Editor’s Be aware: Delving into the archives of popular culture historical past, “Remember When?” is a CNN Model sequence providing a nostalgic take a look at the celeb outfits that outlined their eras.
Bear in mind when Angelina Jolie’s proper leg turned a viral sensation?
It was 2012, and the actress arrived on the 84th Academy Awards in a strapless black velvet gown by Atelier Versace. However this was no strange robe: It bore a daring thigh slit — one so excessive that it artfully unveiled simply concerning the entirety of Jolie’s proper leg as she posed confidently for the cameras, one hand firmly planted on her hip.
Jolie, then 36, was already a red-carpet fixture. However the second catapulted her into the viral stratosphere, sparking media fanfare, a string of memes and even social media accounts devoted totally to “the best leg.”
It wasn’t simply her thigh that stole the highlight that night, although. Amid the ocean of pristine white gowns worn by fellow attendees like Gwyneth Paltrow and Milla Jovovich, Jolie stood out in black. It was a placing departure from the icy palette that prevailed at that yr’s Oscars — ironic, on condition that she’d helped spark the development by carrying a luxurious satin white satin Versace creation to the Golden Globes a month earlier.
Within the room, Jolie’s on-stage leg reveal — whereas presenting the Oscar for Greatest Tailored Screenplay — was well-received, prompting imitations by the award’s winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (for “The Descendants”). Rash instructed reporters backstage that it was not a mockery however a “loving tribute.”
Jolie’s Oscars robe was praised extensively within the trend press, with The New Yorker’s Judith Thurman crowning her because the night’s “best-dressed” for baring her “to die for” legs and Harper’s Bazaar’s Joyann King commending how the actress “embraced her sultry facet.” Vogue’s late editor-at-large André Leon Talley, in the meantime, celebrated how she made black velvet “super-sexy with an enormous slash, completely eighties Versace model.”
However not all critics had been on board.
The leggy look was described as “boring” in TIME journal, which gave a rating of “proper leg: 1, black gown: 0.” An opinion piece printed in Philadelphia Magazine described Jolie’s posing as “comical and pathetic,” saying she appeared “aloof, conceited and snotty.” Her slender leg even sparked some uncomfortable and heated debated over the star’s weight amongst tabloids and TV pundits, with some observers suggesting that she appeared frail. (Fox Information anchor Invoice O’Reilly described her, on air, as “emaciated.”)
As for the court docket of public opinion? Views had been additionally combined. A parody Twitter account known as @AngiesRightLeg, which has since been deleted, amassed over 34,000 followers in two days, according to Reuters, with posts together with “Have a look at the leg!” and “It’s important to admit I’m one hell of a leg.” A Glamour magazine survey in the meantime discovered that round three-quarters of readers had been “not into” Jolie’s “pose-y stance.”
Jolie later mentioned she hadn’t taken discover of the hype. “I heard one thing, however I didn’t pay any consideration. It’s so simple as being a lady selecting a gown you want and having an evening, and probably not fascinated with anything,” she instructed The Huffington Post the subsequent month.
Some years later, on the premiere of 2019’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” Jolie added that the gown had been chosen with consolation in thoughts. “I believe while you really feel comfy, while you really feel your self — which may be very a lot the theme of the movie, and we all know this in life — you embrace it,” she instructed Extra on the crimson carpet.
The actress nonetheless managed to foreshadow a fall development, with labels together with Balmain, Azzaro and Jean Paul Gaultier bringing thigh-high slits to their runways lower than a month after the Oscars. Different stars, from Chrissy Teigen and Beyoncé to Jennifer Hudson and Nicole Scherzinger, additionally carried the mantle on that yr’s crimson carpets — a proliferation of uncovered thighs that The New York Instances dubbed “The Angelina Effect” (a time period later reappropriated to explain the spike in ladies with excessive danger of breast most cancers in search of pre-emptive double mastectomies, a process Jolie underwent in 2013).
In March of this yr, Donatella Versace, the designer behind the gown, fondly mirrored on her creation whereas recounting her favourite Oscars appears to be like in The Wall Street Journal. “Typically you don’t know which gown is the very best,” she mentioned, “however while you see somebody carrying the gown it will possibly grow to be incredible.”
Clearly, Angie was onto one thing and, as all the time, put her finest foot — or leg — ahead.