The NAACP Image Awards happened last night!
All week they’ve been handing out the awards for the non-televised categories, but this was the big ceremony moment, and I had three STARS I needed to dress: Jennifer Hudson, Kerry Washington, and, OF COURSE, Zendaya.
The ceremony was virtual, but I always want to make sure my girls look done, even if they’re only gonna be looked at in a tiny little box on a screen. All three of them were slated to have the spotlight on them at some point. Z and J Hud were both nominated for awards, and Kerry was presenting the Social Justice Award.
So everything needed to be on point!
I thought I would drop in quickly to update you on some of the looks I put together for the show. The SAG Awards are tonight, and I have some clients to dress for that, so you can imagine how busy this weekend is for me. I usually sleep about four hours a night, but the rules are all suspended when it comes to an award show weekend!
Translation: I have shit to do, so I’ll keep this brief.
Kerry and I have made so much magic together. Around this time last year at the SAGs I put her in this custom Etro look that channeled an art deco type thing. It was like the Harlem Renaissance meets the Roaring 20s. I had all these women who were stars of the Blaxploitation film era as my references, and I think the look was so memorable.
But for this year’s NAACP Awards we went in a different direction. I wanted her to look dreamy and light and effortless! Effortlessness is always part of the goal. You don’t want to show your work because it should never look like work!
Anyways, so I put Kerry in this gorgeous peach-colored Zuhair Murad gown from the latest Paris Couture show. It was a really beautiful, romantic collection inspired by 18th century pirates, but still with all the flowiness and the draping and the slits I expect from a Zuhair Murad collection. And the dresses were all so clearly meant for extravagant occasions that this felt like the perfect time to pull from it.
Bardot neckline, draped bodice and train, metallic pink clutch, chunky diamond necklace from DeBeers…
As for J Hud, well…
I said put some RESPECT on her name!
J Hud was nominated for some really big awards, and I wanted to give her a really luxe, glamorous feeling. ESPECIALLY since those nominations were for her performance as the Queen of Soul in a movie about Aretha Franklin herself! I knew that we needed something stately. Something regal. Aretha is an icon, and so is J Hud. The look needed to reflect that. Thankfully two weeks ago Christian Siriano showed a really regal fall 2022 collection! He called it “Victorian Matrix,” and even though it was RTW, there were flourishes of couture all over it.
So I chose this corseted gown they did in black velvet with a ruffled neckline! We styled it with some Jimmy Choos and Gismondi 1754 jewels. She looked so chic accepting her awards—Entertainer of the Year AND Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Top honors!
And then, there was Z…
Her and J Hud were nominated in the same category, for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Something about Z getting a nomination for Malcolm & Marie made me so proud—for her, but also for me! Being the costume designer on that movie gave me the acting bug and made me realize I want to do more costumes for the movies. Malcolm & Marie takes place over one night, so I asked my friend Jason Rembert from Aliétte to do this metallic, halter-necked dress for her. We did it all over FaceTime: picking fabrics, prototypes, lighting tests, everything.
We had to go with Valentino for the awards. Still vintage Hollywood glamor, but a different kind of Hollywood glam than what she gave in Malcolm & Marie. Remember when I told you earlier this week that Pierpaolo is a genius? Well, if you weren’t convinced then…
His latest couture show was a vision as always, so it was hard to pick just one gown! What we landed on was look 13: this sequined, gray minidress, paired with a white wool coat, both embellished with diamonds. For accessories we went with Bvlgari cluster diamond earrings and some pointed Louboutins.
But that wasn’t all we did together.
By now you all know I love to put my girls in fresh-off-the-runway looks. But you also know that I love to pull dramatic archival pieces, too. One look wasn’t enough! Partway through the night, Z changed into the other dress I pulled for her: this CRAZY vintage gown we sourced with Olivier Rousteing’s help from the Balmain archives—circa 1956!
It’s this strapless couture evening gown from back when Pierre Balmain was still head of the brand, so it’s like we put Z in an antique. History wearing history! It has that super feminine, opulent style everyone loved Pierre for, with the nipped waist and that long, full skirt…
I mean, what more could you ask for?
You can’t see it in this photo, but it’s also a backless dress. And in the original sketch they styled it with white opera gloves!
I have to get back to working, but I’ll make sure I update you all on how the SAG Awards go tomorrow! In the meantime, SAY SOMETHING in the comments. I want to know what you think of these looks!
Until next time,