"I wanted to celebrate the finality of it and starting a new chapter in my life," the Los Angeles-based producer explained.
The 2001 photograph of Nicole Kidman jubilantly throwing her arms in the air moments after leaving her attorney's office, went down as 'iconic' in the history books almost immediately after it came out. Taken around the time she finalized her divorce to Tom Cruise after 12 years of marriage, the Big Little Lies star's celebration snaps struck a chord with many who've felt the sweet relief that comes with finalizing a divorce. Liz Maupin — a Los Angeles-based producer — had the same reaction to the paparazzi photos when she saw them for the first time a few years ago.
On this day in 2001, Nicole Kidman’s divorce from Tom Cruise was finalized! pic.twitter.com/G33LK17lPB— . (@spun_sugar1) August 8, 2020
"I honestly think I only saw the photo for the first time a few years ago and I just loved it," Maupin told TODAY. "You can feel how relieved, how happy Nicole is to have it all over with." So when her own divorce was granted recently, the 34-year-old decided to celebrate by channeling the same look and energy at her divorce party. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Maupin explained that although she separated from her ex three years ago, the process of finalizing the end of their nuptials took a while. "I wanted to celebrate the finality of it and starting a new chapter in my life," she said. "I love that photo of Nicole so much. I think it says so much about relief and freedom."
DID i get Nicole Kidman’s divorce outfit created for a party for the day my divorce is final? yes i did pic.twitter.com/ppBBaz0gc6— Liz Maupin (@LizMaupin) August 30, 2021
While Maupin could channel Kidman's celebratory energy in her sleep if she tried, sourcing the same printed blouse as the one worn by the actress in the iconic photograph proved difficult. After weeks of trying to get her hands on it, she finally connected with Carlie Armstrong, who welcomed the challenge and created a perfect replica of the iconic blouse just in time for the divorce party. "It was so hard. I did a couple weeks of research, but the shirt was nowhere to be found," Maupin revealed. "There were even Reddit threads of people trying to find it."
Maupin surprised 30 of her closest girlfriends at her divorce party — where she said there were "no boys allowed" — by changing into the outfit halfway through the event and emerging with her arms wide open and triumphant, just like Kidman two decades ago. "Everyone cheered; it was so nice," she said of her guests' reaction. Maupin's recreation aroused a similar reaction online where her tweet showing off the outfit racked up over 115k likes. "It's been overwhelmingly positive. There are a lot of women out there who have gotten out of unhealthy relationships and have said they felt very supported (seeing this)," she said.
Speaking of her now-former-marriage, Maupin said that while it was "super difficult" to leave the "unhealthy" union, she knew it was the right decision for her. "I think there's still stigma around divorce, which is so unnecessary, and I wanted to really have a positive experience at the end of it all and just celebrate being me again, without a tether to another person, and starting over," she said. "Nicole's outfit definitely helped remind me of my newfound freedom." Sharing a message for others going through the stress and bureaucracies of legally ending a marriage, Maupin assured that it's "more than OK to celebrate" it.
MAY DIVORCE BE WITH YOU!!! pic.twitter.com/9nFKJyzFPm— Wonder Wenda (@Thewhitefawnkbh) August 30, 2021
My divorce was finalised on my birthday due to my ex messing up some paperwork. He asked if I would agree to bringing the date forward by a month and I was nope, it's going to be the best ever birthday present to myself. 🥳🎁— Jess Behrens 🌱💉 (@outragJESS) August 30, 2021
My divorce day was one of THE happiest days of my life.— Miss Freckles (@missfreckles1) August 30, 2021
The judge listened to the divorce claim then looked me straight in the eyes and said: You ready?
Me: nodding furiously
Judge (signs the divorce decree in dramatic fashion): "Congrats on having your life and name back!" pic.twitter.com/qHn93dOteR
"It was absolutely empowering and so fun," she said. "I chose to make the party no-boys-allowed. We had an absolute blast. I highly recommend having a divorce party if you find yourself divorced someday." As for Kidman, Maupin said she hopes the actor knows what an inspiration she has been to women who have gone through the end of a marriage and found the courage to start a new chapter. "I hope she sees it and is proud," she said.