Katy Perry in Vintage Nolan Miller

Posted on June 13, 2012

Oh look. Katy’s a flapper now. A flapper in a nightgown.


Katy Perry attends City of Hope’s 2012 Spirit of Life Award Gala Honoring Bob Pittman in Los Angeles in a vintage Nolan Miller dress.

It’s not a look that fills us with excitement, but if she wants to go in this direction for a little while, we can get behind that. It suits her, after all, and besides, we couldn’t take any more candy-colored hair or cat ears. To be honest, we’re not super-crazy about the dress and those very white shoes look like a bad match to our eyes. From the neck up, she looks pretty great, though. Like we said, the ’20s styles really suit her; especially her face. She needs to find a chic way to interpret the clothing, though.

Then again, this could be a one-time deal and she’ll be back to looking like Jem and/or one of the Holograms in a day or two.


[Photo Credit: Emiley Schweich/PR Photos]

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  • MoHub

    Looks like a slip from the Winter Silks catalog.

    • StillGary

      but it’s a pretty slip — what would you call the color, persimminon? (How does one spell that color LOL) the bust seems a little gapey on the sides though.

  • MoHub

    Looks like a slip from the Winter Silks catalog.

  • L.

    Only the accessories make this flapper-y.  That dress is pure Studio 54.  Its probably even made of Quiana.

    • Oh yes, Qiana, I recall that well. I had this fab dress, off white with floral cut outs at the side made out of Qiana. My best friend and I also wore the same Qiana dress (unbeknownst to us before hand) in different colors, mine was brown and cream, her’s black and white, out to dinner on New Year’s Eve.  Ah, those were the days. And I’m sure I wore that cut out dress to Studio 54.

    • It is kind of irritating that one of the “accessories” is a random bunch of feathers.

    • Call me Bee

      Quiana!  My bridesmaids had kellly-green Qiana dresses made by mother.  In 1975.  Worst fabric–easy to work with but hotter than hell to wear. 

  • L.

    Only the accessories make this flapper-y.  That dress is pure Studio 54.  Its probably even made of Quiana.

  • Maria Rosenfire

    Seriously, did no one take a look at her before she walked out the door to say, “Darling, that’s not a vintage dress. It’s vintage lingerie.”

    I do like that she fully committed to the period look, I just wish she was wearing actual clothing.

  • That looks exactly like the nightgowns my mom wore when I was a kid. 

  • Oh dear.  The tiny spaghetti straps really don’t work on the large-chested girls, do they?  You can’t wear a bra, and you can’t really wear a strapless support garment without ruining the lines or showing under the delicate fabric.  This belongs on a *very* fair-skinned redhead with no boobs.

    • I’ll take it! I fit that last description 😛

      •  You can fight me for it.  Actually, better idea – we’ll both sit in the sun for a while, and whoever burns first gets it 😉

        • JackieOBlue

          I hear you, sister!

    • snarkykitten

       the flapper look only seems to look good on women with super flat chests and super thin bodies

      • Flooby

        Like stuff from the seventies- le sigh.  

  • IAmJ

    The midsection is killing me.

  • LOVE the Jem and the Holograms reference!!!!!!

    • Of course you did! They had hair, and clothes, that were truly outrageous.

      • pokokpuding

         Glamor and glitter, fashion and fame!

        • introspective

          Whooooaaaaah Jeeeemmmmmm the music’s contagious! Outrageous! Jem is my name no one else is the same…..

        • introspective

          Whooooaaaaah Jeeeemmmmmm the music’s contagious! Outrageous! Jem is my name no one else is the same…..

  • teensmom99

    What is a stylist for if not to make sure things fit properly.  Someone should have shortened those straps and then the fit would be better.

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Very pretty make up and hair.  But, the slip is so unflattering… 

    • call_me_schmeg

      agreed. love how all the makeup is matte, especially with the shine of her satin nightie (it’s doing her no favors in the midsection). 2 snaps to her hair and makeup team!

    • Kristin McNamara

      agreed. i don’t know that i’ve ever seen her makeup look prettier than it is here.

  • I totally agree that she looks good from the neck up. But I’m not a fan of the color of the dress, her shoe choice, or the way that the dress sits on her bust. Shel looks like she needs more… support. And it looks like a nightgown, anyway. 

  • Points for being wrinkle-free.  She must have arrived by airlift.

