The Thierry Mugler archives have always been notoriously sealed. Prior to last weekend’s Grammy Awards, only one artist had been granted permission to raid the brand’s vintage pieces, and that was Beyoncé. (The Queen Bey wore a look dating to 1995 for her “Sweet Dreams” video in 2009, per InStyle; designer Manfred Thierry Mugler also served as the costume designer for the I Am… world tour.) But after Cardi B wore not one but three archival Mugler looks—two from the brand’s Fall 1995 couture show, one from the Spring 1997 couture show—to claim her prize for best rap album last weekend, the doors to the archives, it seems, have been flung wide open.
On Sunday evening, Kim Kardashian West, in her role as founder of KKW Beauty, arrived at the fifth annual Hollywood Beauty Awards in Los Angeles, California. She rolled up to the event with hairstylist Chris Appleton, whose clients also include Kim’s little sister Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lopez, documenting their journey from the back seat to her Instagram stories and showing off her look: a truly daring vintage Thierry Mugler dress from the label’s Spring 1998 couture collection. A dress that is sort of a leap of faith.
The look features a thigh-high split and a velvet bodice panel, but the really bold part is the upper half: a harness-inspired strap (didn’t you hear, harnesses are in?) with cutouts that is, in fact, more cutout than dress. Two straps cross the wearer’s breasts, just enough to prevent exposed nipples but not quite enough, one would imagine, to feel especially secure in the situation. (Well, Kardashian seemed to feel secure: She tweeted, “You know that mood when you’re really feeling your look,” followed by the raised-hand emoji.) She paired it with Perspex heels—likely Yeezy, if history is any indicator—and a carefully sculpted bun.
“Don’t we look like we’re going to prom?” Kardashian said into the camera in a video she posted to her Instagram stories. (Maybe?) She and Appleton also noted she’s had her eye on the look for quite a while, so it’s sort of a wish-fulfillment thing.
Of course, unlike Beyoncé and Cardi B, Kardashian has had more regular access to the Mugler archives: Earlier this month, in fact, she wore a red iridescent snakeskin-print gown dating to 1983 while in New York at the height of New York Fashion Week; she’s also regularly worn archival Gaultier and Versace looks, because there’s nothing Kim Kardashian loves more than a throwback.