Kerry Washington hit the American Black Film Festival Honors red carpet on Sunday (March 5) in a familiar velvet gown. The actress confirmed Monday that the form-fitting ruched dress was once worn by Whitney Houston. The vocal legend originally wore the dress in 1996 when she performed at the BET Walk of Fame Awards gala.
“No lies told. Whitney Houston’s ACTUAL dress she wore. Sooooo incredibly special. #ABFFAwards here I come,” wrote the Scandal star on Instagram.
In her video upload, the 46-year-old dramatically lip synced Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” on the repetitive “nothing” lyrics answering the question “What’s cooler than wearing Whitney Houston’s dress?”
“And then THIS happened,” wrote the 44-year-old sharing a photo of the actress and highlighting the full outfit. “Thank you @marcbouwer for letting me go into your archives and borrow Whitney’s dress for @kerrywashington.”
Marc Bouwer also showed appreciation for Washington’s style on Instagram, calling the dress “incredibly special.”
The American Son star wore the dress to receive special honors during the 2023 ABFF ceremony alongside Janelle Monáe, Courtney B. Vance, and Charles D. King. Washington and Vance were both presented with the Excellence in the Arts Award. King was awarded the Industry Leadership Award. Monáe was honored with the Renaissance Award. Kasi Lemmons’ 1997 drama Eve’s Bayou was also honored with the Classic Cinema Award.
2023 stands as ABFF Honors fifth year with past recipients including Denzel Washington, Ava DuVernay, Regina King, Ryan Coogler, Queen Latifah, Lena Waithe, Terrence Howard, F. Gary Gray, Billy Dee Williams, Issa Rae, and more.
“This year’s ABFF Honorees, Courtney, Kerry, Janelle and Charles are unquestionably amongst the best in our industry and it brings us a great deal of pleasure to illuminate their stellar careers,” expressed Jeff Friday, ABFF Ventures founder and CEO. “Kasi Lemmon’s Eve’s Bayou is a cinematic gem that deserves this recognition in its 25th anniversary year.”