Lupita Nyong’o stepped onto the 2019 Oscars red carpet looking effervescent in a feathery one-shoulder Oscar de la Renta gown but at the Vanity Fair afterparty all eyes were on her bling.
The Black Panther star sported a rock of ages— an 11-karat Forevermark radiant-cut white diamond by New York-based jewelry designer Zameer Kassam, valued at 1.2 million.
The commissioned jewelry designer created the ring especially for Nyong’o’ to wear on Oscar night. It was set in a custom black diamond halo and crossed prong setting to honor her work with Time’s Up and the “Wakanda Forever” hand gesture, Harper’s Bazaar reports.
“I wanted to give Lupita her own ‘Wakanda Forever’ moment for the red carpet, an exciting ring that would be bold and confident and give her a tool to speak about those things she’s most passionate about,” Kassam told The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2017, Nyong’o wrote a powerful essay for the New York Times sharing her story of sexual harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, in which she says he used his powerful position in Hollywood as a crutch in an attempt to lure her in bed.
The ring also displayed the words “Your dreams are valid,” and featured 14 diamonds, in honor of her 2014 Oscar win.
Wakanda Women Make History at the Oscars
Speaking of memorable Black Panther moments, Ruth E. Carter became the first Black woman to win Oscar for Best Costume Design.
Carter, who has been previously nominated for her design efforts in both Amistad and Malcolm X – kept the entire Wakandian crew clothed and tailored in the finest designs. Carter created Marvel magic by designing everything from actor Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa superhero suit to the women of Wakanda’s super “shero” suits.
She spoke with theGrio about her inspiration for the kickass looks.
We wanted the women of Wakanda to be multi-dimensional. [The Dora Milaje,] they’re a fighting force. The highest ranking fighting force in Wakanda. They protect the king. So, we don’t want the king to walk around with women in bustiers and cheerleader skirts. We want the king protected. Therefore, they needed armor and we used the Ndebele rings and these neck rings that are throughout Africa too. And the armbands are the same type of rings that the African women wear and the body of the suit is made out of the same kind of Eurojersey that the superhero suits are made out of. But we raised the print and we printed it in these reds and golds and oranges so that it had a texture to it and when you see something that has a texture to it, it feels tough. But we also wanted it beautiful. I wanted the reds to pop. When you see eight Dora [Milaje] it could feel like 20 Dora. The harness, I call it the harness, made of leather that wraps their body, it’s wrapping around them in a beautiful way that’s honoring the female form. The harness has a “v” in the front, it travels around the chest. It honors the female form. It doesn’t move against it. We painstakingly made sure that the lines on the tights made them have a nice long leg. There’s no horizontal that chops them up, there’s no divide in the middle that made it weird. We designed the line so that it was sinuous. So all of that together creates an aesthetic that women enjoy. So that’s the whole psychology behind the aesthetic from Lupita Nyong’o [who plays Nakia] on down.
Hannah Beachler, also snagged the coveted award for her set design in the creation of Wakanda.
Theses are the first Academy Awards won by the Marvel studios.