hot shot

What Is This Dress Doing?

Photo: @CelebCandidly / BACKGRID/@CelebCandidly / BACKGRID

These days, there are no limits on what a dress can do. A dress for sleeping during the day? Check. A dress that turns into another dress? Duh. Would you like to be choked by a skeletal leather hand while looking chic? There’s a dress for that! Would you like for your dress to physically prevent you from doing anything at all? Please see the conceptually challenging garment Bianca Censori — former Yeezy employee and current partner to Kanye West — wore to a church service on Sunday: sheer, black, architectural — at once pillowy and binding. Striking, but also, what is this dress doing?

Let me try to describe it. It is long and bodycon, topped with a cushioned wall that encircles Censori’s neck region and may provide protection similar to the shoulder pads Ye is wearing. Above the cavernous collar, you can discern Censori’s bleached hair and the top two-thirds of her face behind sheer black fabric that seems to connect to the dress below, like she stretched a pair of tights all the way over her head and torso. There are no armholes or sleeves of any kind: Her hands are encased in its clingy prison, clasped in front of her and — maybe to give the illusion that she can indeed function inside this sinister contraption — clutching her phone. To what end? We’ll never know.

Attempting to make sense of it all, one of my colleagues likened the dress to a “satanic version of a ’70s Jell-O cake.” Another thought its silhouette resembled that of a chess piece, possibly the rook? Online, the dress has been compared to a condom. To me, Censori looks like a goth egg or a leg inside a pair of pantyhose.

I have some basic questions that are, in my book, far more pressing than finding the proper simile. How did she put on this “dress”? Does she have to take the whole thing off to pee, like a jumpsuit, and, furthermore, how would she even do that? Also how did her phone even get in there in the first place? What did fellow churchgoers think of this look? And finally, who is coming for this couple’s shoulders? The answers, I fear, lie somewhere inside this black vortex of a dress, as inaccessible to us as Censori’s cell phone is to her.

What Is This Dress Doing?