    • Aurumgirl

      Or maybe it really is Qiana.

  • Hate.

  • A freaking plus for a JEM and the Holograms reference. I personally preferred The Misfits.

    • Catiline

      Their songs are better!

  • Ozski

    That rust colored slip is doing her no favors/very uncomplimentary to her skin tone. She need to get tips from Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani. Katy was born to rock the 1940’s/1950’s pinup look.

  • Judy_J

    Boop-boop-a doop.

  • SpcilK

    Her face is gorgeous, everything else is wrong!

  • Jangle57

    Oh Katy, your slip is showing….and then some

  • RedRaven617

    Shoes look like bridesmaid’s from some bad wedding. 

  • Kimberlini

    Horrible makeup, horrible outfit.  TLO – what are you two smoking that’s making you dig this look?

  • sockandaphone

    A+ for effort but the dress is sitting too low and those shoes are just totally wrong. 

  • cam_lo

    this has to be a joke. she looks awful. nobody can convince me that is a dress, not a slip. she has nothing to hug and it still hugs her in an unflattering way. 

    • MilaXX

       She’s too buxum for it. She needs to give this to Kiera Knightly who might be able to make it look less nightgown.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I’m pretty sure flappers aren’t supposed to fit like that on the girls.

    • kimmeister

      The 20’s were a decade that celebrated flat-chested women.  The IBTC and I will kick Katy out our decade!

  • PeggyOC

    The look is great.  For a costume party.  Otherwise, it’s a big no.  I do give the girl props for her foundation garments, because this is a look that could easily have gone to boobie town, given her endowments.  But all seems wrangled and contained.  For everything else you can say about Katy, she keeps the girls well supported.

  • Hard dress to wear, but it is cool to see vintage!

  • Qitkat

    I generally love flapper dresses, but indeed this so resembles a nightgown or even a fancy slip, which someone embellished with Swarovski and fiddled with the hemline. It has no proper fit in the bustline whatsoever, which makes it difficult to believe it’s a dress. She did nail the styling however.

  • Okay, Mr Costume History is gonna weigh in here. “Ahem. Katie, dear, if you insist on doing a retro look, which personally, I am all for, then make up your mind what you want to reference. The headband and pearls are pure flapper kitsch from the mid 20s. The dress and the hair, however are mid 30s. And those shoes need to be taken out and slowly burned.”. I think that this idea NASA lot of potential, but fails on the follow through.

    • Jacqueline Nolley

      So true! But: What’s with the FEATHER? Can you shed any light on that?

      • Good question. It seems to be a vapid attempt to further reference the 20s. If so, FAIL.

  • VicksieDo

    Tis a nightgown….but I still like it.

  • ballerinawithagun

    This is all wrong! She does not have the correct body for the flapper look. Remember Thoroughly Modern Millie? Julie Andrews had to work to get the look, while it was perfect for Mary Tyler Moore. 

  • hughman

    “Bugsy Malone : Where Are They Now?”

  • MilaXX

    The good news is er face looks gorg! Her makeup is flawless. The bad news is everything else. That dress is awful. Not only does it look like a nightgown, it makes her boobs look saggy. The head piece goes with nothing and the shoes are tragic.

  • Lilithcat

    A sad loss.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/08/fashion/nolan-miller-designer-of-dynasty-looks-dies-at-79.html

    • amywinns

      Amen. It’s the rare designer whose work comes to utterly define a moment, let alone an era. I’d like to think this is Katy’s tribute to him, even if it’s more accurately her stylist’s homage. In doing so, I’ll give her a pass on this campy mashup.

    • Corsetmaker

      Yes indeed. Hugely important and influential. 

    • giiiirrrr

      Now if only she’d chosen something of his that was cracktastically shoulder-padded vintage Miller awesomeness!  She could have ROCKED some Alexis Morrell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan realness.  Hopefully someone on the RC will take a chance on that soon.  Lady Gaga could totally pull it off. 

  • Sara__B

    Why is she always so desperately seeking attention? If Katy is simply having fun with fashion, she could do much better than this. She’s beautiful, talented, famous, and wealthy, but she’s reminding me of my elderly and certifiably crazy Cousin Jane, who never knew who she was or what era it was.

  • cmb92191

    Well her hair isn’t purple and she isn’t wearing a cartoon dress…  That first shot reminded me a little of a young Amy Poehler.  I’ll take the lingerie over the cartoon hair.

