The designer of this dress named it “Homage to Coco Chanel,” although on this night Zendaya cited her stylistic inspiration as Josephine Baker, given that Baker’s birthday was Saturday. That Coco was a rumored Nazi spy, and Baker abetted the French Resistance during WWII, makes that juxtaposition of cultural references very unusual indeed — and possibly not intentional; I have no idea if Zendaya or her stylist knew what Mario Dice named the dress. I saw it on his Instagram. I do, however, like to imagine that no matter what, Coco Chanel is hella pissed that Zendaya and Josephine are triumphing over her memory. Dear Coco: You shouldn’t have freaking been a freaking Nazi. MY GOD.

Anyway: This is simple and breathtaking and sophisticated on her. At first, yes, I wondered if it was a bit mature on her, but I actually think that’s why it works. The dress needs someone with her vim to give it vigor. My main curiosity is whether she has a full range of motion in those sleeves, or if she had to worry about popping the pearl strands.

Zendaya keeps it classy at the 16th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball

I guess as long as she doesn’t flap her arms in an effort to BE a a butterfly, she should be fine.

[Photos: Backgrid]