Ariana DeBose’s Look Is a Customized Robe/Tux Hybrid by Valentino

For Sunday’s 94th Academy Awards, Ariana DeBose, Oscar-nominated for greatest supporting actress for her position as Anita in West Aspect Story, gave her stylists Zadrian Smith and Sarah Edmiston a transparent directive.

She mentioned, ‘I don’t wish to be a princess; I wish to be a queen,’” Smith tells The Hollywood Reporter.

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A full-skirted ballgown or different anticipated red-carpet look, nevertheless, was by no means a consideration for DeBose’s Oscar evening expertise, in keeping with the styling duo, referred to as Zadrian + Sarah.

“We’re doing nothing conventional,” notes Edmiston. “There’s not a single conventional ingredient to something that’s occurring — not the jewellery, not the composition, not the styling. The reason being that it could be disrespectful to somebody who’s smashing each glass ceiling to place her in one thing conventional or which displays any sort of conformity. That is the second to interrupt with custom and actually go for it.”

Certainly, DeBose — already a winner on the SAG and Critics Selection Awards — is sporting what is definite to be among the many evening’s most-discussed appears, a customized design by Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino.

Mixing masculine and female components, Piccioli has created a hybrid look that mixes the small print of each a robe and tuxedo pants, all in a daring purple that’s a Valentino signature. The look is completed with a dramatic prepare.

The LGBTQ+ actress agrees wholeheartedly along with her styling duo concerning the non-traditional technique. “I firmly consider that for an occasion just like the Oscars, you must present up one hundred pc firmly and authentically you,” she tells THR. “The look that I’m sporting and the designer is a mirrored image of that; it reveals me as myself in each method. It’s daring and it’s a alternative that possibly you don’t sometimes see on the Oscars. It celebrates femininity and masculinity in the identical breath. For me it was the alternative as a result of whenever you see it and also you get chills, you simply know.”

Again in February, Edmiston and Smith have been invited to view Piccioli’s newest haute-couture assortment previous to its debut and have been solely too happy to see that he had launched inclusivity to the rarefied world of high fashion, constructing his attire on fashions in common and plus sizes, vs. the size-zero ladies who sometimes populate couture runway reveals. “We fell in love with Pierpaolo not solely as a result of he’s an incredible designer, but additionally as a result of what he represents aligns straight with what we wish to symbolize as stylists,” Smith says.

“To see him the day earlier than his assortment debuted, becoming every costume on these unimaginable ladies, we knew we have been working with the fitting particular person,” Edmiston says.

DeBose’s look is likewise a mirrored image of these values, stretching the boundaries of each gender and high fashion. “We’ve seen males blur gender traces on the purple carpet, however we don’t see ladies do it sufficient,” Edmiston provides. “For Ariana, we wished to offer this particular person a second to have fun and to talk to all of the nuances of self and likewise do this with satisfaction and on the highest stage of luxurious.”

The crimson hue, in the meantime, additionally is supposed to evoke ideas of the purple crinoline that joyfully reveals itself as DeBose performs with the West Aspect Story forged within the iconic Stephen Sondheim-Leonard Bernstein quantity “America.”

“We wished to create a little bit homage to that,” Smith says. “But it surely’s additionally a message from Ariana to all little women who seem like her, an thought of, ‘That is how I took this half and made it mine. You don’t want to adapt to something that anybody says it’s essential be.’”

DeBose is accessorizing the look with diamonds by De Beers jewelers and a diamond-embellished Omega Constellation watch. “For menswear and a tuxedo you at all times do an ideal assertion watch, whereas for ladies, it’s at all times about fairly girl costume, fairly girl jewellery,” Edmiston says. “So we thought, let’s preserve the ingredient of the menswear by pairing an ideal watch with bracelets and fusing the concept of menswear and girls’s put on.”

Ending the look is a pair of sneakers by Stuart Weitzman, a model that’s labored with DeBose and her group for the reason that early days of the West Aspect Story press tour. “That was one other mandate from Ariana — work with the manufacturers which were there for us; loyalty is one thing that’s vital to every of us,” Smith says.

“We work with individuals who share the identical values,” Edmiston provides.

Smith and Edmiston have skilled an unforgettable awards-season run with DeBose this yr — and made THR‘s best-dressed on the Oscars listing in 2021 — a relationship that every one agree transcends the notion of shopper and stylists.

“The longer we work collectively, the extra that I notice that what Zadrian and Sarah symbolize as a duo truly embodies quite a lot of elements of my id, each as a human and by way of my trend id,” DeBose says. “I really feel greatest represented by basic traces with trendy twists, and that actually sums up Zadrian and Sarah. Put them collectively, and you’ve got Ariana DeBose-chic! [The entire West Side Story press tour] was nearly topping ourselves, doing one thing we liked much more than the final look and the way we may convey a good deeper reflection of who I’m by way of the garments. The Oscars appears would be the end result of all of that.”

This text initially appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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