  • kelsita421

    she does look so pretty from the neck up! pity, pity…

  • Shawna Tucker

    I don’t think the dress fits well in the bust.  The flapper silhouette was by far less curvacious and the dress bulges where it should lie flat.  It isn’t a bad look for her, but she does best with some structure around the bustline.

  • EEKstl

    Waaaay too much.  Lingerie dress, pearls, bad bridal shoes PLUS the flapper crown?  No no no no no. Her make-up is pretty, tho.

  • I can’t believe how awful she looks in that thing. Her face is gorgeous, the shoes I love, but that dress/slip/horror needs to be burned and buried.

  • Andrew Schroeder

    Mixing fashion eras. Not appreciated.

  • I do not like the fabric of the dress, it is making her look like she has buldges when she probably doesn’t.  If it was a little less shiny, or maybe lined with something with a little more body to it to would have flattered.

  • MK03

    She’s another one on my list of irrationally loathed celebrities. Maybe it’s because her music is so awful, maybe it’s because she has that Zooey Deschanel-esque “I’m soo adorbs!!1!” look. Whatever it is, she angries up the blood.

  • LuisaNL

    I’m sorry TLo, but she looks awful. that dress! Those shoes! The fake plasticky pearls! That stupid feather! Eeeeck!

  • clairellis

    She looks freakin terrible. Well, her face looks good, but this is terrible. This is the opposite of ‘fish’ or ‘butter face.’

  • AlinaValero

    is she…. just carrying around…. a feather? 

    • kimmeister

      I’ve been wondering that too!  Is it a pen?  The world’s tiniest clutch?  Or just a couple of feathers?

  • kattyatlaw

    Ohhh, HONEY.

    If the dress was entirely different (say, silvery-white to go with the shoes and headband?) and fit her (boobs, midsection) and wasn’t ugly (HEM HEM HEM lingerie lace HEM), it could have been fantastic. Maybe.

    • kimmeister

      Nice HIMYM reference!

  • Neck up is a so great.  No more blue or lavender hair.  Neck down, is just not working at all.  It’s a glorified nightgown and my grandmother’s shoes. 

  • Corsetmaker

    Firstly, a nice tribute, given that he died the other day. Whether from her or her stylist, it’s a thoughtful touch. It’s a shame it’s been styled badly and doesn’t fit her well at all. But still, nice idea and maybe the only piece available. So it feels wrong to slate it out of respect to someone who had huge impact on fashion.

    Secondly, the flapper style accessories seem to be fooling you all! Nolan Miller wasn’t even born in the 20s! 

  • Allison Woods

    I like the thing on her head, and her shoes. Otherwise, no.

  • Love the shoes, hate the dress, love the headband.

    Her eyes are beautiful.

  • terekirkland

    “She needs to find a chic way to interpret the clothing, though.”

    It would probably help if she was wearing actual clothing, not undergarments. 😛

  • Beardslee

    too literal.  I

  • Surely going out in your nightie (as we all do) requires a slightly gentler hand when applying your make up?

  • hillmad

    I think she’s wearing a much larger woman’s slip, pure and simple. The fact that it has not a single wrinkle in it makes me think the Qiana is observation is definitely correct; the color is even from the 70s!

  • BazoDee

    Ohh neck up is perfection. I will refrain from comments from the neck down. 

  • The close up, with her hair and makeup and the headpiece (I love headpieces) is gorgeous. She is so damn beautiful. This is odd to say but can she take a tip from Gaga and become Fashionista Katy?

  • lordandtaylor

    Please tell me this was a costume party. No?! It is a bit early to do a promo for “The Great Gatsby” since the film does not come out till November. Not a promo?!

    City of hope event? Oh me, oh my….city of hopeless is the word.

    U – G – L – Y

  • Those shoes are fab, though. Also, Jem and the Holograms? Major nostalgia – they were almost a physical part of my childhood. I am now trying to collect the episodes (though I realize now the series quite suck. Such is the power of that not-still-developed-yet brain in our childhood).

  • VioletFem

    As a costume it looks  good, but otherwise I’m not sold on this. Love her hair here and the accessories are very pretty, but the eye make-up seems a bit heavy for her.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    That dress is oddly unflattering. It’s just making her body look all wonky, and she has a great little bod.
    Agreed that hair and make-up, particularly make-up are FIERCE.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    this is why satin slips are best kept to the boudoir, they are much more forgiving when viewed with low lighting and champagne….

