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Great Outfits in Fashion History: Gillian Anderson's Backless Dress

We have her to thank for the exposed thong trend.

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History,' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

Gillian Anderson has had countless memorable roles over the last two decades, most recently as Margaret Thatcher on the latest season of "The Crown." But arguably one of her most iconic moments, as herself, happened 19 years ago, at an Oscars after party. There aren't many 19-year-old outfits that can influence current trends — and yet her back- and thong-exposing look from that red carpet is, for better or for worse, having a moment right now.

When award shows were a thing, the post-broadcast parties were where celebrities could let their perfectly-coiffed hair down and slip out of whatever ultra-tight gown they wore to the main event. It was also where the fun fashion happens. Anderson's  backless look embodies the playful nature of a Hollywood after party, and I love it for its simplicity and drama. The long-sleeve dress by Eduardo Lucero was minimal in detail and silhouette, but bold in its use of cutouts. The actor kept accessories light — just a mesh thong and sunglasses (two items which don't often get the spotlight at a fancy evening affair) — but they made the outfit that much more of a conversation-starter. 

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Ahead, shop a selection of cutout party dresses, all of which keep your undergarments covered. (If want an exposed thong moment, though, you can check out some options here.)

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