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Keep in mind when Gwyneth Paltrow wore a pink velvet go well with?

Written by Rosalind Jana, CNN

Delving into the archives of popular culture historical past, “Keep in mind When?” is a CNN Type collection providing a nostalgic take a look at the celeb outfits that outlined their eras.

Keep in mind when Gwyneth Paltrow turned up on the MTV Video Music Awards carrying an opulent pink velvet go well with over an unbuttoned blue shirt, her blonde hair tucked behind her ears?

It was 1996 and Paltrow’s star was firmly on the rise. That very same yr, the then-23-year-old had appeared in “Emma,” taking part in Jane Austen’s meddlesome protagonist with vim (the New York Instances described her as “resplendent… gliding via the movie with an class and patrician wit that convey the younger Katharine Hepburn to thoughts”). Over the subsequent few years, she would go on to star in main field workplace hits, together with “The Gifted Mr. Ripley” and “Shakespeare in Love,” the latter successful her a slew of awards, together with the 1999 Academy Award for Greatest Actress.

Within the twenty years since, the baby-pink Ralph Lauren robe she wore to just accept her Oscar has attracted loads of column inches. Nevertheless it’s solely just lately that her pink velvet go well with has been handled to the identical consideration.

Gwyneth Paltrow pictured in her red velvet Gucci suit.

Gwyneth Paltrow pictured in her pink velvet Gucci go well with. Credit score: Kevin.Mazur/INACTIVE/WireImage/Getty Photos

A return to hedonism

This go well with — sensual, tactile, ruby pink — was from Gucci’s Autumn-Winter 1996 present. Designed by Tom Ford, who joined the Italian model in 1990, it was first worn with a velvet scarf by Floridian mannequin Trish Goff.

Like many household companies that grew to become luxurious behemoths, Gucci began life within the 1920s as a leather-based items firm. It initially offered saddles and equestrian equipment earlier than turning its focus to baggage and, finally, purses. By the point Ford got here on board, nonetheless, it was getting ready to monetary damage.

Former Bergdorf Goodman president Daybreak Mello had been tasked with turning the model’s fortunes round. Nevertheless it was her Texas-born recruit who would go on to spearhead the label’s renaissance.

Initially requested to take care of girls’s ready-to-wear, Ford was made inventive director in 1994 following Mello’s departure. With full management of the model, he ushered in a brand new search for the heritage label: one which was slinky, sultry and unabashedly provocative.

Tom Ford is applauded as he walks down a runway in 2003. At the time, Ford was creative director of both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

Tom Ford is applauded as he walks down a runway in 2003. On the time, Ford was inventive director of each Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Credit score: Michel Dufour/French Choose/WireImage/Getty Photos

Ford, who had educated as an architect and later reduce his enamel at Perry Ellis, would maintain the highest job at Gucci till 2004. He took a lot of his hedonistic inspiration from the Halston-era world of Studio 54, placing his fashions in jeweled silk blouses and velvet flares. He laid clear the erotic potential of clothes — one thing he continued pushing via a collection of notorious Gucci campaigns (together with a 2003 advert that includes a mannequin with the model’s “G” brand shaved into her pubic hair).

To the style world, his tenure was a breath of recent air.

“Greater than every other designer, Tom Ford will go down in historical past as the person chargeable for dressing the ultimate years of the 20th century,” British critic Susannah Frankel noticed within the Unbiased newspaper in 1999. “The knowingly super-slick, super-sexy, hard-edged glamour the Gucci label has come to suggest is ideal end-of-millennium fodder.”

Revisiting the go well with

With the period’s style within the midst of a revival, social media is now revisiting the appears to be like of a few of its most glamorous standard-bearers — from a resplendently maned Julia Roberts to Liz Hurley in that Versace costume.
It is a second through which Instagram accounts like @tomfordforgucci have thrived. Delving into the visible historical past of Ford’s tenures at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, which he helmed from 1999 to 2004, the throwback account has launched his style editorials and catwalk appears to be like to a brand new viewers hungry for daring sensuality.
Paltrow is one in all a variety of starlets whose fresh-faced get together snaps and ’90s pink carpet appearances now flood social media. And because of this, her VMAs pink go well with is now an more and more covetable merchandise, with one just lately promoting on luxurious resale web site 1stDibs for greater than $8,000.

To have fun Gucci’s 100th anniversary in April, the label’s present inventive director, Alessandro Michele, even despatched a near-perfect duplicate of the go well with down the runway, although he changed the unique velvet scarf with a leather-and-silver physique chain.

A model wears a revised version of Gwyneth Paltrow's red velvet suit at the 2021 Gucci 'Aria' show.

A mannequin wears a revised model of Gwyneth Paltrow’s pink velvet go well with on the 2021 Gucci ‘Aria’ present. Credit score: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Photos for Gucci

It’s tempting to try to diagnose the explanations behind revived curiosity within the period’s style — and the ladies who wore it. Maybe it embodies what we now see as a time of innocence — a pre-9/11, largely pre-internet decade that appears distant from our personal, however simply shut sufficient for it to not have slipped solely into the realms of historical past.

Or possibly we’re possessed by a nagging sense that design was extra thrilling or daring prior to now, particularly within the wake of a pandemic that has interfered with our understanding of each time and elegance. (Sharp tailoring and Ford’s “hard-edged glamour” are all of the extra interesting after a yr carrying sweatpants.)

However whatever the causes, Paltrow’s go well with demonstrates that something in style might be revived and returned to the highlight. In any case, it was Ford who had plundered the ’70s to create one thing recent for the ’90s within the first place.


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