Zendaya Flexes Her Archival Fashion Connections in a Lace Corset Top and Couture Denim

The actress went full Y2K less than 24 hours after embodying a 1920s flapper.

Zendaya on the Essence red carpet in a silver cuff necklace
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Warning: Zendaya's latest red carpet appearance might cause aesthetic whiplash.

Less than a day after channeling a 1920s flapper in a fringe-coated vintage Roberto Cavalli gown, the Dune: Part Two star attended the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards in a 180-degree turn of a look. Zendaya arrived on the carpet Thursday afternoon in a dusty blue lace corset top, tucked into wide-leg jeans cinched with a silver coin-embellished belt. The rest of her accessories included a bright white pair of pointed-toe pumps, a thick silver choker, and coordinating cuff bracelets.

Zendaya walks the black women in hollywood carpet in a corset top and jeans

Zendaya attended the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards in the definition of a high-low outfit: a couture crop top and jeans.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eagle-eyed fans on X (formerly known as Twitter) identified the early-2000s coded outfit as Jean Paul Gaultier couture, from the Spring/Summer 2020 collection. It's a significant entry in Zendaya's expansive closet, not only for its delightfully Y2K mixture of textures and accessories. The look belongs to Gaultier's final collection for the French house before his retirement.

Zendaya's look was styled by—who else?—image architect Law Roach. While Roach usually stays behind-the-scenes as Zendaya reveals their collaborations to the world, the pair walked the Essence carpet as a team.

Zendaya and Law Roach walk the Black Women in Hollywood red carpet together

Zendaya and stylist Law Roach appeared together on Thursday afternoon's red carpet.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Challengers star also embraced a fresh hairstyle for the event, trading Wednesday's brushed out curls for a short, flipped-out bob slicked back with hair gel.

Thursday's look is the latest in Zendaya's one-of-a-kind archival fashion streak. Before attending Wednesday's Green Fashion Awards in archival Roberto Cavalli, she paraded a string of vintage outfits fit for intergalactic royalty on the Dune: Part Two press tour. Those ranged from Mugler's famed metal-and-PVC cyborg suit (circa 1995) to Givenchy's couture separates mimicking a computer switchboard, designed by Alexander McQueen for the house's Fall/Winter 1999 collection.

Law Roach and Zendaya have built up an enviable reputation for securing red carpet looks that both stunning and filled with fashion history. With regards to the Dune carpets, "I always try to be a storyteller more than anything else, and this such a strong story to tell,” Roach told Vogue.

With each new appearance, the pair is still writing an even bigger story: one where they're style heroes with an unending fashion archive.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes fashion and beauty stories. Her reporting has ranged from in-depth designer profiles to fashion week reviews and research-backed shopping guides. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held fashion writer and editor roles at Harper’s BazaarMorning Brew, and Glamour. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. You can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.