I was recently asked who the first BIPOC designer I wore on the Oscars red carpet was…well, it was me! I used to design and red carpet fashion was my passion – so collaborating with the Oscars for our sustainable design campaign @RedCarpetGreenDress is actually a dream come true AND it’s one of the reasons why creating global and accessible sustainable design solutions is so important to me. I have been an (award-winning) designer, I have been in those shoes…looking for inputs and I know how impossible it can seem. I didn’t study fashion design, I studied Economics, Finance and Management so I’m an autodidact (in my one spare time).
This design was made from a beautiful ahimsa silk and an oakwood dyed dupion, the lining GOTS certified. My red carpet style icons were women like Sophia Loren and Eartha Kitt. In fact I highly recommend Vintage Black Glamour (Hardback) by @nichellegainer. I’ve had the book for a few years – an incredible curation of images of actors, dancers, writers and entertainers who worked in the 20th-century entertainment business, but rarely appeared in the same publications as their white counterparts. It has the familiar faces such as Lena Horne and Aretha Franklin but also personal favourites of mine like Pearl Primus, Diana Sands and more.
In the vein of Oscars related stuff, the news that @ava has been elected to Academy Board is really heart-warning to me. The Academy now has 26 women and 12 people of colour on its 54-person board of governors—a first for the organization. This change from within is exactly the kind of inspiration and uplift I needed. Her work, not just with ‘Selma’ or ‘Before They See Us’ is in heavy rotation with current events but she has always been a film industry champion. She will join incumbent governor @WhoopiGoldberg amongst others.