In one awards season, Janelle Monáe has quickly established herself as both red carpet trendsetter and a one-to-watch breakout, with two films – Moonlight and Hidden Figures – up for best picture.
But, while she might be best known for her favoured monochromatic palette, the actress’ inimitable sense of style is clearly starting to evolve. Sure, Monáe didn’t stray far from her characteristic black and white garb but, she didn’t hold back either.
For her first trip to the Academy Awards, Monáe arrived in an ornate Elie Saab Haute Couture gown constructed from layers of tulle, diamonds, beading, sequins and crystals making for one of the most dramatic red-carpet looks of the night.
“This is her first Oscars, and she’s there for two films, so it felt like ‘go big or go home,’” Monáe’s stylist Maeve Reilly told Vogue just moments after she appeared at the ceremony.
“We had no reason to be understated tonight.
“I felt so confident that this was her Oscar dress. This was before we had done anything, but I knew it would be the grand finale.”
The exquisite dress was finished with a Jimmy Choo clutch, Brian Attwood shoes, an Elie Saab jewelled neckpiece and Forevermark diamond pieces including a regal headband covered in colored stones.
The black tulle gown was somewhat reminiscent of another classic Oscars Elie Saab dress; remember the sheer-and-floral look Halle Berry wore to take home the Oscar for Best Actress in 2002?
15 years on and Monáe is reviving her breathtaking look with a modern day take on the sheer masterpiece.
The Academy Awards have long been a showcase for some of the most memorable gowns of all time, could Monáe’s show-stopping dress be next on the list?
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies