Cynthia Erivo is an essential presence on the red carpet. The multi-talented British-Nigerian star is a joy to watch during awards season thanks to the inventive and eclectic looks she and stylist Jason Bolden create. Last night at the SAG ceremony in Santa Monica, Erivo stole the show in a custom look from Louis Vuitton. At first glance, her red vinyl strapless gown designed by Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière conjured thoughts of sci-fi heroines, but Erivo had another reference point in mind. Puff long sleeve dress The arresting style of music legend Aretha Franklin served as the starting point for one of the evening’s best ensembles. While everyone remembers Franklin’s stage presence and inimitable vocals, Erivo, who portrayed the icon in the limited series, Genius: Aretha, wanted to convey her commitment to glamour. “She was so exciting with her style and fashion choices,” Erivo shared post-event. “This was a throwback to some of the ways that Aretha would dress. Long sleeve navy dress She was never not risky, always took it with a pinch of salt, and had a bit of fun with it.”
Franklin’s fashion legacy reflects in the crimson color palette and voluminous silhouette of Erivo’s SAG look. A distinctive bell-sleeved caftan that the musician wore on the Andy Williams Show in 1969 proved especially influential. “There was this incredibly cool outfit she wore from the 1960s that was bright red and orange, and it had feathers all over it,” says Erivo. Velvet formal dress “This look feels like a modernized version of that—very much in the vein of Aretha.” Indeed the sweeping faux fur cape embroidered with red and silver chains captured the spirit of that moment.