Jordin Sparks' 'Sparkle' dress: The Irene Cara inspiration, the 'Hunger Games' connection

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Image Credit: Warner Bros; Alicia Gbur; Mark Davis/Getty Images

In posters for the musical drama Sparkle (opening this Friday), Jordin Sparks steps into the spotlight wearing a show-stopping $13,000 Chagoury Couture gown.

Turns out, it’s the second time around for the one-of-a-kind dress.

Wardrobe designer Ruth Carter had been on the hunt for a bombshell dress reminiscent of the one worn by Irene Cara (above, left) in the original 1976 film when she got an urgent call from Sparks. ”Jordin found it when she was visiting a showroom to look at red carpet gowns,” says Carter, who also created original costumes and sourced vintage clothing for the ’60s-set Motown movie. “They loaned it to us, which meant we couldn’t make alterations. Luckily, Jordin was losing weight, so she just walked into the sample size.”

The beaded chiffon column isn’t just sexy, it helps tell the story of Sparkle’s rise to the top. “This is her breakout dress,” Carter says. “It [not only] had to compete with the other dresses in the movie, it had to be the cherry on top of the sundae.”

After production wrapped in late 2011, the gown was returned as promised to the fashion showroom. Not realizing it would play such an important part in the movie, reps for the designer label put it back on the floor, where it was soon spotted by another young actress. In March, Hunger Games actress Leven Rambin (above, right, who played the tribute Glimmer) chose to wear the fiery dress to the Hollywood premiere of The Hunger Games.

When it comes to fashion, it seems Sparkle and Glimmer have similar taste.

Nakisha Williams

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