  • RebeccaKW

    When she first came out, she really was into 40’s looks, and that’s the direction I think she needs to go back to.  But the 20’s style suits her, as well.  But this nightgown look is not flattering on women with ANY curves, her breasts are too large for this flimsy top, and the hem length is awful.  I love the shoes, though they don’t go with this.  Love the hair and makeup.

  • butter nut

    it looks alright, but i am so over the red carpet gimmicks.  it’s been nothing but halloween costumes for years now & it’s getting tired.  this girl could be a knock out if she cut out the clown shit, even if just for one day.

    • Magatha

       Yup, the gimmicks, I am over them, too. She is an adventurous young woman: I think we should invite her to a secret location and give her the plan, which I think she will love. She scrubs herself off completely in a warm soapy bath, including major shampooage, then she rinses off in delightfully cool water. Then she invites us back in and we pamper her with lotion and dress her in young, fresh, natural-fiber summer clothes. No nail polish, no false eyelashes, no spackled foundation, no trowel-level cosmetics. Just a sheer tinted moisturizer (maybe concealer) and lip gloss. I predict we’d all be really happy.

      • I have a feeling, being that the girl grew up about 90 miles from my current location, that she spent many a year in exactly what you describe. And it probably explains why she goes the route she does now…as in a complete 180. 🙂

        • Magatha

           Thanks – this is insightful. God knows I don’t think she should retreat. But I would like to see her move forward. She is beautiful, and what seems to me to be sort of an artificial (but probably very necessary) 180 rebellion has outlived its purpose. You know, I’d just like to see her move to a real, elegant womanhood. I’m sure she will always be whimsical, and that’s good. But she’s so costume-y now.

      • Corsetmaker

        ?! I’m sure she does do a cotton frock and minimal make-up etc – on holiday, or at home! But it would be as inappropriate on the red carpet as a business suit on the beach!
        I’m also pretty sure a bath, some body lotion and a clean t-shirt is no special event to her LOL!

        • Magatha

           I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to disparage her hygiene, which I have no reason to suspect is anything but impeccable. I’m sure I expressed this badly. What I meant to say is that her current public appearance persona is all about doll-like artifice, and I’d love to see her change it up a little. She really is beautiful, and I don’t think her choices are beach-wear coverups or elaborate, highly stylized ensembles like she’s been doing.

          • Corsetmaker

            I like that she doesn’t take her clothes to seriously and has fun with them, even if it doesn’t always work. After all she’s a singer of bubblegum pop songs turning up to get snapped on a red carpet – the whole thing is artifice and shallow as a puddle so why not wear clothes that reflect that. She dresses for her job 🙂

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    What is that she is holding?  Did she snatch some feathers from a peacock in her dressing room or something?  

  • jilly_d

    Is anyone going to tell her that her tits are too big for the flapper look (as a fellow well-endowed lady I feel her pain). Her face DOES look really pretty though.  And those white shoes and smokers-teeth colored pearls together are making my eye twitch.

  • KikiB1

    That slip screams Jean Harlow wannabe to me….ditch the flapper accessories and grab some marabou slippers and serve up some 1930s realness!

  • Scarlet39

    I just don’t like flapper getups .  It’s just too costumey. 

  • So beautiful from the neck up.

  • julnyes

    Her makeup is fantastic, but I do have to join the chorus against the nightie as dress that is happening here.

  • And this is not a costume party?

  • Geoff Dankert

    I’m sure this was a one-time-only thing … and perhaps even an homage to the now-deceased Nolan Miller, which would mean she’s paying a lot more attention than most people give her credit for. But surely she could have found something that looks less like lingerie? Perhaps something from the Diahann Carroll collection?

  • favorthebold

    Am I the only one who thinks that Katy Perry generally looks really uncomfortable in photos?  Like she’s not really sure what she’s doing here or why?

  • gabbilevy

    The dress is wrong, but let’s be encouraging! I like this direction for her!

  • Amy Ellinger

    Hooray for vintage!!  I wish more ladies would go for vintage looks, rather than fresh-off-the-same-runway looks. Think Halston, Norma Kamali, DVF, YSL…the list goes on and on.  It’s surprisingly easy to bring looks up-to-date with accessories and styling.

