It was a red-carpet hit for years after its runway debut.
There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In ‘Great Outfits in Fashion History,’ Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.
It’s a dress so nice, we’ve seen it worn thrice (at least), by some seriously stylish women.
The story begins at Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2003 show, where the look in question made its debut. In her review for Vogue, Sarah Mower called it “the prettiest dress” from the presentation. The grey chiffon style, embellished with silver sequins throughout, features a cascading high-low skirt and a white-ribbon wrap-around detail around the ribcage that gives it an almost corseted look. It’s elegant and dramatic — i.e., a sweet, sweet combination for red-carpet magic.
A few months after its Paris Fashion Week debut, we saw the first instance of this, when Eve wore it to the 2003 CFDA Awards in New York (pictured above). That night, McQueen accepted the organization’s annual International Award.
Over a year later, the dress reappeared — on model Naomi Campbell, no less. She wore it to a November 2004 party in London, thrown in honor of McQueen, who had just received the Menswear Designer of the Year prize from the Fashion Awards (pictured below).
We saw the dress yet again, a year and a half later, at the 2006 Met Gala. It’s perhaps best remembered as the one where McQueen and Sarah Jessica Parker famously arrived wearing complementary tartan outfits. The theme was AngloMania, so, naturally, many attendees decided to don Alexander McQueen. Among them was Lily Donaldson, who — surprise! — brought out the Fall 2003 frock (pictured below, with Gemma Ward, who also wore Alexander McQueen that evening).
In addition to its clear popularity among the fashion-savvy, what stands out to me about this over-a-decade-old design is how, like so many pieces McQueen made, it feels relevant in 2020. The silhouette, the fit, the color, the detail — it can (and should) be worn today without necessarily feeling archival.
Feeling inspired? Shop some high-low dresses in the gallery below.
Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.