Caitlin McBride: It’s time to destroy and bury the ‘naked dress’ on the red carpet
Once upon a time in 1994, there was an aspiring actress who attended a movie premiere with her boyfriend and became an overnight superstar.
When Liz Hurley wore that now notorious safety pin Versace gown to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral, she became an icon.
It was the post-sex Madonna era of the late ‘80s and social media wasn’t part of our daily routines (Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel was only 3 years old at the time).
Looking back, her dress was positively tame.
When supermodel in the making Bella Hadid nearly flashed her goods to the world at the Cannes Film Festival, she broke the internet. Bella, a well-known name in the fashion game, is often compared to her big sister Gigi (also a model) and broke one of the cardinal rules at Cannes – don’t steal the spotlight away from the talent.
These days, we live in a world where celebrities use sex tapes to boost their profile and Kim Kardashian posed nude on the cover of Paper magazine balancing a glass of champagne on her world famous bum.
There’s a long, colourful history of female stars going nearly nude on the red carpet, but we have officially reached peak ‘Look at me, I’m wearing nothing’.
Rose McGowan wore a sheer chainmail ‘dress’ at the 1998 MTV VMAs, with her bum cheeks and nipples on display. Kelly Brook exposed her bum cheeks in a plunging slashed pink gown by Julien Macdonald in 2000. Jennifer Lopez’s plunging Versace dress at the 2000 Grammys sparked debate for weeks before the term ‘slut-shaming’ was coined.
Rihanna recently told Vogue her “greatest regret in life” is not wearing a bedazzled thong under her sheer embellished gown at the 2015 CFDA Awards and Miley Cyrus has pushed the envelope so far, we’re officially unshockable. A new photo of her with strategically placed panelling only garners a reaction of “That’s Miley” and an eyeroll.
Irish designer Peter O’Brien hit the nail on the head in a Facebook post accompanying Hadid’s image which read: “The marriage of the red carpet and the aesthetics of porn have resulted in the death of fashion in celebrity circles.
“Why pretend that clothes matter? Why not just ditch the dress and wear one’s uterus on one’s forehead?”
Sure, Bella Hadid and all her naked dress peers have bodies to kill for and undoubtedly want to show off the results of their no carb, no sugar, twice daily gym sessions – but just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have to show all of it.
In a world where we have access to countless celebrity sex tapes and share our entire days from start to finish on social media – where does the line stop? Do we really need to know what you ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and see what you’re hiding up your dress?
It’s not just women who are guilty of this, but when it comes to red carpet dressing, a classic black tuxedo doesn’t exactly have the same impact as a sheer sequinned number. And Shia LaBeouf has been awfully quiet since his ‘I’m Not Famous Anymore’ paper bag 2014 meltdown so we can't even rely on some crazy to make it interesting.
When the game is fame, these days, it’s the quicker the better. But there has to be a better way to lasting fame than leaving the house less than fully dressed.