Kerry Washington Wore Whitney Houston's Iconic 1996 Red Velvet Dress

One moment in time.

Kerry Washington ABFF

Whitney Houston would certainly approve of Kerry Washington’s latest red carpet look. On Sunday, the actress attended the 2023 American Black Film Festival Awards while channeling the "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" singer in a red velvet Marc Bouwer dress originally worn by Houston at the BET Walk of Fame Awards Gala in 1996. For her take on the look, Kerry added matching crimson pointed-toe heels, diamond stud earrings, and a smattering of diamond rings.

Beauty-wise, Washington, matched her manicure to the striking red dress while opting for a simple glam consisting of a smoky eye and glossy lip. She styled her dark hair in a sleek, side-parted blowout.

Before walking the red carpet, the actress paid tribute to the star on Instagram. She posted a video that began with a voiceover that questioned, "What’s cooler than wearing Whitney Houston’s dress?" She responded by lip-syncing the chorus of Houston’s legendary track, “I Have Nothing." She wrote, “No lies told. Whitney Houston’s ACTUAL @marcbouwer dress she wore in 1996 😱. Sooooooo incredibly special. #ABFFAwards here I come! ❤️❤️❤️.”

Fans flooded the comments to praise the actress for such a beautiful ode to the late singer, one writing, “Now this is COOL.” And another commented, “Let me get that when you’re done, Kerry.” A third wrote, “Wow that’s amazing Whitney’s dress looks beautiful on you. ❤️”

Kerry Washington in Elie Saab


Last week, Kerry stepped onto the carpet in a much more modern OOTD. While at the Los Angeles Premiere of Hulu's UnPrisoned (which premieres March 10), she stunned in a sheer floral Elie Saab gown that featured a plunging neckline, straps that tied into dainty bows, and lace material embroidered with multicolor pastel flowers. She accessorized her spring-themed look with silver and teal tassel earrings.

Related Articles