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Saturday, August 13, 2022

How a dress from the film ’13 Going on 30′ came back to life

A hilarious thing occurred on the set of “The Voice” on November 8: Ariana Grande, the show’s newest coach, showed up to work wearing a Versace outfit that had been widely worn as a Halloween costume only a week before.

It debuted on the Italian luxury brand’s spring 2003 catwalk in a vibrant minidress with crystalline straps, charming empire-waist cutouts, and chunky stripes in tones of turquoise, lime green, and crimson, among other colours. Most famously, though, is its short appearance in the 2004 romantic comedy “13 Going on 30,” in which Jennifer Garner dons the look when her character, Jenna Rink, dances to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” song at a work party.

Even though it was introduced over two decades ago, that particular dress has received a new lease on life, due in part to internet shops that offer uncannily identical designs for less than $20. When Vogue magazine projected that the vivid style will be “everywhere on Halloween,” it was in the middle of October. If the popularity of TikTok is any indicator, it was.

WGSN youth strategist Marian Park says the appeal of vintage clothing extends beyond reproducing the look of the start of the century. Celebrities and influencers have been searching for particular archive items connected with key pop culture events of the aughts, according to Park.

Take, for example, TikTok’s queen bee Addison Rae, who attended the Met Gala in 2003 wearing Gucci by Tom Ford (approximately 2003). Alternatively, Olivia Rodrigo donning a plaid skirt-suit to the White House, a nod to the plaid skirt-suit worn by Alicia Silverstone in the film “Clueless,” is another possibility.

After being unveiled the previous autumn in a Milan runway show, where Britney Spears sat in the front row, and which Cathy Horyn, then the New York Times’s fashion critic, likened to being “muggled by a gang of enraged Barbies,” the Versace gown became an instant hit.

While the outfit may be losing some of its association with the film, the dress’s comeback may be attributed in large part to one of the film’s leading ladies. A re-creation of the dress was purchased on Etsy by Christa B. Allen, who portrayed the younger version of Ms. Garner’s character in the film, who then recreated a sequence from the film while wearing it on her TikTok account. More than four million people have liked the video.

The model Elisha Herbert published images of herself on Instagram wearing a re-creation of the dress she had commissioned from Nasteski, a small Australian festival and swimwear business whose clients are inspired by the aesthetic of 2000s superstars like as Paris Hilton.

Those photographs were published by Anthea Nasteski, the designer, who got hundreds of comments and a number of commissions — she was asking more than $400 for the garment, similar to the Etsy seller — but she didn’t really market the clothing, according to her. In her opinion at the time, “it was in poor taste for me to resale someone else’s creation,” even if that someone happened to be Donatella Versace herself.

Yet, months later, in the summer of 2021, when the dress was suddenly available for purchase on sites like as Cider and Amazon for under than $20 — and became viral as a result — the new reproductions employed the same tie-dye look as Ms. Nasteski’s original. The photographs on Ms. Herbert’s Amazon ad are identical to those on her Instagram account.

Ms. Allen, the actress, said that when the less expensive versions of the dress were launched, “all of a sudden they were everywhere.” “I believe that if you wear it out and the people around you are familiar with the movie and the character, you will be able to experience this wonderful fun time.” But even if they are unfamiliar with the clothing and the character, it is still a fantastic dress.”

Currently, the garment does not seem to be reliant on nostalgia for, or even acquaintance with, the film, according to Mandy Lee, a trend researcher with a huge following on the video-sharing app TikTok. Recently, she reported seeing one out in the wild, which was being worn by a customer at the antique retailer Beacon’s Closet, who had styled it with fishnet stockings.

Despite this, she is still not persuaded that the garment will last after this most recent exposure to the elements. She said that the dress was “there for the taking” for less than $20, which contributed to the clothing’s viral success. However, it is possible that this contributed to its demise, turning it into a micro-trend that people have grown to despise as a result of seeing it so often, and destined for the trash can or the charity shop.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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