Red dress designed by Diane von Furstenberg and worn by Whitney Houston

A red dress designed by Diane von Furstenberg and worn by the singer Whitney Houston for her performance of the song “I Have Nothing” at the 1993 Billboard Awards. The dress is a very slim fitting full-length dress made from a red synthetic fabric, with full-length sleeves and a turtleneck collar. The bodice and sleeves of the dress are completely unadorned. Starting below the waist, the skirt is formed by tiers of fabric stitched on a bias. The tiers are of the same fabric as the bodice, and are trimmed all along each hem with beaded tassels of strung red bugle beads, reinforced with red twill tape on the interior. Five (5) tiers on the proper left descend in a criss-cross with the five (5) tiers on the proper right, with each subsequent tier stitched underneath the tier above. The proper right tiers wrap all the way around to the back of the dress, giving the appearance of five (5) tiers on the verso. The dress fastens with an inset red metal zipper that runs from the top of the turtleneck to just above the first tier. The dress is not lined.

Object Details

Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Designed by
Diane von Furstenberg, Belgian, born 1946
Worn by
Whitney Houston, American, 1963 - 2012
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Estate of Whitney Houston
synthetic fiber, glass beads, metal, and cotton tape
H x W x D (On form): 67 × 17 × 10 in. (170.2 × 43.2 × 25.4 cm)