Tag: Lupita Nyong’o fashion

Lupita Nyong’o Lands Second Vogue Cover

The dazzling Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o samples the fall couture collections and talks to Plum Sykes about fame, family, and her four new acting projects.

It’s the Monday morning of Paris Couture Week, and Lupita Nyong’o appears, right on time, from the elevator of Le Bristol hotel. Never mind that she’s come direct from a trip to her native Kenya, which she just happened to combine with an elephant-saving mission. Or that her flight landed only a few hours ago. Or that all her bags were lost en route. She is wearing a dramatically sculpted scarlet Dior minidress, her short hair is teased into a halo and held off her face with an Alice band, and her beautiful skin gleams with health. As she bounces into the lobby, her mirrored, blue-tinted Dior sunglasses reflect a roomful of transfixed admirers.

“Hello-ooo!” she says, her voice deep and warm, as she breaks into a gigantic smile. She removes her sunglasses to reveal wide, dark eyes, sprinkled with glittery silver eye shadow. Her eyebrows are precision-plucked—no Cara Delevingne strays for her. “Really, I’m not tired,” insists Lupita. She’s beaming with excitement. This is her first Paris Couture.

There are few actresses as instantly recognizable as 32-year-old Lupita Nyong’o, who took on the role of the slave girl Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave while a student at Yale—and went on to win an Oscar in 2014. In one fell swoop Lupita conquered Hollywood, seduced the fashion world, and found herself shouldering the dreams of an entire continent.

A few minutes later we are crawling through traffic, heading to the Dior show at the Musée Rodin. Settling herself patiently in the back of the car, Lupita tells me, “I didn’t know the power of couture until I tried on a couture dress. It made me cry.”

Lupita has an old-school attitude to fashion. She calls pants “slacks.” When I joke about this with her, she responds, “What can I say? I’m a Pisces. I have the soul of an 80-year-old woman inside me.” Long before the world was awed by her movie debut and her Oscar speech, for which she wore an exquisite baby-blue Prada chiffon gown, Lupita was properly turned out. Her first memory of fashion was at age five, wearing her “very eighties red cord miniskirt with suspender straps. Presentation is extremely important in Kenya. You dress formally. You can’t just wear flip-flops. My mother always had her own style. She wore A-line, tea-length flowery dresses, very well fitting. Her nails were always perfectly done.” As a girl in Nairobi, Lupita recalls, “salons were a big feature in my life. We would go every two weeks to get our hair braided, washed, or treated. That’s where I read American, British, and a few African magazines.Then I would design my own clothes. In Kenya it’s much cheaper to get clothes made than to buy them. We would have everything run up by a tailor, or my aunt Kitty, who is very creative, would sew things for me.”

It may seem an unlikely combination, but politics were as ever-present in the Nyong’o household as style. Lupita’s father, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, now a senator, was for a long period an opposition politician under the repressive Moi regime. He spent three years in self-imposed exile with his family in Mexico, where Lupita was born.

The Nyong’os returned to Nairobi when Lupita was one. The following years she remembers as “scary, but I was at an age where you couldn’t fully understand what was happening.” Her father was at times detained in jail, once for an entire month, and the family “had to destroy a lot of his documents. I wasn’t allowed to go to school. We were basically locked up in the house. The curtains were shut all the time, and we were just burning papers.” She says the experience made her resilient. “I was definitely exposed to some extreme situations. Tragedy is something that I have known and that I have tried to accept as part of life. But I don’t dwell on it. . . . OK! I need to powder my nose!”

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Photographed at Musée Picasso. Artwork: (left) Pablo Picasso. Head of a woman. Paris, 1929–1930. Painted iron, sheet iron, springs, and colanders. (right) Pablo Picasso. Large Still Life with a Pedestal Table. Paris, 1931. Oil on canvas/ © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Vogue, October 2015

We have arrived at the Dior show, and Lupita, her beautiful nose suitably blotted with custom-blended Lancôme Miracle Cushion (she is the newest face of Lancôme), strides confidently across the lawn toward a vast glasshouse that has been splashed with Pointillism-style dots. Photographers snap pictures constantly as she is escorted by a gaggle of worshipful Dior publicists to the front row.

I’m definitely attracted to more dramatic roles,” says Lupita. “I like playing characters that stretch me”

The sublime collection makes me want to throw out every single piece of clothing I own. As Lupita walks backstage afterward to meet Dior designer Raf Simons, she says, “I loved the breeziness of everything, the coats thrown over the dresses.” Her favorite piece is a demure, New Look–inspired green-and-pink print, A-line silk pleated coat. It’s the kind of thing a very, very chic Sunday-school teacher might have worn circa 1952. “I can work a pleat,” adds Lupita. (At Cannes this year she did just that, twirling up the red carpet in an emerald-green Gucci dressthat was a swirl of hundreds of pleats.) Backstage, while the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and the singer Grimes look patiently on, Lupita is greeted with excitement by Simons. He thinks Lupita is “so radiant and seems to take such pleasure in playing with fashion.” Next, the actress Emily Blunt, chic in white, grasps Lupita’s hand. “I am so thrilled to meet you,” she declares. “I am a huge fan.”

I can’t think of another actress who has appeared in only one major role in an American film and caused quite such a stir. (Lupita also played a smaller part in last year’s Liam Neeson movie Non-Stop.) But, as she tells me that evening, her output will be dramatically upped this fall. We visit the historic restaurant Le Grand Véfour in the Palais Royal for an indulgent dinner. The maître d’ offers Lupita the honor of sitting in Napoleon’s seat—now a plush crimson velvet banquette—and she accepts gracefully. She is dressed in an asymmetric print Dior silk top, skinny black pants, and high heels (all on loan while the aforementioned lost luggage is being located). While we tuck into delicious platters of fish, sorbets, and cheeses, Lupita tells me that she has just spent four months filming a CGI character—a pirate named Maz Kanata—for J. J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opening this December. “We needed a powerful actress to play a powerful character,” the director explains to me later. “Lupita was someone I’d known a little and was enormously fond of. More important, her performance in 12 Years a Slave blew my mind, and I was vaguely desperate to work with her.”

