The thigh-high boots are everything.
Bretman Rock not only stepped onto the 2021 VMAs red carpet looking fierce, but he also brought a meaningful element to his outfit that night. The dress he wore was a nod to the late R&B singer Aaliyah, who tragically died in a plane accident in 2001. Rock wore the same exact Roberto Cavalli dress the singer sported at the VMAs in 2000, which obvi had fans in their feels. And as the Halloween holiday approaches, it’s pretty simple to recreate the look for yourself at home — especially if you’re in need of a last-minute costume.
Rock’s bright yellow and black zebra print dress featured a thigh-high slit and feather detailing. So, how did it end up in Rock’s possession? It turns out he is a huge Aaliyah fan, and specifically asked the designer if he could borrow it. “We pulled it from a Roberto Cavalli archive … he just let me borrow it for the night,” Rock 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 Filipino boy giving her dress justice 21 years later.”
While no one can hold a candle to Aaliyah, Rock sure came close. Fans raved over his look, which he shared to Instagram. “No one will ever rock it like Aaliyah 🐯,” Rock captioned the post. “Thank you so much @roberto_cavalli for letting me wear this special piece.. 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.”
Ready to show your stripes at home? To channel Rock and Aaliyah’s designer gown, you’ll want to sport a floor-length dress with a yellow and black tiger print design.
Be sure to cut a slit at the side of your dress, just like Rock’s. Next, pick up a pair of black latex thigh-high boots for that extra-sleek touch.
The final element you’ll want to include to execute Rock’s look is the fringe detailing around the slit. To do so, buy a small roll of yellow fringe fabric, then sew it (or if you’re feeling lazy, safety pin it) across the length of the slit, from the bottom of the dress to the waist.
They say legends never die, and Rock proved that with his animal print look. Keep Aaliyah’s legacy going with this wild costume idea for Halloween.