The dress is a photograph that became a viral internet sensation on 26 February 2015, when viewers disagreed over whether the dress pictured was colored blue and black, or white and gold. The phenomenon revealed differences in human colour perception, which have been the subject of ongoing scientific investigations into neuroscience and vision science, with a number of papers published in peer-reviewed science journals.
The photo originated from a washed-out colour photograph of a dress posted on the social networking service Tumblr. Within the first week after the surfacing of the image, more than 10 million tweets mentioned the dress, using hashtags such as #thedress, #whiteandgold, and #blackandblue. Although the actual color was eventually confirmed as blue and black, the image prompted many discussions, with users debating their opinions on the colour and how they perceived the dress in the photograph as a certain colour. Members of the scientific community began to investigate the photo for fresh insights into human color vision.
About a week before the wedding of couple Grace and Keir Johnston of Colonsay, Scotland, the bride’s mother, Cecilia Bleasdale, took a photograph of a dress she planned to wear to the wedding and sent it to her daughter. After disagreements over the perceived colour of the dress in the photograph, the bride posted the image on Facebook, and her friends also disagreed over the colour; some saw it as white with gold lace, while others saw it as blue with black lace. For a week, the debate became well known in Colonsay, a small island community.
On the day of the wedding, Ceitlin McNeill, a friend of the bride and groom and a member of the Scottish folk music group Canach, performed with her band at the wedding on Colonsay. Even after seeing that the dress was “obviously blue and black” in real life, the musicians remained preoccupied by the photograph; they said they almost failed to make it on stage because they were caught up discussing the dress. A few days later, on 26 February, McNeill reposted the image to her blog on Tumblr and posed the same question to her followers, which led to further public discussion surrounding the image