Actress Meryl Streep resurrected the 15-year-old celebrity American favorite flag print dress created by Catherine Malandrino for her speech at the DNC 3 nights ago proving once again the power of fashion as an iconic patriotic symbol.
It was first shown in the summer before 9/11 back in 2001, but soon after, Catherine Malandrino’s American flag-printed dress became an iconic and timeless piece.
When the dress made its red-carpet debut on Halle Berry at the Swordfish photo-call on Sept. 1, 2001, there was no way the French designer could have known the symbolism the chiffon shirt dress would hold in the coming months when it would be worn by Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone and Madonna as an emblem of patriotism after the terrorists attacks.
At the time Malandrino created the piece, she shared that she was simply inspired by the Americana fashion of the film Easy Rider.
The dress has made over a dozen other appearances since then on amazing women from Katy Perry to Aisha Tyler to the 2014 Miss USA title winner Nia Sanchez.
Malandrino relaunched the dress to commemorate the historic election of President Barack Obama in 2008. Following the election, it was worn by Kelly Ripa on Live With Regis and Kelly, but when vocal Hollywood Democrat Meryl Streep stepped out in the patriotic number on July 26th at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the dress made a landmark moment in American history. Actress Meryl Street chose to resurrect the now iconic shirt dress for her speech in celebration of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who broke new ground as the first woman ever to win a major party’s nomination.
Fashion history sidenote: wearing American flags was not always a celebrated practice. In 1968, social activist and anarchist Abbie Hoffman was arrested for wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the flag’s stars and stripes.