At tonight’s 2023 Met Gala, Nicole Kidman perfectly interpreted the “in honor of Karl” dress code. Tonight, the actor hit the red carpet wearing an archival, Karl Lagerfeld-era Chanel Haute Couture gown from 2004. If you think the glamorous design looks familiar, you’re correct: Kidman wore the dress in an iconic Chanel No. 5 commercial from the same year, directed by Baz Luhrmann.
In the 180-second commercial, Kidman played a Hollywood star who desperately wants to escape the paparazzi. She flees a red carpet in said gown—the train dramatically flowing in the wind behind her—and jumps in a cab with her co-star Rodrigo Santoro, where the two then enjoy a brief and raucous romance. The striking gown made an impression. It’s made of pink silk tulle (complete with a four-meter train in circumference) and embroidered with 250 pink ostrich feathers, and over 3,000 silver crystals and sequins.
“I have the most indelible memories of fittings with Karl in the atelier, and I loved witnessing his dedication to his craft,” Kidman tells Vogue of the dress. “I remember his laugh when he first sketched the dress and handed me the sketch. He always made me laugh. He designed a number of dresses for me, but I think this is the most spectacular.” She adds that the pink hue of the gown is something that Lagerfeld often embraced when designing for her. “I remember he made me a pink dress for the Oscars one year,” she says. “When he designed, he always loved to see me in the palest of pink.”
The cinematic commercial still remains one of the most expensive ads ever made—the budget was a whopping $33 million!—and the elaborate costumes were specially designed by Lagerfeld himself. By re-wearing his ethereal dress once again to this year’s Met, Kidman proved that an exceptionally-made design will always stand the test of time. Clearly, it’s still just as jaw-dropping today.
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