Paris Hilton has been a Fashion Week fixture for nearly two decades, so suffice it to say she knows a thing or two about setting trends.
Case in point: The silver chainmail minidress the heiress-turned-mogul wore (with butterfly hair clips, naturally) to her 21st birthday party back in 2002, near-identical versions of which have recently popped up on A-listers like Kendall Jenner, Blake Lively and even her onetime assistant Kim Kardashian.
Hilton understands the hype. “As soon I put that dress on, I knew it was iconic,” the star, 37, told Page Six Style at the Alice + Olivia presentation at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on Monday.
“I’d never seen anything like it before, and it was so me. So to see so many people using it as inspiration is just the best. Even just on Instagram, I’ve seen so many replicas. And a lot of girls wore it for Halloween last year.” (One of those girls, in fact, was her sister Nicky, who wore the glitzy mini to George Clooney’s star-studded Casamigos Halloween party.)
And while some would consider all these late-stage homages to be fashion faux pas, Hilton welcomes them all. “Imitation is the highest form of flattery,” she said with a shrug. “I mean, it’s the ultimate birthday dress. Everybody should wear that dress on their birthday.”
The “American Meme” star, who has over 10 million Instagram followers, was similarly ahead of the curve in foretelling social media’s stronghold on Fashion Week — although unlike some, she doesn’t see it as a bad thing.
“As a businesswoman and a brand, I get it. I predicted this a long time ago,” Hilton explained. “Yes, it’s changed things immensely, [but] I think it’s brought it to a whole other level. Right now, it’s what people want to do: They want to post things and have a beautiful backdrop. That’s why I think Stacey [Bendet, Alice + Olivia’s founder] is so brilliant: She makes an experience. Like, look at this set: I want to come back here and do a photoshoot!”
But while #LivingMyBestLife might be one of her favorite recurring hashtags, the “Stars Are Blind” singer is also committed to using her platform for fashion good. “I’ve met so many young designers — all these teenagers — and I wear their things and always tag them, and they’ll say, ‘You changed my life, I got like a million orders from you,’” Hilton said. “It’s really cool that people can use that platform in a positive way to build a brand.”
As for her plans for the rest of Fashion Week? The newly single star, who called off her engagement to Chris Zylka in November, is celebrating her upcoming birthday with what she’s calling an “Anti-Valentine’s Day Party” on February 14 at Lavo.
“I’m sure everyone who’s with someone will be on a date, but everyone who’s single can come to this party,” she said. “It’s going to be really fun. I’m going to wear red, something sparkly and short, with really high heels. And lingerie for the end of the night!”
In case she winds up at a sexy afterparty for two?
“Or just for the ‘gram,” Hilton said with a laugh.
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