The word "iconic" tends to be a smidge overused as a descriptor these days, but when I say Bretman Rock looked iconic at the 2021 MTV VMAs, I really mean it. The social media superstar rolled up to the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn wearing a vintage Roberto Cavalli dress, but not just any vintage Roberto Cavalli dress — it was the exact same animal-print number Aaliyah wore while winning best female music video of the year at the 2000 VMAs. Celebrity stylist Brian Meller helped Bretman piece together the stunning homage to the late "One in a Million" singer, and whew, did they do it justice. With a cowl neckline and fuzz-lined leg slit, the yellow zebra-print dress coordinated flawlessly with Bretman's thigh-high patent leather YSL boots and gold hoop earrings.
While posting red carpet snaps of his showstopping VMAs look on Instagram, Bretman shared a sweet message about the dress's original owner. "No one will ever rock it like Aaliyah," he wrote. "Thank you so much @roberto_cavalli for letting me wear this special piece.. I never thought I would ever be able to wear this, let alone be in the VMAs, when they said I could wear it I literally cried of disbelief… I love Aaliyah and am so honoured to have been able to wear this 21 years after her." Read ahead to refresh your memory on Aaliyah rocking the dress back in the early aughts and to see how incredible Bretman looked in it on Sunday night.