Kerry Washington wears Whitney Houston’s red velvet dress

Sometimes it’s better to wear something borrowed. March 5, Kerry Washington attended the American Black Film Festival honors in a velvet dress previously worn by Whitney Houston. Stylized by law cockroachthe Red tight dress with delicate gathers and a halter neckline.

Roach pulled the garment straight from the archives of fashion designer Marc Bouwer. “No lies. Whitney Houston’s ACTUAL @marcbouwer dress she wore in 1996,” Washington wrote alongside a instagram video showing the dress. “Sooooooo incredibly special.” In the clip, she asked, “What’s cooler than wearing Whitney Houston’s dress?” before lip-syncing to Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”

The ‘Scandal’ actor put on his own version of the legendary look with pointed red heels, minimal accessories and a matching red manicure, leaving the dress speak for itself. Houston made her debut in the red dress in 1996 at the BET Walk of Fame Awards gala. Taking the stage for performances of “I Will Always Love You,” “Greatest Love of All” and “I’m Every Woman,” the famous singer accessorized her version with sparkling diamond jewelry and a curly updo.

“And then THIS happened…” Roach wrote on instagram alongside photos of Washington’s all-red look juxtaposed with Houston’s. “Thank you @marcbouwer for letting me access your archives and borrow Whitney’s dress.” Bouwer himself also commented on the historic fashion moment, writing that the dress is still “incredibly special” to him 27 years later. Read on to see how Washington and Roach brought one of Houston’s most iconic styles into the 21st century.

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