2000 Was *the* Year for Naked Dresses on the Emmys Red Carpet
But the looks also landed Geena Davis and Lucy Liu on some worst-dressed lists.
We know it may seem like J. Lo invented the naked dress, but naked dressing as we know it has been a thing for a long, long time. In fact, one could even argue that the trend reached its height in the year 2000.
That year alone, three women wore illusion dresses that left very little to the imagination to the Emmy Awards. Halle Berry, Lucy Liu, and Geena Davis all gave viewers plenty of skin and cemented the naked dress as a red carpet standby.
Berry's dress isn't a traditional naked gown. And, in fact, she didn't wear it to the actual Emmy Awards. Instead, the superstar opted for a sheer lilac gown with draping details for the 2000 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which honor "technical and other similar achievements in American television programming" instead of the actors, writers, and directors that are highlighted during the traditional Primetime Emmy ceremony.
Berry's dress appears to be nothing more than a shimmering confection of purple-pink chiffon, but a closer look shows plenty of skin on display behind the shimmering, sheer fabric. She accessorized the design with a white bag and matching strappy sandals, but it's clear that the strategically placed sequins and crystals — across the dress's ruching and on the bodice — stole the show.
While Berry's dress hinted at being sheer, Davis's see-through dress from Pamela Dennis was full-on sheer — and she knew it.
"Of course I knew that dress was sheer," she told the New York Times. "I had looked right at it in the mirror. It showed exactly as much as I wanted to show." Mission: accomplished.
While the look landed Davis on plenty of worst-dressed lists, she didn't sweat it at all. "Life is about expressing yourself," she said. "I definitely like to push the envelope and not let anyone dictate to me how I should look."
The year's most traditional naked dress came courtesy of Liu, whose Versace gown also earned her a spot on E!'s worst-dressed list. Back then, it may have been outrageous, but by today's standards, the strapless dress, with its sheer sides and intricate chartreuse and crystal detailing, seems almost tame. The dress left Liu's sides and legs on full display and featured a sheer train for an extra dash of red carpet glam. She added a metallic bag and shoes and kept her hair relaxed and wavy.
These three dresses probably wouldn't cause a stir these days, but they marshaled in a generation of barely there, see-through creations that have become a standard for any major event. We're looking at you, Kardashians.