Despite Hollywood’s ever-changing roster of glitterati, one key player has managed to stay in the picture: the red carpet. Due to the major shift towards celebrity culture in recent years, increasing numbers of paparazzi and fans alike have lined up to catch glimpses of their favourite stars parading down the famed walkway.However, the thing about traditions is that they can very easily become stale. By this point, it feels like we have seen many a would-be starlet disappear into a sea of beach waves and forgettable bandage dresses. Perhaps this is why Lupita Nyong’o, breakout star of the critically acclaimed 12 Years a Slave, is so refreshing.
A relative newcomer to the Hollywood scene, the 30-year-old Kenyan native graces red carpets with an effervescence that makes even the most seasoned celebrity envious. It takes a lot to outshine the Jessica Albas and Brad Pitts of the world, yet Nyong’o has managed to stand out time and time again. While the majority of us mere mortals do not have the same access to haute couture gowns and looks plucked straight off the runway, there are some lessons to be learned from the Oscar nominee.
1. Embrace Colour
Nyong’o, who regularly wears vivid crimsons, yellows, and blues, doesn’t shy away from colour and knows what shades look good on her. If your closet more closely resembles 50 Shades of Grey and the idea of wearing colour terrifies you, try incorporating small bursts of colour, like a bold lip or brightly hued accessories, to breathe life into your outfits.
L to R: Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren at the Golden Globes, Gucci at the SAG Awards
2. Think Outside The Box
While flirty dresses and skirts certainly have their place, take a cue from Nyong’o and eschew the typical party wear. An unconventional jumpsuit can look just as alluring as a sky-high mini dress when properly fitted and worn with heels. Shorts are also a great option for dressier occasions. Experiment with a pair in a luxurious fabric or print and pair it with a structured top for an alternatively elegant look.
L to R: Nyong’o in Honor at TIFF, Veronica Beard at TIFF
3. Re-Invent the Classics
Over the course of her red carpet appearances, Nyong’o has displayed a penchant for impeccably tailored sheath dresses. What makes these looks stand out, however, is the contrast of classic shapes with unconventional details, such as strategically placed sheer paneling. Let the details add a touch of modernity to your outfit, whether it be in the form of a sweater with leather sleeves or a little black dress with a surprise open back.
L to R: Nyong’o in Antonio Berardi at TIFF, Christopher Kane at BFI London Film Festival
With style sensibilities that render no trend or beauty look too daring, Nyong’o – along with a handful of other savvy celebrities – has managed to make red carpet dressing fun again. And after all, isn’t that the point of fashion?
Sanam Yar, Online Contributor
Images: E! Online, Fab Sugar