This weekend, Paloma Elsesser got dressed up to celebrate the wedding of actress and producer Tiffany Lighty and skateboarder Nick Katz. For the outdoor ceremony, the supermodel (with the help of her stylist Eric McNeal) chose a gold-and-black, tiger-striped slip dress with a cowl neck and an asymmetric hem lined with matching fur. “Thee dress for thee wedding,” she captioned an Instagram slideshow that showed off her dress and fishnet heels. “Love u 5ever more,” she finished, tagging the couple. While the Roberto Cavalli gown is very on-trend for today, thanks to its colour and silhouette, the dress was designed more than 20 years ago for the Italian designer’s fall ‘00 collection — and it has quite the red carpet history.
Following her post, Antoine Gregory, the founder of Black Fashion Fair, took to Twitter to share the backstory of Elsesser’s dress. In 2000, the same year the dress was first presented in a myriad of colours on Cavalli’s runway, it was worn to the MTV VMAs by singer and actress Aaliyah. Taking home three VMAs for the “Try Again” music video, she paired the dress with strappy black sandals.
“I’ve always been obsessed with [Aaliyah’s] look,” Elsesser told Vogue, confirming that it wasn't accidental. “It spoke to an era of cool regality that made the ’90s so iconic, and Aaliyah is the image of this moment that will always be sacred to me.” According to Elsesser, she sent a screenshot of the singer wearing the dress to McNeal, who, within two days, had it delivered to her for the wedding.
Aaliyah wasn’t the only ‘90s style icon to don the dress in its original heyday. Singer-rapper Eve also donned the Cavalli dress, although in green and with black boots, to the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in 2000.