Donatella Versace revealed that she had no idea the dress she designed for Angelina Jolie for the 2012 Oscars would become an instant viral sensation.
The fashion designer reminisced about a few of the standout Oscars red carpet moments throughout her career in an interview with WSJ. Magazine published on Thursday. She said, “For sure, Gaga, when she arrived on the red carpet [of the American Music Awards] on a white [human] horse. That was an entrance!” Versace added, “Another one is Angelina [Jolie] with a black ball gown when she pulled her leg out [on the 2012 Oscars red carpet]. The leg went viral, the image went everywhere. Sometimes you don’t know which dress is the best, but when you see someone wearing the dress it can become fantastic.” Jolie attended the Academy Awards that year to present the winner for best adapted screenplay. For the occasion, she chose a black Atelier Versace strapless gown with a thigh-high split that left her leg entirely exposed for much of the night. The image immediately went viral on social media and the actor’s leg even inspired its own Twitter account called @AngiesRightLeg, accumulating over 14,000 followers overnight.
In 2019, Jolie addressed the now-iconic red carpet moment during an interview with Extra at the premiere of her film, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. “There’s a whole longer story behind that,” she said at the time. “I had a more complicated dress and I wore the more comfortable dress, which was that one, and I think I was just so comfortable that…I think when you feel comfortable, when you feel yourself—which is very much the theme of the film, and we know this in life—you embrace it. And sometimes, maybe it appears to be a thing, I don’t know.”
But while Versace may have had plenty of legendary red carpet fashion moments over the course of her career, she told the outlet that these days she’s more interested in how Gen Z is shopping. “Versace started on the red carpet. Now every fashion house understands the importance of the red carpet. What I care about more is seeing young generations wear Versace,” she explained. “Kids—they look at the Versace archive and they write to me: Can I buy this? How much does it cost? Gen Z ask me this, and I’m very proud.”