‘That Dress’
12 Apr 2022

Meeting the versace safety pin dress

In a quiet corner of the QUEER – Stories from the NGV Collection exhibition a moment of pure delight can be found.

Causing far less fuss than it did when it became known as ‘that dress’ is the dress that made Liz Hurley famous: The Gianni Versace’ Safety Pin Dress.

I was not the only person doing a double take and exclaiming ‘Is that the dress? upon coming across it.

The black evening gown looks deceptively simple. Designed by Gianni Versace it was part of Versace’s 1994, Spring-Summer collection.

Liz Hurley wore it the same year at the premier of Four Weddings and a Funeral and ever since it has been referred to as ‘that dress’. It is arguably the dress for which Gianni Versace is best known.

So many things about it are remarkable. The chief among them is that the safety pins are much larger than expected and they are made from the type of acetate associated with toys that come out of a Christmas cracker. This means they convey an unexpected sense of fragility.

The presentation of the dress is positively demure. A fact that is evident when you look at any image of Liz Hurley wearing the dress.

A wonderful discovery is that the NGV owns the dress. It was purchased in 2015 with funds donated by the Bertocchi family.

There are very few pieces of clothing that can be said to have changed a life, but this dress is one of them. It was thrilling to see it and to know that the NGV is its home.

Contact Bottlegreen and Yellow Personal Styling to chat about tranformng your personal style.

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