Sexy Then, Sexy Now – Historical Looks for the Holiday Season

Sexy Then, Sexy Now – Historical Looks for the Holiday Season

Sexy lingerie and fashion e-comm emporium asked, historical fashion guru, Vivian Kelly (@thefashionhistorian & contributing writer on, to have a bit of “frivolous-fast-fashion-fun” with their holiday 2020 sexy dress collection. Vivian was tasked with applying her historical eye to the collection to curate a “Get the Historical Look” list.


Below are her 9 choices, which prove there is a way to not only interpret an iconic look of yesteryear for today, but to do so without breaking the bank while seriously AMP-ing up the sizzle quotient as you do!


1. This ‘Floor Length Velvet Dress’ is reminiscent of the one donned by Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Oscars. Angelina’s was by Versace (costing roughly $4,000), but Vivian chose this version, which is in Black Velvet with the thigh high slit which sent the paparazzi into a flashy frenzy at a fraction of the price!


2. Who could forget Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal of Maggie “the Cat” Pollitt in the 1958 adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”? Taylor’s seductive pose wearing the iconic white slip looking only as Elizabeth Taylor can left many a hearts of the era a’flutter with passion. Vivian was reminded of the look in an updated Nude and Black coloration with the ‘Black Eyelash Lace Dress’ that is part lingerie, part eveningwear. Different decade… same response!


3. Gossip Girl’s Serena van der Woodsen, immortalized by Blake Lively, inspired more fashion trends in the early 2000’s than nearly any other TV series. In fact, maybe more than any TV show in history! This ‘Metallic Spaghetti Strap Mini Dress’ is a strapped version of Lively’s strapless sequin number that is much of a mirror of our times as Lively’s was of hers.


4. Talk about trends of a by gone era, cut-out halter dresses were all the rage for a few years in the late 00’s. Here, in another of the looks made iconic by Blake Lively as Serena, is a Merlot velvet micro mini dress version that Vivian found a perfect substitute for in the 3Wishes ‘Mesh and Lace Halter Dress’.

5. Iconic looks don’t just happen on the runway or red-carpet and this modern day show stopper, the ‘V-Cut Velvet Dress’ from 3Wishes, gives every bit of the iconic flavor of the dress Madame X wore as she sat for John Singer Sargent’s museum masterpiece.


6. Hervé Léger is the father of the iconic “Bandage Dress”. It was impossible in the late 80’s or early 90’s to attend a party and not be surrounded by women banded up in the French design house’s creations. Here, Vivian finds the look in the ‘Tube Dress with Mesh Stripes’.


7. Jennifer Lopez is responsible for more press-worthy looks than one can count. One of her navel baring looks literally reinvigorated the house of Versace. 14 years later, when she walked the red carpet at the 2014 Fashion Rocks event wearing a leg baring style this time, once again by Versace, a new focus on the importance of full leg fitness broke out. Vivian found the look can be gotten for literally pennies on the dollar in the ‘Halter Maxi Dress with Ultra High Side Slits’.

8. JLo wasn’t the only attendee making serious fashion statement at the 2014 Fashion Rocks event. Nikki Minaj also made a noteworthy presence on that red carpet when she appeared in an uncharacteristic “all natural and classic” look that is nearly exactly duplicated in the ‘Deep-V Plunging Mini Dress with Leg Slit’ pictured here.


9. Vivian lists Halston as one of the most influential designers to ever come out of America. His work literally defined a decade, and one could not dance in any disco in the world without being surrounded by his minimal genius throughout the 70’s. This ‘Metallic Floor Length Dress’ is the perfect answer to the silver sequined Halston Heritage relaunch that is currently sold out on Neiman Marcus’ website.




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