    That said, Katy-bird looks lovely.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    The dress makes her look tubby and she is SO not. I will applaud the hair and makeup, but wish for a different dress, m’kay?

  • guest2visits

    This really DOES look like underwear, a slip for a special dress..  I hate the way it’s fitting her. And I don’t understand the color.
    Like TLo says; she looks beautiful from the neck up.  Ugh… the shoes look like slippers too.

  • formerlyAnon

    I *like* the flapper look, though women with curves, even thin women with curves, have to modify to look good. So I love the vibe here, and as TLo said, her head is gorgeous. The dress, though, is underwhelming.

  • Delaney Davis

    I really like that lipstick color!

  • LambeeBaby

    Love her from the shoulders up. Down it looks too much like a nightgown. Although it is a beautiful dress, everything together looks like a costume.

  • sk8tfan

    Makeup looks great, I love that lipstick on her. and the darker purple hair suits her skin tone much better. Don’t like the dress/mismatched shoes, and it drives me crazy when a dress doesn’t fit, like this one.

  • Jecca2244

    that dress is not flattering around her mid section. makeup looks great. 

  • kat89

    I think it’s probably just a tribute to Nolan Miller, who died this week. Anyway, she looks cute.

    • Corsetmaker

      I think so. And the choice of dress may have been a compromise so she could do that.

  • judybrowni

    Reminds me when us poor boho NYC girls in the ’70s would go to dress-up dances wearing 1940s slips and negligees.

  • Are you insane?  Two words: foundation garments.

  • Dagney

    I like the style of the dress but the color looks like like a bad spray tan.  Maybe a deeper jewel tone for her?

  • amber_julene

    Flapper? Ok.  But the frock? More than “girl that’s not your dress”–it’s “girl that’s not A dress.”  Nightgown is right.  Yikes.

  • ASK26

    Ugh she looks awful

  • ASK26

    Ugh she looks awful

  • up with pod people

    The dress is awful, but with that styling and expression on the close-up she looks EXACTLY like an illustration from the 20s and it kind of gives me graphicdesignergasms.

  • boomchicabowwow

    Did someone steam her AFTER she got out of the limo?!  I’m mega impressed that there isn’t one stinkin’ wrinkle! 

  • RzYoung

    I think this look doesn’t suit her at. all.

  • Valdri8

    She has a great body, and that dress looks like shit on her. It makes her look short of stature and long of boob. It is just a wreck

  • Call me Bee

    Honest to God–I have a nightgown that is identical!  Same color, same lace, same length.  Not vintage designer.  I would not wear it in public…except maybe to a costume party going as…Katy Perry. 

  • Puckndc

    Ya have to admit her makeup is flawless

  • NCDFan

    Nightgown. Definately. And the shoes have a slipper like appearance. 

  • Robyn Morelli

    I am not loving the makeup – it makes her look like a ghost! Everything is over-muted in a weird way. Kind of like they made her up for a black-and-white movie.

  • cleep1000

    No. If you’re going to wear a clingy silk dress, it better fit you perfectly. To me, the bust isn’t fitted correctly. It’s also giving her a little tummy bulge, which I know she doesn’t have. Make-up and hair are gorgeous, though.

  • MarissaLG

    Ugh. This is the kind of thing that happens when no one will say no to you. 

    I cannot support this at all. 

  • Susan Crawford

    How about this? Katy Perry goes to live with Dita von Teese for the summer and really learns how to do vintage, retro chic the RIGHT way? She couldn’t find a better mentor if that’s a direction she wants to take, amirite?

  • AngelaGreen

    Sweetie, your knockers are too big to be braless.

  • Her makeup is BEAUTIFUL. But that “dress” is awful and quite unflattering.

  • Lisa Dugan

    It looks like a nightgown but her face is stunning.

  • kikisayshi

    What have you got against Jem? She’s truly outrageous after all.

  • ccm800

    Nice of her to wear Nolan Miller (RIP – or of her stylist who knows he he was and put her in it) but not nice of her to make it look dumb.

  • JasonKL

    It’s pretty, but a little too literal and veers into Halloween-costume territory. I think she could rock a 20’s INSPIRED look, though.

  • PeaceBang

    I think this is the worst I’ve ever seen her look. I love her cartoon shtick. It’s perfect for her. She looks uncertain and weird in this, and it just hangs on her. Terrible.