Ariana DeBose Embraced Comfort With Her Oscars Look

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When Ariana DeBose won Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars last night, for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s movie-musical West Side Story, the star made history as the first openly-queer Afro-Latina to win in her category. To accept her accolade, DeBose wore a red-hot look by Valentino that certainly made her look the part of a true Hollywood star—but more importantly, she says it was surprisingly comfortable. “Pants at the Oscars is lit, hunnyyyy,” the star tells Vogue. “That’s a four-hour telecast—comfy and chic? Werk!”

DeBose, who documented her getting-ready process for Vogue below, says playing dress up and doing glam are one of her favorite parts of attending awards shows, especially last night. “[My favorite part] is the getting ready of it all, before the hullabaloo,” says DeBose, who was styled by the duo Zadrian + Sarah. “I like the quiet of those moments during the preparation of the look, when you’re with your team putting the final pieces together and you all see the look at its most fully realized.” For her megawatt Oscars moment, DeBose knew she could wow in Valentino’s Haute Couture palazzo pant, bra top, and dramatic cape—all special-designed for her by Pierpaolo Piccioli. 

When it comes to the red carpet, DeBose says she is often drawn to designs that elongate her petite frame. Her vivid red Oscars look last night did this successfully. “I’m looking for clothing that conveys long lean lines, as I’m 5’4,” DeBose says. “The ingenuity of fashion designers, the craft, is truly incredible—they’re engineers. I’ve been lucky to work with some wonderfully talented people who have created pieces that can do that for me, and also be beautiful. It’s like living art on a human body and they’re enhancing that body.” Meanwhile, her shining De Beers jewelry, which is valued at $1 million, lent a further A-list feel.

Later in the evening, DeBose switched into a black, strapless Monot frock for the equally star-studded Vanity Fair Oscars party. (It had a giant bow at the back; talk about a dress that makes an exit!). As for what’s next for the star on the rise, now that the Oscars chaos has officially wrapped? DeBose says she’s currently working on several top-secret projects. “While I’m blessed to have several things in the pipeline,” she says, “some I can’t tell you about quite yet—but they are very exciting!”

Below, a closer look at how DeBose got ready for Oscars night. 





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