Yara Shahidi’s Met Gala gown paid homage to the late Josephine Baker.
The ‘Black-ish’ star recently became the face of Dior and teamed up with the French fashion house and her stylist Jason Bolden to honour the American-born French entertainer, French Resistance agent, and civil rights activist – who devoted much of her life to fighting racism – with her 1920s-style look at the fashion fundraiser in New York on Monday night (13.09.21).
The 21-year-old actress, model and activist told Vogue: “My goal was to pay homage to [a] powerhouse renegade black American artist.
“I just hope I was able to do that.”
And they were in luck, as Christian Dior was a friend of Josephine – who died of a bleed on the brain (Cerebral Hemorrhage), aged 68, on April 12, 1975 – and they were able to browse the Dior archives for inspiration.
Bolden said: “We start from a place of inspiration.
“Sometimes that is history; sometimes it’s culture – we always begin somewhere interesting.
“We used archival photos [during research],” says Bolden. “The ones we loved most were from her American tour where she wore only Dior!”
They ended up going for an embroidered dress complete with a tulle cloak.
To top off the dazzling ensemble, they accessorised with a veil, gloves, and a Cartier necklace made of yellow diamonds and onyx.
Bolden gushed: “Seeing her on the carpet felt like magic.”
On the gala’s theme of ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, Yara added: “It’s so interesting. Even though the focus was “American fashion” it’s clear that the perspective is global.”