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Paris Hilton’s Most Outrageously Noughties Looks

08/09/2020

It’s hard to remember a time when the Kardashians were not an omnipresent force in pop culture, but way back in the early ’aughts, Paris Hilton was the reigning queen of reality TV (some context: an unknown stylist called Kim Kardashian was working for the hotel heiress at the time). Paris paved the way for her employee-turned-successor in the ’00s, blazing a trail lined with paid personal appearances, perfume launches and tiny pets – and she did it all in some memorably “new millennium” looks.

An upcoming documentary, This is Paris, promises an unfiltered look at the real person behind the pap shots, as the blonde, baby-voiced star of The Simple Life, now 39, sets about “reclaiming her true identity”. But viewers can also expect to be plunged headlong back into a world of velour, visible underwear and pointy-toed heels via the throwback footage. Ahead of the documentary’s release on 14 September, grab your Kitson bag and your Swarovski-encrusted BlackBerry and rediscover, in reverse order, Paris’s most quintessentially Noughties looks.

Leisurewear, everywhere
Something tells us Paris didn’t struggle for things to wear during lockdown. At the height of her fame, her tracksuit collection was unrivalled – and every rhinestone-spangled, Juicy Couture velour-clad bottom that made its way through an airport in the early 2000s bore the hallmarks of Hilton’s influence.
© Amy Graves

 

Splashy prints
The ombré print, the waterfall hemline, the visor shades… Paris’s 2003 Teen Choice Awards look screams big Noughties night out.
© Albert L. Ortega

 

Park Avenue polish
Everything about Paris’s deliberately trashy aesthetic rebelled against her Upper East Side origins, but she did occasionally dabble in the (relatively) prim, as with this baby-pink monogrammed Dior dress and sleek chignon. She couldn’t resist adding a hit of faux fur and a platform mule, though.
© Carlo Allegri

 

Legs – and extensions – for days
Is that Paris’s icon Barbie on her T-shirt at the 2004 launch of her book, Confessions of an Heiress? Nope, it’s an illustration of another icon – herself.
© Debra L Rothenberg

 

Not-so-subtle slogans
’00s Paris was all about a slogan (remember “that’s hot”?), especially the ones she could wear across her chest. The sentiments were rarely subtle.
© Evan Agostini

 

Princess moment
Platinum Farrah Fawcett flicks were just the finishing touch for this more-is-more red-carpet look for the 2004 Teen Choice Awards. The designer behind Paris’s clinging pink gown was Jennifer Nicholson – daughter of Jack. How very Hollywood.
© KMazur

 

Signature accessories
Like crop tops and low-slung waistbands, Paris made flat caps something of a trademark.
© Jon Kopaloff

 

Embrace a theme
Paris didn’t just show up at parties – she dressed accordingly. At a 2002 bash thrown by Motorola (purveyor of another Noughties icon: the Razr flip phone), the heiress’s white mini-dress and baby blue shoulder bag matched the company logo. She always did understand the importance of branding.
© Robert Mora

 

Everything’s a photo opp
Breezing out of New York’s Fendi boutique in impossibly huge shades, her trusty companion Tinkerbell (RIP) under one arm, this 2004 look is the polar opposite of avoiding the paps.
© Arnaldo Magnani

 

Commitment to a signature colour
Hilton was championing millennial pink before it was even a thing.
© Vince Bucci

 

Visible underwear
In fashion, what goes around comes around. Regrettably, in some cases. At her 21st birthday party in New York in 2002 (one of six she threw in cities around the globe), Paris wore a backless blue dress over very visible rhinestone-encrusted lingerie. Seventeen years later, Hailey Bieber wore something not wildly dissimilar on the Met Gala pink carpet.
© J. Vespa

 

Bucket hats are go
There was room next to the Von Dutch trucker caps for bucket hats in Paris’s early Noughties wardrobe. She wore this one to a 2001 Maxim party with a white tasselled dress and matching lace-up boots.
© FEMA

 

Maximum tan exposure
You don’t cultivate a tan this deep to cover it up. Before Bella was toying with the extreme crop top, Paris was exposing acres of torso in day-glo blue at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.
© Dave Hogan

 

Birthday crystals
So iconic was the Swarovski-encrusted Julian Macdonald dress Paris wore to the London edition of her globe-spanning 21st birthday bacchanal, Kendall Jenner wore a spangled homage to the look on her own 21st some 14 years later.
© Dave Benett

 

From British Vogue

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