Nicole Kidman Reached Twenty Years Into the Past for Her Met Gala Dress

Nicole Kidman at the 2023 Met Gala: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty
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The archives opened up for the 2023 Met Gala, with Karl Lagerfeld’s former houses lending out dresses from past decades to create a walking retrospective of the designer’s career. Nicole Kidman was one of the many attendees who arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday night in a look steeped in history, but she may have been the only one on the red carpet who was part of their dress’s first life.

Kidman arrived to the Met Steps wearing a light pink gown of silk tulle covered in 250 pink ostrich feathers, and over 3,000 silver crystals and sequins. If the dress looks familiar, that may be because Kidman has already worn it, though not on a red carpet. In 2004, the actress donned the dress for “Chanel N. 5, the film,” a three-minute long ad for the famous fragrance directed by Baz Luhrmann, whom Kidman worked with just three years prior on Moulin Rouge. The video, which cost $33 million to make and still remains the most expensive ad to this day, stars Kidman as a starlet who escapes the public eye at the height of her fame. She is seen running through Times Square, the pink dress floating behind her, when she meets a man, portrayed by Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro. The two quickly fall in love, but unfortunately it isn’t long before Kidman leaves him behind to return to her life in the spotlight.

While on the Met Gala red carpet, Kidman spoke to LaLa Anthony about the process of creating the dress for the ad twenty years ago. She recalled “fitting it repeatedly” and she still has the sketches from when Lagerfeld drew up the design right in front of her. “I think my deep love of Karl came through this time together,” she said. The actress also emphasized that she wanted to show the lasting nature of a couture gown. “If you take care of them and love them, they are timeless,” she said. “To be able to wear the same thing twenty years later and it still holds...There’s whimsy to it and it’s so light as a feather, it’s so unbelievably comfortable, and it’s all handmade. It’s couture.”

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Kidman also mentioned that the pink hue was an obvious choice for Lagerfeld when it came to designing for Kidman. “I remember he made me a pink dress for the Oscars one year,” she told Vogue. “When he designed, he always loved to see me in the palest of pink.”

The actress showed off the gown on the Met Steps, posing with her husband, Keith Urban by her side. At one point, Kidman bumped into Luhrmann, who was also in attendance at the Gala, making for quite “The Film” reunion, and really bringing this moment full circle.

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