Not only did the 48-year-old Top Chef star look sexy and stunning on the 2018 Emmys red carpet, but she also proved that it’s okay to break traditional rules about fashion. Her amazing red J. Mendel gown has actually been worn by her before. It’s always been considered a huge fashion faux pas to recycle an outfit — especially for a red carpet event — but Lakshmi isn’t the only big name that has recently broken this rule. Even some members of the royal family like Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton have worn the same outfits twice.
Lakshmi’s gown was red with intricate ruching on the bodice and a sexy, thigh-high slit. According to PEOPLE, she also wore this gown about a year ago at the Vogue India Women of the Year Awards in Mumbai.
When asked about her choice to recycle this dress, she told PEOPLE, “I’m excited to wear this beautiful J. Mendel dress again. I think in this day and age we should stop sending the message to young women and girls that we all have these endless closets of clothes we never wear more than once, especially on a red carpet.” She went on to explain, “The hours that it takes, the artisans’ labor, and the gorgeous fabrics all deserve to be worn again and treasured. It seems wasteful not to enjoy these dresses.”
The cookbook author and TV star did change up her look for the Emmys. She wore her hair in a glossy blowout but last fall it was pulled back. Fox News reports that this time she also wore a blue ribbon on her hip to show support for the American Civil Liberties Union.
In an interview with PEOPLE earlier this year, she hinted about wearing the J. Mendel dress again. “I love, love, love the Christian Siriano dress I wore to the Emmys [in 2017]. But I had another dress that I loved as well and it was a J. Mendel dress. And I felt like it was a little risqué and very cleavage forward, shall we say. So I didn’t wear it and I wound up wearing it to the 10th anniversary of Indian Vogue. But I wish, and I probably will wear it somewhere here in America. I don’t care if people are like, ‘Oh she wore that!'”
Lakshmi said that instead of worrying so much about what to wear, she’d rather enjoy life. “Instead of fretting so much over what to wear, I’d rather go to the park and throw a ball [with my daughter] or tinker in the kitchen with her bonding over delicious food. I want to teach her that there is more to life.”