Wednesday 23 January 2019

From Marilyn Monroe to Amber Rose: Why do celebrities love the naked dress so much?

Freya Drohan

In the dog-eat-dog world of showbiz, there remains one sure fire way to get noticed: leave little to the imagination.

Year in year out, at every notable red carpet event, there is guaranteed to be a “naked dress”.

At last night’s Video Music Awards (VMAs), model Amber Rose turned up in a contraption comprised of iridescent silver chain mail.

The strategically draped garment,(to call it a dress would be doing the word a disservice) covered the bare minimum and was reminiscent of a moment exactly 16 years previously.

At the 1998 VMAs, actress Rose McGowan caused the world’s jaw to collectively drop thanks to her mesh and chain number.

Her modesty was barely protected by a leopard print thong, which matched her then-beau Marilyn Manson’s suit.

Speaking to Maxim Magazine the following year, the Charmed star admitted she wore it to “cause uproar”:

“I’ll confess that I did change into another dress after walking up the red carpet,” she added. “Those little strands in the back would have given me griddle but if I’d sat down.”

In the ensuing decades, Rose remains most well known not for her acting endeavours but for that infamous dress, which has earned her a place in every list of memorable/controversial/outrageous red carpet moments since.

Therefore the proof is in the pudding: the star might be subjected to ridicule in the days after the event, but ultimately they remain the ones we are talking about.

Case in point, to collect her accolade for Fashion Icon of the Year, Rihanna wore a sheath comprised of 216,000 sparkling Swarovski crystals.

The creation, designed by her long term collaborator Adam Selman, dominated every news article surrounding the event and further served to cement her status as a fashion innovator.

Not that the risqué, revealing dress is a new phenomenon, seminal “show offs” from Marilyn Monroe to Cher and Carrie Bradshaw have been relying on the powers of an overtly sexual outfit since the red carpet began.

See below some of the most infamous naked dress moments in red carpet fashion history.

Marilyn Monroe, 1959.


Cher, 1988.


Kate Moss, 1993.


Toni Braxton, 2001.


Kate Middleton, 2002.


Kelly Brook, 2004.


Rihanna, 2010.



Iggy Azalea, 2013.


Jaimie Alexander, 2013.

39. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, 2013.


Paris Hilton, 2014.

Online Editors

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