Bretman Rock has not let fans breathe in the past month. He served consistent looks in the front-row at New York Fashion Week and turned heads at the MTV VMAs 2021 wearing the same Robert Cavalli dress made famous by Aaliyah over two decades ago. Bretman’s show-stopping ode to the star is just one of the many pop culture moments that prove Aaliyah’s timeless hold on fashion.
On September 12, celeb royalty pulled out their finest gowns for the 2021 VMAs in New York. The red carpet was filled with numerous throwback looks but Bretman’s archive Cavalli dress takes the cake. Teen Vogue‘s July cover star knew what he was doing when he showed up in a yellow tiger-stripe dress with a feather hem and a dramatic thigh split to show off his vinyl, heeled boots. Bretman looked radiant and his voluminous curls set off the look.
He clearly understood the assignment and couldn’t hide his excitement on the red carpet. “We pulled it from a Roberto Cavalli archive…he just let me borrow it for the night,” Bretman told Variety. “I like to pretend that it still smells like Aaliyah and I just hope that Aaliyah is looking down at this little brown Phillipino boy giving her dress justice 21 years later,” he said.
Aaliyah first wore the dress to the VMAs in 2000, where she won the Best Female Music Video award for her chart hit “Try Again.” The late R&B singer was the blueprint that inspired Bretman’s look so he made sure to give credit where it was due on his social media. “No one will ever rock it like Aaliyah,” he wrote in an Instagram caption. “I never thought I would ever be able to wear this, let alone be in the VMAs, when they said I could wear it I literally cried of disbelief… I love Aaliyah and am so honored to have been able to wear this 21 years after her,” he wrote. It was a beautiful homage to an iconic fashion moment and one of Bretman’s most stunning looks yet.
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