Reusing old red carpet outfits, celebrities show that recycling can be chic


At this year's Costume Designers Guild Awards, Billie Eilish wore the same shirt and trousers ensemble from the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscars party. Photo: Instagram/Costume Designers Guild Awards

It is no longer a fashion faux pas to be seen wearing the same dress on different occasions. Even celebrities are now reusing their outfits for red carpet events.

At the 2024 Costume Designers Guild Awards held last week, singer-songwriter Billie Eilish was spotted wearing the same shirt and trousers ensemble that she wore to the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscars party.

The design was from Gucci’s then creative director Alessandro Michele.

“Wearing only new clothes all the time is unnecessary and unsustainable,” Eilish is quoted as saying by Vogue.

Cate Blanchett wears a Louis Vuitton dress fashioned from deadstock fabric to this year's Baftas. Her jewellery is also an upcycled design. Photo: ReutersCate Blanchett wears a Louis Vuitton dress fashioned from deadstock fabric to this year's Baftas. Her jewellery is also an upcycled design. Photo: Reuters

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“I’m so lucky to be able to wear so many incredible clothes for my performances and public appearances. I wanted to celebrate their beauty and the craft of everyone who designed and made them by wearing them again.”

Eilish has been incredibly vocal about sustainability in the past.

For the 2022 Met Gala, she wore an entirely upcycled Gucci gown. She even paired it with beige vegan platform shoes.

Other celebrities are also going the sustainability route when it comes to red carpet dressing.

At the 2024 British Academy Film Awards (Baftas), Cate Blanchett accessorised with a repurposed necklace designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of watches and jewellery.

Bailey Bass' Zac Posen custom couture gown was created with only four cuts of fabric and yarn derived from sustainably sourced wood. Photo: Instagram/Bailey BassBailey Bass' Zac Posen custom couture gown was created with only four cuts of fabric and yarn derived from sustainably sourced wood. Photo: Instagram/Bailey BassThe creation gave a second life to the pearls from her 2023 Bafta jewellery, while the stones and materials were sourced from the fashion house’s five archival creations.

Blanchett’s Louis Vuitton dress from this year’s Baftas is also sustainable. Louis Vuitton women’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquiere, fashioned it from existing stock fabric.

“Deadstock is not a sexy word,” Blanchett said to Vogue.

“But Nicolas used it to make a strong, sexy dress, and Francesca has brought her artistry to the fore yet again to rearrange and redesign a spectacular piece of body jewellery. I’m in awe of them both and relish collaborating with them at Louis Vuitton.”

The actress is known for reusing her red carpet outfits.

From the lace Armani Prive dress at the 2014 Golden Globes to the Alexander McQueen suit with satin blue sleeves from her press tour for a film in 2019, Blanchett has always been proud to champion sustainability.

High-profile red carpet events are doing their part to encourage celebrities to go “green” as well.

Last year’s Oscars called for guests to rent, reuse, upcycle, or look to natural materials when dressing up.

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Actress Bailey Bass wore a Zac Posen custom couture gown, created using only four cuts of fabric, made from Tencel filament yarns derived from sustainably sourced wood.

Another actress, Chloe East, wore a custom Monique Lhuillier dress, made from black Tencel and using reworked patterns and fabrics.

“I created a dramatic, sculptural, modern ball gown using a vintage piece from my collection,” Lhuillier said in a statement.

“Sustainability is something I am passionate about, without compromising design.”

With the 2024 Oscars taking place March 11, all eyes will yet again turn to the red carpet to see if fashion can keep its pledge to remain environmentally friendly and sustainable.

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