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Rita Moreno celebrated over half of a century of working in the film industry by wearing the gown she wore to her first Oscars in 1962.
Comedian Tiffany Haddish might have turned heads at the Oscars Sunday night for recycling an Alexander McQueen dress she’d already worn on a red carpet, but she wasn’t the only star who re-wore one of her favorite dresses.
Rita Moreno paid homage to the first Academy Awards she ever attended in 1962 by sporting the same gown she wore when she won best supporting actress for her role as Annie in West Side Story.
The 56-year-old black gown originally featured a high neckline and floor-length skirt made from obi, the sash typically worn with a traditional Japanese kimono, Moreno told E! on the red carpet Sunday evening. But for the 2018 award ceremony, Moreno updated the gown by changing the high neck to a strapless sweetheart bodice and adding a statement necklace.
Moreno first hinted that she would be bringing back the vintage dress on Twitter on Feb. 27. Her daughter, Fernanda Luisa Fisher, then confirmed the news to Vanity Fair on Saturday.
Wait till you see what I'm wearing!!! https://t.co/X9oem3aPdO
— Rita Moreno (@TheRitaMoreno) February 27, 2018
— Rebecca Keegan (@ThatRebecca) March 3, 2018
The gown not only serves as a tribute to the 86-year-old actress’s half-century in the film industry but also to the power of diversity. Moreno was the first Latin actress to win a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy, making her one of only 12 EGOTs. Her gown was also designed by Filipino designer Pitoy Moreno—popularly known as the Fashion Czar of Asia who’s said to have paved the way for young Filipino designers around the world. He died on Jan. 15.
Academy Awards watchers were big fans of the gown.
I love Rita Moreno so much, and even more for rewearing the dress she wore when she won for West Side Story in 1962 (!) pic.twitter.com/iUljJTDyv0
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) March 5, 2018
— mat whitehead (@matwhi) March 4, 2018
Society: Women have to dress their age.
Rita Moreno: pic.twitter.com/B4aBH96vTt
— Alexander Kacala (@AlexanderKacala) March 5, 2018
Rita Moreno’s dress from 1962 is in better condition than jeans I bought last year.
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) March 5, 2018
— Todd Alfred (@simonlange4) March 4, 2018
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) March 4, 2018
— S. Mitra Kalita (@mitrakalita) March 4, 2018
— Devan Coggan (@devancoggan) March 4, 2018
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.