A decade ago, any Hollywood star would be mocked for wearing the same outfit on the red carpet more than once. “Repeat offender” the headlines would scream. But the fashion industry has evolved and celebrities have come a long way, embracing a culture of sustainability.
From Gwyneth Paltrow to Jane Fonda, we look at how celebs have salvaged designer items from years back to create a longer-lasting fabulous look.
1. Gwyneth Paltrow – Tom Ford for Gucci
In 1996, while attending the MTV Music Awards, Gwyneth Paltrow wore a ruby velvet Tom Ford for Gucci suit. The look became one of her most iconic fashion moments at the time. The Avengers star wore what looked to be the same suit, styled exactly as it was in 1996 to the Gucci Love Parade in Hollywood in 2021.
While the suits look identical, the luxurious velvet outfit most recently worn was designed by Gucci’s then-creative director Alessandro Michele, per Vogue. The suit was for Gucci’s 100th anniversary runway show and was part of the 2022 spring collection. Years later, Paltrow still looks incredible in statement ruby.
2. Cate Blanchett – Alexander McQueen bodice
Back in 2018, Cate Blanchett was among a handful of Hollywood celebrities who spoke positively about recycling outfits. She told The Hollywood Reporter that it “seems wilful and ridiculous that such garments are not cherished and re-worn for a lifetime”. In 2016, the actress stunned onlookers in an Alexander McQueen bodice.
The intricately embroidered top was teamed with a feathered skirt. Fast forward to 2020 and she kept the eye-catching bodice and swapped out the skirt for a pair of tailored trousers and heels at the Venice Film Festival red carpet. McQueen’s creation certainly proved to be the gift that kept on giving.
3. Jane Fonda – Elie Saab gown
In 2019, Hollywood legend Jane Fonda committed to never buying a new item of clothing again, according to HuffPost. The move was part of an anti-consumerism and climate change initiative.
The Grace and Frankie star took part in “Fire Drill Fridays” every week in Washington, DC. She aimed to promote and discuss action around climate change. It was at one of these events that she said she would stop buying clothes.
Since then, the actress has famously recycled several red carpet looks. One of her most well-known rehashes was an Elie Saab gown she wore at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. The glitzy red dress is pinched at the waist and shows off her strong physique. She turned heads when she wore the gown again to the 2020 Academy Awards. This time round, she had a short and funky hairstyle and left her grey hair on full display.
4. Laura Dern – 1017 Alyx 9SM
Laura Dern has worn her iconic 1017 Alyx 9SM dress three times. According to Insider, she first wore the cut-out black dress to a gala event celebrating her then-boyfriend Jeff Goldblum and Whoopi Goldberg in 1995.
She then wore the dress to the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 2013. This time, her hair was curled, and she accessorised with dangly earrings and a chunky gold bracelet.
Celebrating her best supporting actress Oscar win for her role in Marriage Story in 2020, Dern chose to wear the dress at Vanity Fair’s Oscars party once again. This time round she had soft curls around her face, a pink jacket, and her Oscars award in her hand. Same event, same dress, just a golden statue in the hand years later.
5. Elizabeth Banks – Badgley Mischka
The fashion theme for the 2020 Academy Awards was sustainability, and Elizabeth Banks made sure she stayed on topic. The Cocaine Bear director first wore her revealing red dress to the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 2004.
16 years later, she decided to don the outfit again. She said she wanted to highlight the importance of sustainability in fashion and the effects of consumerism.
6. Joaquin Phoenix – Stella McCartney
OK, so Joaquin Phoenix didn’t repeat an outfit from years before. He wore the same suit in the same year, multiple times.
It was designer Stella McCartney who first heaped praise on Phoenix for his fashion sustainability efforts. In 2020, he wore the same McCartney tuxedo to every awards show. In an Instagram post, McCartney said he had decided to “reduce waste” commenting “I am proud to join forces with you,” while boasting about his fashion decision. Phoenix won the Academy Award for best actor for his role in Joker and a Golden Globe for the same flick. Staying true to his pledge, he wore the same suit to both events.
7. Meghan Markle – Nonie trench coat
The Duchess of Sussex recycled a sleeveless trench coat dress by Canadian label Nonie during the royal tour of Africa in 2019. She wore the mid-weight cotton-blend fabric dress for her meeting with Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel.
According to People magazine, Markle first wore the dress in July 2018 at an exhibition to mark the centenary of the former South African president’s birth. She replicated the look while in South Africa on the final day of a royal tour with Prince Harry. The dress retails for around US$800 according to the Nonie website.