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Why Is Paris Hilton’s 21st Birthday Dress Suddenly Seemingly Everywhere?

Sixteen years later, even Kim Kardashian still thinks chainmail is hot.


Paris Hilton's 21st Birthday Party
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Having spent enough time dealing with the present—aka the aftermath of calling off her engagement with the actor-artist Chris ZylkaParis Hilton has now returned to one of her favorite hobbies: looking back at the past. That’s exactly what Hilton did last year, for example, when she showed up to one of her many DJ gigs wearing the same glitzy Julien Macdonald chain-mail dress that she wore to her 21st birthday party in 2002—a look that, a decade and a half later, now clearly merits being described “iconic.”

But that homage wasn’t enough for Hilton. That seemed to be the case, anyway, when she casually pulled out another version of the design last week for yet another DJ gig, this time at Art Basel Miami Beach. While missing its usual plunging neckline, its choker and glittery glare made sure it was still instantly recognizable. This time, she topped it off with a matching metallic pair of fingerless gloves, as well as another update to the extremely early aughts butterfly clips she accessorized with 16 years ago, following the glittery cat ears she wore last year: an oversized pair of bedazzled headphones.

Completing the throwback, Hilton, now 37, also made the excellent choice of playing the Killers’ 2003 single “Mr. Brightside.”

She may have been just seven years old when it made its debut, but the dress’s legacy hasn’t been lost on Kendall Jenner, who made headlines for paying homage to Hilton by wearing a nearly identical chainmail dress to celebrate her own 21st birthday in 2016. It also appears to have resurfaced in Jenner’s mind as of late, seeing as she managed to steal the show—at least before Meghan Markle and her baby bump showed up—on Monday night at the British Fashion Awards. That was all thanks to proudly showing off her underwear through another glittery dress designed by Julien Macdonald—aka the same designer originally behind Hilton’s.

Kendall Jenner recreating Paris Hilton’s 21st birthday look on her own 21st birthday in Los Angeles, November 2016.

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Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - November 02, 2016

And yet the dress is still demanding even more attention—which renowned vintage lover Kim Kardashian happily delivered. She started off her Wednesday by greeting her 122 million Instagram followers with a “good morning,” accompanied by a photo of herself holding a telephone to her ear and wearing—you guessed it—yet another version of the dress.

Hilton has yet to like or comment on the post, though it seems likely she’ll approve, given the praise she previously bestowed upon Jenner. Her lack of commentary so far, though, leaves us with little to no clues as to why her now 16-year-old look is suddenly experiencing such a resurgence—even more so than the rest of the early-2000s looks Hilton pioneered that have been reliably resurfacing on today’s runways. It does, on the other hand, make the case for a conspiracy theory that the three of them have embarked on a mission to yet again break the internet with their own version of “the dress.”

Related: Kendall Jenner Proudly Showed Off Her Underwear on the Red Carpet of the British Fashion Awards

Paris Hilton’s 20 Most Iconic 2000s Looks, From Juicy Couture to Rhinestones

Paris Hilton celebrates her 21st Birthday Party at the Stork Rooms in London wearing a chainmail halter dress and rhinestone choker necklace.

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Paris Hilton interviews the designer Jeremy Scott backstage while wearing a Von Dutch t-shirt and pink Juicy Couture sweatpants with her flip phone on the belt.

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Paris Hilton arrives at ‘Guy’s Club’ in Los Angeles wearing a “Got blow,” tank top, low-waist pants, and a rhinestone belt.

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Paris Hilton poses with Nicole Richie in matching denim suits (and nothing underneath) outside The Lounge club in West Hollywood.

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Paris Hilton shops Kim Kardashian in Sydney, Australia. They both wear white and carry oversized metallic Louis Vuitton bags and sunglasses.

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Paris Hilton wears all the trends: A New York Dolls shirt, fishnet tights, platform boots, arm warmers, a rhinestone, choker, and tinted lenses outside the Sunset Marquis.

Paris Hilton wears a Pony tank top, hat, and sweatband paired with a very miniature mini skirt to a party for the photographer Jamel Shabazz in Los Angeles.

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Paris Hilton wears a shirt that says, “I love shoes, bags, and boys,” while out in New York City with her dog.

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Paris Hilton wears a tiara and carries a pink Barbie bag at the Palazzo Suites at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Paris Hilton wears track pants on the red carpet during the Gen Art: Fresh Faces in Fashion event in Los Angeles.

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Paris Hilton discards her fur coat to show off a “Savage art” top while at a performance of The Pussycat Dolls in Hollywood.

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Paris Hilton dances at Light Nightclub in the Las Vegas Bellagio Hotel wearing a black slip dress with rhinestone trim and fishnet garters.

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Paris Hilton poses in a cabana at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a bikini, fur coat, Dior choker, and oversized sunglasses.

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Paris Hilton wore a blue rhinestone dress and tiara to the New York celebration of her 21st birthday at Studio 54.

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Paris Hilton wore a see-through pink dress and tiara to the California celebration of her 21st birthday at the GQ Lounge in Los Angeles.

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Paris Hilton attends an Armani Jeans and Vibe party wearing extremely low-waist, lace-up pants, a red one-shoulder top, and a matching beret.

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Paris Hilton holds her late dog, Tinkerbell while wearing a pink Adidas tracksuit following the 2003 Golden Globes awards ceremony.

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Paris Hilton attends the premiere of “How High” in New York wearing an “I adore Dior” shirt with Eloise on it.

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Paris Hilton wears an American flag chainmail halter top and denim skirt to a party celebrating Francois Nars’ new book, “Makeup Your Mind.”

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Last but not least: Paris Hilton wears a black slip dress, fur coat, and cowboy hat on the red carpet in the 2000s.

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