I went to my high school graduation, and I got married almost a decade ago. In the back of my mind, the time and place for a Big Fancy Dress had come and gone. What else would I require a floor length gown of inderminate cost for? For awards shows! Trying to choose THE perfect dress for my first ever gig at the Academy Awards is proving to be daunting and challenging. Oh, and did I mention that I might be attending some other red-carpet worthy events around that time? So I need a few GREAT dresses.

15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Red Op7tipoXgL1lOscars-Red-Carpet-2009-025monique

Some of my favorite red carpet looks, on three of the stars I hope to meet on the red carpet!

I’ve been to events where there’s the likelihood of being photographed before, but NOTHING like this will be. I feel a lot of pressure to wear THE perfect dress for the occasion. I need to step it up like never before. Like my dad told me on the phone recently, I need to SHINE.

Some have advised me to reach out to a Caribbean designer, like a dress by Anya Ayoung-Chee, or Meiling (Meiling designed both my graduation dress AND my wedding dress, by the by). I’ve been told I should choose a popular plus size designer, like Monif C (who is also Caribbean, double score)! My mom loves the Samantha sequined dress and that was her number one pick for me! But here’s the thing — an Oscar red carpet dress needs to be floor length. And me in a floor length sequined dress? I love over the top, but that might be too much.

I’ve been looking online at all of the usual retail suspects — Macy’s, Nordstrom, and I did find some beauties at Saks Fifth Avenue Salon Z. There are some beautiful Tadashi Shoji dresses to be found.

What are your thoughts on the front ruffle maxi? I love the style, but the color so isn’t me!

I love the dramatic sweep of the bottom of this dress by up and coming plus size designer Queen Grace, and I’m head over heels for their gold tiger skirt, which I saw on Marie Denee’s blog recently!

I’m a big admirer of classic red carpet fashion. When I think of Oscar glamour and the women who get it right, I think of Elizabeth Taylor. I think of Angelina Jolie. I think of Queen Latifah and Vanessa Williams, both of whom often wear the gorgeous, softly draped looks by Carmen Marc Valvo.

I absolutely LOVE the lines of this cobalt couture Carmen Marc Valvo gown! So timeless and romantic and soft. I can see myself floating down a red carpet in something like that!

So what do I want in an Oscar gown? I plan to be out there rocking and represnting big, fabulous natural hair. I plan to wear my signature lip color, All Of My Purple Life. So I think for a dress, I should wear something elegant, classy, long and preferably jewel toned. I’ll know it when I see it, and I’m open to suggestions.

Bellas, what do you think I should wear on the red carpet, on February 26?



Maria says:
January 13, 2012, 7:16 am
Tadashi Shoji or Carmen Marc Valvo is definitely the way to go. They both have a wonderful selection of dresses. You'll feel like a million bucks! Trust me...
styleosophy says:
January 13, 2012, 7:38 am
Bella, I have dressed a few plus-sized chicas and in Chicago if you are looking for a gown for any occasion, in any age group I always suggest Peaches. It's a formal wear store that carries over 15,000 in stock, from sizes 0-30. Don't be swayed by the website which focuses more towards the prom-goer. I attended the Chicago's UNCF Black and White Ball in a floor length gown which I purchased from them. They are great with alterations, pressing and cleaning also, even if you have not purchased the gown from them.
styleosophy says:
January 13, 2012, 7:40 am
And I forgot to mention, whatever you choose, I know you are going to kill it and I can't wait to see your dress.
Adrienne says:
January 13, 2012, 7:41 am
The Carmen Marc Valvo is Stunning, love the drape, soft, dramatic, vibrant, it get's my vote.
Lisa says:
January 13, 2012, 3:15 pm
Bella...it's not a look for every plus-size bella but I, a plus-size diva myself, whole-heartedly encourage you to embrace a curve-hugging style like the Queen Grace gowns. See how Mo'Nique and Queen Latifa are working their curves? If you are at all concerned about seeing your dress on others, steer clear of the Adrianna Papell. It's quite popular.
Purple says:
January 13, 2012, 6:03 pm
I love the cobalt one. Congrats!
hpy2bnpy says:
January 13, 2012, 7:51 pm
From the pics you've shown us the Carmen Marc Valvo gets my vote, it's absolutely stunning!
Songine' says:
January 14, 2012, 2:07 am
I LOVE the Carmen Marc Valvo gown!!
Courtie says:
January 17, 2012, 12:17 am
All lovely but that Queen Grace gown is catching my eye. If they have it in a different color I think you should rock that. It would really flaunt your curves and it's so different. Whatever you wear you'll look beautiful. I have been reading your blog for years and you've come so far. Congratulations!
Emily, aka Díga says:
January 17, 2012, 9:01 am
Number three, number three!
crystal g. says:
January 18, 2012, 1:06 pm
Hey bella, I was looking for some dresses for myself and came across these gowns that were too regal for my event- but i thought about you... then i started looking at regal dresses for fun and came across some beautiful ones. No matter, what you're going to be beautiful! http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/adrianna-papell-plus-size-dress-three-quarter-sleeve-v-neck-ruched-evening-gown?ID=583610 http://www.dhgate.com/2011-sexy-v-neck-floor-length-sleeveless/p-ff80808130e5a3250130fe78c4d44b76.html http://www.magicmomentsprom.com/item.php?item_id=48631&page=4&category_id=217 http://www.simplydresses.com/shop/viewitem-PD777341
thefabgirls says:
January 25, 2012, 10:08 am
We love your blog, and you are an excellent role model for young women. You have created a space that celebrates so many different kinds of women, God bless you for that. We hope you have an excellent time at the Oscars, and know you're going to be FAB while doing so! We are the internet’s new blog for African American tweens and teens, The Fab Girls. Female and Black=FAB! Visit us at www.thefabgirls.wordpress.com.
Ava says:
June 20, 2014, 9:57 pm
Not all teenagers are that rich enough to spend money on apparels in order to catch up with these trends. There are some good rules of thumb for how to wear clothes according to your body type. You need not spend too much just to get the latest trendy clothes for the season.
Zelma says:
July 2, 2014, 8:57 am
Undergraduates - Fall - $ 18,372; Spring - $ 18,372 for a total of $ 36,744. I also enjoy playing with the Chanel - Lovely Game. You need not spend too much just to get the latest trendy clothes for the season.


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