe.
When asked about what she is most looking forward to at tonight’s event, Kidman said: “I just think right now, to celebrate the history of fashion and the way in which we need the beautiful work that goes into these clothes to be honored and remembered … that’s what I love, because it’s an art form.”
The Met Gala, held as the annual fundraiser for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, has been organized and presided over by Anna Wintour since 1995. It is timed to coincide with the unveiling of the museum’s annual fashion exhibition, and this year’s is focused on Karl Lagerfeld. Titled Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, the collection honors the life and legendary career of the late designer who died on Feb. 19, 2019, and features more than 150 pieces including sketches.
The dress code simply reads “In honor of Karl,” leaving it mostly up for interpretation for the celebrities attending — and their stylists. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton says he hopes guests will celebrate “the spirit of Karl, and hopefully, everyone will come out in vintage Chanel, vintage Fendi, vintage Chloé.” Lagerfeld also designed for houses including his brand, Patou, and Balmain.
The Met Gala program features Penélope Cruz, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa and Vogue’s Wintour as the night’s co-chairs.
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