Acting a motion-capture character was “really bizarre and lots of fun,” Lupita says. “I really enjoyed the fact that you’re not governed by your physical presence in that kind of work. You can be a dragon. You can be anything.”

When I ask her, “How do you act ‘anything’ ?,” she says, “My training at Yale is the core of the actor that I am. Before that I was just going on instinct . . . having my imagination take over. But Yale taught me that it’s about giving yourself permission to pretend.”

An important pretending trick is to dress in the same “uniform” every day while going to and from set. If she doesn’t have to think about what she’s wearing when she’s not in costume, this allows her to focus. When she was recently filming the Mira Nair–directed Queen of Katwe, the true story of a chess master raised in a Ugandan slum, she wore an A-line skirt and blouse every single day because that’s what her character wore. “One amazing thing about filming in Uganda was that on the first day of rehearsal we were all barefoot,” she remembers. “I looked down and all the feet were my complexion. That had not happened to me before. I was reminded that I’m actually not that special. There are lots of people in the world who look like me.”

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Lupita Nyong’o Covers Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year 2014 Issue

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Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o has been on a roll in 2014; in February, the actress won an Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” and has subsequently been popping up on “best dressed” and “most beautiful” lists ever since, in addition to becoming a beauty ambassador for Lancome and landing a role in the upcoming “Star Wars” reboot by JJ Abrams.

Nevertheless, in her interview with Glamour magazine, she tells the magazine the attention she’s received has been overwhelming.  “Right now I’m still adjusting. I guess I feel catapulted into a different place; I have a little whiplash,” she said. “I did have a dream to be an actress, but I didn’t think about being famous. And I haven’t yet figured out how to be a celebrity; that’s something I’m learning, and I wish there were a course on how to handle it.”

She couldn’t even imagine what winning the Oscar would be like, she observed.

“I don’t think I will ever be able to really articulate how bizarre it was to hear my name at the Academy Awards. I’d watched in my pajamas the year before!” she said. “I felt numb — dazed and confused. I remember feeling light — weightless. More like limbo than cloud nine.”

Nyong’o, who was born in Mexico of Kenyan parents, mentions that she didn’t know success on this level would be possible for a woman with darker skin.  For her, Oprah Winfrey wasn’t just a role model but a “reference point,” and seeing Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg in “The Color Purple” was key to her belief that she could become successful.

She hopes she can have the same effect on people who see her.

“I’ve heard people talk about images in popular culture changing, and that makes me feel great, because it means that the little girl I was, once upon a time, has an image to instill in her that she is beautiful, that she is worthy,” she said. “Until I saw people who looked like me, doing the things I wanted to, I wasn’t so sure it was a possibility.”

The December issue of Glamour will be available on newsstands November 11.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Lupita Nyong’o Shines in First Beauty Ad for Lancôme

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Lupita Nyong’o is stunning — and her new ad for Lancôme proves this yet again.  The beauty brand’s first ad featuring their newest spokesperson released this week, and Nyong’o looks radiant with her glowing, chocolate-colored complexion.

The Oscar-winning actress became endorsed by the beauty brand in April — and her first ad highlights Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation, a smooth blemish-free product which is “available in 28 shades for all skintones.”

The foundation is being touted as one of the brand’s more diverse products, which provides “endless perfection” for women of almost every complexion.

And with the current Vogue magazine cover girl promoting their product, Lancôme seems to be sending a message of appreciation for diversity and consumers of color.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

Lupita Nyong’o Lands July Cover of Vogue

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If anyone was still wondering if breakout actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o was having the best year ever, Vogue just solidified it.  The 12 Years a Slave star, 31, made her first appearance on the most coveted of fashion magazines, covering Vogue’s July issue.

This isn’t Nyong’o’s first cover. In April, she took the title of People’s “Most Beautiful Woman in the World.” She was also recently named a Lancome beauty ambassador and has joined the cast of the upcoming “Star Wars” feature directed by J.J. Abrams.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Lupita Nyong’o Covers New York Magazine’s Spring Fashion Issue

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Lupita Nyong’o may be preparing herself for a potential Oscar win, but if you ask us, she has already won awards season this year. From that drop dead Ralph Lauren number at the Golden Globes to her epic turquoise Gucci dress at the SAG Awards, the actress has quickly become the fashion world’s “It girl.”  It’s no surprise then, that she’s the cover star of New York Magazine’s Spring Fashion Issue. The 12 Years A Slave star, who we have learned has no problem playing with color, looks as gorgeous as ever in a red and white dress by Stella McCartney. She chatted with The Cut about her childhood, dancing with Michael Fassbender and the difficulties of adjusting to life in the United States.

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The 30-year-old actress admits that her first months at the Yale School Of Drama served as a bit of a culture shock. “I find my freedom in structure. It was very hard to adjust to an individualistic and very liberal system. I mean, my upbringing, I would iron my clothes every night. I would plan what I wore the night before, and then I would iron it. That’s just the way my mom raised us. Then I got to Hampshire, where clothing is sometimes optional and all this kind of thing. I was mortified,” she said.

Perhaps that’s why her look is a bit more… conservative than Lake Bell’s Fashion Issue cover from last season. Either way, she certainly has the poise and grace of a bonafide star — with the photos to prove it. Check out the beautifully done cover and spread below and head over to The Cut for the entire interview.

article by Jamie Feldman via huffingtonpost.com