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What colors are this dress? White and gold or blue and black? Fierce internet debate is sparked by two-tone outfit - and even Kim and Kanye are divided!

  • The colors of a dress have become a topic of debate on social media 
  • Some see the dress as white and gold, some as blue and black and some see it as different colors every time they view it 
  • 'What color is that dress? I see white & gold. Kanye sees black & blue, who is color blind?' wrote Kim Kardashian on Twitter
  • The dress, it seems, is actually blue and black, and is sold by the company Roman Originals
  • The picture was initially posted on Tumblr by Caitlin McNeill, a 21-year-old from Scotland 
  • She posted it after taking a photo of someone wearing it at a friend's wedding and noticing her friends saw different colors 

What colors are this dress?

The colors of a dress have come under serious debate on social media with some seeing it as white and gold and others as black and blue - but why the disparity? 

The picture of the dress was initially posted on Tumblr by Caitlin McNeill, a 21-year-old from Scotland after she shared a photo of it with her friends.

'What happened was two of my close friends were actually getting married and the mother of the bride took a photo of the dress to send to her daughter,' McNeill said. 

'When my friend showed the dress to her fiancee, they disagreed on the color.'

All of our friends disagreed,' McNeill told Business Insider. 

That is when McNeil shared the photo on a Tumblr fan page dedicated to a talent manager Sarah Weichel.

Then, without Weichel even knowing, or promoting the post, it went explosively viral.

Suddenly, everyone, celebrities included, was weighing in on social media about the dress.

'IT'S A BLUE AND BLACK DRESS! ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME,' wrote Mindy Kaling on Twitter. 

Her friend and fellow actor BJ Novak replied writing, 'white and gold.'

Then recent Oscar winner Julianne Moore jumped in, writing to Novak and Kaling; 'what's the matter with u guys, it's white and gold.'

To that, Novak replied to Moore; 'Thank you!And congratulations on your Oscar, which Mindy thinks is purple and green.'  

Taylor Swift wrote; 'I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow.I'm confused and scared.PS it's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK.' 

The dress also led to a debate between Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West, as the reality star wrote, 'What color is that dress? I see white & gold. Kanye sees black & blue, who is color blind?' 

'I thought my followers on Tumblr would maybe have a good reaction, but I never would have considered that Taylor Swift and Mindy Kaling would be tweeting about it,' McNeill said. 

She also added that she would love to meet Swift. 

There's science behind the reason why some people see black on blue while others are just as certain that they see gold on white.

The simple answer is that the picture is an optical illusion.

The human brain determines the color of an object by taking in all of the light from the object and 'throwing away' the light from surrounding objects. Thus, color is perceived in relation to the colors of the objects surrounding it.

With the photo of the dress, the surrounding colors are so muddled that the brain isn't sure what to make of the dress itself.

As Wired.com points out, a digital analysis of the dress photo shows that one of the spots of black trim is actually orange in the photo.

Thus, people who perceive the surrounding area as dark are likely to see the blue in the dress as white and the black colors as gold. It all just depends on the manner that the brain perceives and processes color.

Jay Neitz, a University of of Washington neuroscience tells Wired: 'I’ve studied individual differences in color vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I’ve ever seen.'

He sees gold on white.

The body-conscious dress with lace overlay does appear to in fact be black and blue.

It is made by the company Roman Originals, which offers 'affordable womens clothing and designer ladies fashion,' and can be purchased here.

There are also white, pink and red options, all with black lace, and this seems to have all resulted in some fantastic free advertising for the company. 

There is not, sadly, a white version with gold lace.