Emily Ratajkowski Defends the ‘Most Controversial’ Dress She Ever Wore


  • Emily Ratajkowski appeared on Harper Bazaar’s “Fashion Flashback” YouTube series. 
  • Ratajkowski said a dress she wore in 2016 was her most “controversial” fashion moment.
  • She reflected on the backlash and defended the ensemble.

Emily Ratajkowski defended the “controversial” dress she wore in 2016 that sparked a wave of backlash. 

Ratajkowski reflected on the outfit during an appearance on Harper Bazaar’s “Fashion Flashback” series on YouTube. The “Gone Girl” actress wore a Julien Macdonald dress with a deep, plunging neckline at the Harper’s Bazaar’s Icons party in 2016. 

“[This is] probably the most controversial dress I’ve ever worn,” Ratajkowski, 31, said. “I had no idea what a scene this would cause.”

Ratajkowski recalled that someone called the dress “extremely vulgar” after she was photographed wearing it.

“It became this huge controversy on the internet,” Ratajkowski said. “Some of my agents were mad at me because they thought it was too sexy.” 

Emily Ratajkowski wearing black dress to Harper's Bazaar party in 2016.

The dress was designed by Julien Macdonald.

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

She explained that the dress included a sheer panel in the middle, but it wasn’t visible in the photos. 

“I was in my 20s, and I hadn’t registered that it was so sexy because there is a panel in the middle, but it looks like there isn’t,” Ratajkowski said. “It caused this whole thing.” 

Ratajkowski recalled that she clapped back at the person who called the dress “extremely vulgar” for being sexist. 

Emily Ratajkowski wearing black dress to Harper's Bazaar party in 2016.

Emily Ratajkowski recalled that wearing the dress caused drama.

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

“I was basically called out for wanting attention, which I think is interesting because you got to red carpets for attention,” she said. “It’s essentially part of your job as a celebrity.”

Ratajkowski concluded the video by sharing that she still loved the dress and stood behind her decision. 

Ratajkowski has spoken out about sexism a number of times throughout her career, including during one online scuffle in 2017. That December, she called out British broadcaster Piers Morgan after he claimed that her topless photos shouldn’t be considered feminist.

“Lol never said my love video was a feminist statement. But now it’s worth saying that telling women what to do with their bodies & sexuality is actually just classic sexism. I can have opinions about feminism & also do sexy photo shoots k thanks,” she tweeted. 

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