London - So the dress is blue and black. But there will soon be a white and gold version, after a massive online debate over its true colours drove sales on the British fashion label's website up by more than 300 per cent, according to media reports.
Roman Originals was quick to feature the bodycon dress prominently on its website on Friday, after a photo of it went viral and caused an uproar, with some insisting it was white with gold lace, while others said it was blue with black lace.
Hollywood celebrities from Taylor Swift to Kim Kardashian joined in the debate raging on Twitter, and even Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong weighed in on Facebook, saying he saw white and gold.
Roman Originals' online sales soared 347 per cent on Friday, as people who came to look at the dress ended up shopping for other items as well, a company spokesman told Fortune.
The dress, which retails at £50 (S$105), is available in four colour combinations, including white and black.
Roman Originals' fashion director, Ms Michelle Bastock, revealed in an interview with CNN that the company would introduce a white and gold version in about six month's time.
Ms Bastock, who wore the hotly debated dress during the interview, also said the company is coping well with the sudden surge in sales and assured shoppers that they have "plenty in stock" to go around.
"We were really surprised and really happy… It's just amazing," she said. "We're really busy. All the teams on the website are going crazy."
It all started when singer Caitlin McNeill, 21, uploaded a picture of a dress worn by her friend's mum on Tumblr with the caption: "Guys please help me - is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can't agree..."
And then the Internet blew up. A post on BuzzFeed drew more than 2.3 million views, with a poll indicating that 69 per cent of respondents saw white and gold.
There may be a scientific explanation for all the madness on the Internet. According to British physicist Isaac Newton, colour is not inherent to objects.
Humans perceive the colours reflected on the surface of objects through the light that hits the retina at the back of the eyes.
Assistant Professor Reena Garg from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York said those who see the dress as black and blue are "probably seeing the photo as over-exposed, meaning there is too much light, so the colours in the dress appear darker to you after the retina has compensated".
"If you see the dress as white and gold, you're probably seeing the photo as under-exposed, meaning there is too little light and the colours in the dress appear lighter to you after the retina has compensated."