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.

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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?

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