Remember when Gillian Anderson wore that baring thong on Oscars night?
Credit: J.Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images
Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN
The Scene: The year was 2001 at the Oscars. Julia Roberts won Best Actress for her role as Erin Brockovich and partied with then-boyfriend Benjamin Bratt. “Gladiator”, “Traffic” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” received multiple awards throughout the night. Björk famously wore a dress with a white swan around his neck.
The edgy swan dress may have dominated red carpet coverage this year, but there’s another ensemble that has become a symbol of the era: Gillian Anderson, at the height of The X-Files fame, stepped in for the Vanity Fair’s Oscar Party in action A backless navy number with a cheeky surprise. As she turned, her thong was fully visible, rising above the ultra-plunging Eduardo Lucero jersey dress.
Gillian Anderson’s fashion choice for the 2001 Vanity Fair Oscar party has become an iconic moment of the early 2000s. Credit: William Conran/PA Images/Getty Images
The ‘Sex Education’ and ‘The Crown’ actor wasn’t the first to wear an exposed thong during awards season – a top 2000 style that’s resurfaced of late – but stars like Rose McGowan and Halle Berry have This has already happened at the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards in years past, where sexy and over the top reigned supreme.
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Anderson’s ensemble, which included effortlessly cool oval-shaped sunglasses, stood in stark contrast to the evening’s Oscar-winning outfits, such as Roberts’ black-and-white Valentino dress and Jennifer Lopez’s voluminous taupe Chanel haute couture gown.
Since then, Anderson’s DGAF whale tail has become iconic, but also misunderstood. The thong has been mistaken for being part of the dress or an intentional power movement. At a panel at the FanX conference in 2016, Anderson revealed the truth: It was a last-minute decision to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.
Anderson told a panel in 2016 that the thong was a last-minute decision, not a planned style choice. Credit: J.Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images
“I don’t remember how this dress came into my life and I’m not even sure I tried it on the night before I was going to wear it. But when I put it on, my pubic hair was sticking out of the dress,” Anderson told the host and the audience, amid roars of laughter. “And there were two solutions… I chose solution number two, which was a thong.”
The new millennium began as a post-Sisqó era, when the R&B singer asked to see more thongs in 1999, and fashion in turn responded with embellished underwear as accessories. Now, a generational shift has taken place, as Paris Hilton’s low-rise pants and exposed G-strings have given way to updated versions of Bella Hadid, while Anderson’s styling has been updated by the likes of Alexa Demie – who arrived in 2019. Euphoria” premiered in a backless snakeskin dress and thong embellished with Swarovski crystals – and Hailey Bieber.
Alexa Demie once again paired the backless dress and thong at the Euphoria premiere in 2019. Credit: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Bieber appeared at the 2019 Met Gala in a shimmering pink Alexander Wang gown with a jeweled G-string detail; Anderson took to Twitter to compare the look to her own throwback moment.
“Another example of necessity being inventive,” she captioned the two side-by-side images.
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As for the fate of Eduardo Lucero’s dress, Anderson donated it (without the thong) to a charity auction to support research into the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis, according to her website.
In another highlight of the Y2K era, she spoke about the dress and the auction on two different Yahoo! is chatting with fans this year and answering questions about herself and her charity work.
In one of the chats, just days after the Oscars, user angiescully asked her about her style. “Love the dresses you’ve worn to recent awards shows etc. Do you choose your own clothes? Because if you do that, get on with your bare backs!”
Anderson replied that she recently discovered Lucero, “whom I love!” She wrote. “He happens to make some really nice backless dresses!”