Donatella Versace on Elizabeth Hurley's Iconic Safety Pin Dress: 'No One Could Really Fathom It'

The designer opens up about the iconic dress that skyrocketed her label

Elizabeth Hurley has worn countless dresses on the red carpet, but there’s one gown that people still talk about: the stop-and-stare Versace safety pin dress. Now, 25 years later, the designer behind the label, Donatella Versace, is sharing her reaction to the iconic look.

Elizabeth Hurley

In a new interview with InStyle, as part of the magazine’s “25 Most Iconic Dresses of the Red Carpet” feature, the 64-year-old designer revealed the story of how Hurley ended up in the black-and-gold plunging gown at the Four Weddings and a Funeral premiere in 1994/

“I know, you’d expect something more interesting behind one of the most famous red-carpet dresses in history,” Versace told InStyle for its 25thanniversary issue. “But as for many things, chance played a big role in making it all happen.”

The night before the premiere, Versace got a request from Hurley, then 28, who “needed” a dress for the event as she was accompanying her then boyfriend Hugh Grant. And, by chance, the safety-pin dress was available.

“No one could really fathom such an astonishing reaction, or that Liz would steal the spotlight from everyone else,” the designer added.

The bodycon dress, featuring a plunging neckline, high-leg slit and large gold safety pins running down the side, was designed by the late Gianni Versace, and first featured on the runway on model Helena Christensen in the Spring of 1994.

Versace told InStyle that when Hurley tried on the design, the sexy silhouette of the dress “flattered her perfectly.”

The dress put both Versace and Hurley on the map, and has since then been recreated and re-imagined by others, including Hurley’s 17-year-old son, Damian.

Earlier this year, Hurley revealed that the iconic gown still fits, and she even wore a version of the design in Harper Bazaar’s April issue.

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