It’s A Blue That Reminds Me Of Nairobi

This week, for the first time in my life, I experienced the Oscars in real time. Oscar ceremonies are something we Brits normally wake up to. It all happens when we’re asleep.

But stranded in a New York hotel room, I was able to watch live as actors and actresses negotiated the red carpet with microphones thrust in their faces. (Admittedly, microphones thrust in their faces in a highly organised and scheduled manner!) I’m not gonna lie, it was fascinating. I finally understood why the whole of America gets behind this most Californian ceremony. It’s fun!

Still, I became jaded by questions about what the women were wearing. Actresses at the top of their game suddenly became monotone and glazed of eye. They’d reel off pre-rehearsed details of which designer had lent them what. I could smell the boredom through the screen.

Then, a young woman strolled onto the red carpet in a blue dress with a plunging neckline. She faced the inevitable questions about her designer choices. Lupita Nyong’o didn’t miss a beat. ‘The blue reminds me of Nairobi,’ she told Ryan Seacrest. I could have reached through the screen and kissed her.

This was a testament to the real power of clothing. It’s not about price tags. It’s not about designer labels. It’s about heart and heritage. On one of the most nerve-wracking nights of her life, Lupita needed to be reminded of who she was and what she stood for. Which meant she wore a blue dress. Simple. All her outfit missed was the perfect accessory. She’d find it in a few hours.

I’ve blogged here about the power of colour and Lupita is already gaining attention for rocking the style boat. What about you? If you were on the red carpet, what would be the best dress to sum up the essence of you? And did you fall hard for Lupita, too?

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21 Responses to It’s A Blue That Reminds Me Of Nairobi

  1. Maddie says:

    Karen, so eloquently said and so true. I hadn’t thought about this aspect to the color of her dress.

    I’ve written many posts on the subject of finding my style and I’ve narrowed it down to one word, which ironically, is a color – cream. One shade above white, it’s feminine, chic, timeless, and the color I associate with my favorite fabric, lace. If I were going to this type of event, whatever I was wearing would be the color cream.

  2. Michelle says:

    We didn’t get the red carpet interviews here in Australia, but now reading your blog post it makes me love Lupita even more. I have been following her Instagram account and that woman has style AND a great soul. Nairobi indeed. Her dress (and speech) was my favourite of the night.

    If I were to ever hotfoot the red carpet, I’d wear red. A true blood red. The colour I wore to my senior school formal, and the colour I got married in. I absolutely love red, feel confident wearing it, and it says everything it needs to about me.

  3. Meg Kundert says:

    I hadn’t seen her movie nor had I any idea who she was. I just saw this STUNNING, STUNNING poised elegant young woman who rocked that gown! Wow! My color would be turquoise.

  4. Pat says:

    Excellent post. Welcome to the U.S. I hope you see some sailors again! I would wear hot pink. I had a hot pink silk suit years ago and I loved it. Whenever I had an important work event, out came the suit and my high heels and I felt empowered.

  5. nettie says:

    This so captures the spirit of Lupita. There is something magnetic about her and her way of getting to the heart of things in the midst of all this mania surrounding her.

  6. CurlsnSkirls says:

    I, along with many Americans, never watch the Oscars; however, in boredom (and to see if Dame Judi won)I tuned in for bits & pieces, one of which was this interview. Fascinating to read your comments on the event, and agree with your assessments. Thank you!
    del, who’d wear lush fern green

  7. EmSewCrazy says:

    I don’t watch the Oscars but I did read about the comment she made about her dress. She looked glowing in it. I thought it was cool.

    If I was walking and expressing me I’d be wearing red which is probably a no no for the “red carpet” but then all’d you’d see is ME.

  8. gingermakes says:

    I love her. I really do. I loved the dress, and I love her reason for liking the dress! I really loved her red dress for the Golden Globes, too- she looked powerful, comfortable, feminine, and unique all at once. There aren’t many people on red carpets or in everyday life who seem like their clothes both enhance and reveal their true selves, but she’s one of them. I wish her nothing but success in her career!

  9. Annette says:

    I think Lupita is so poised. She outclassed so many, not just on Oscar night. She feels real and it shows.

  10. Brenda England says:

    I saw this on my Facebook page and thought you would want to see this: http://www.upworthy.com/oscar-winner-lupita-nyongos-speech-on-beauty-that-left-an-entire-audience-speechless. I have not seen the movie yet: 12 Years a Slave, afraid I will be upset with the injustice. But meanwhile, I am totally enthralled with this lovely woman with wonderful skin (referring to her speech)
    Brenda in
    Canada

  11. Fadanista says:

    I don’t watch the Oscars (I think we’re at work when they’re on), but I do pay attention to the dresses and I had noticed this one. Blue would remind me of my home too (but I wouldn’t wear that much of it – give me a green dress!).

  12. Jennifer says:

    I hear what you’re saying and I agree 100 % – its just a shame that not everyone dresses in something they want and love to wear, rather something they have either been paid to or are ‘encouraged’ to. I don’t have a set colour myself, however I love to incorporate tartan (being a true Scottish girl!) wherever I can into a special outfit. Not only can a tartan give identity I feel it can give so much option and can be styled so many ways that you will always have a unique piece to wear.
    Jen

  13. I didn’t watch it but saw the coverage in the papers the next day. The dress that stuck out for me was Lupita’s dress, the colour, the pleating, how beautiful and elegant she looked. I heard later the colour had a personal meaning and that Prada had made it especially for her – even better.

  14. Lori B. says:

    What a lovely post. Who here is not totally in love with Lupita???

  15. tinygoldenpins says:

    I’m one of the few people who haven’t seen the movie yet. But, since I’ll watch any award show I, too, have fallen hard for Lupita. I loved her dress without knowing what she said about reminding her of Nairobi. I was actually stuck in the Philadelphia airport at the time where I usually relieve myself from my Sunday showing, make a fresh mug of tea and, with my knitting, sit for hours of what I call, in my best 8-year-old voice: watching the stars come in.

    Her gown was absolutely my most favorite for many reasons, but that is a most lovely sentiment.

  16. Roberta Fahrni says:

    Well said! Yes, Lupita is great! Loved her speach at the Essence awards on inner beauty and dreams.

  17. symondezyn says:

    To be honest, I didn’t love Lupita’s dress, HOWEVER!! I did absolutely love how she wore it with style, grace and confidence – as you say, it’s a true testament to the power of clothing; when we wear something that makes us FEEL good, we radiate our true personalities – and she definitely did, in a most fabulous way ^__^

  18. Adrienne says:

    Thank you for this post. I think Michelle Obama has officially been knocked off her throne as my #1 sewing inspiration icon. I’m now completely obsessed with this Lupita… as anyone following my Sewing Inspiration board on Pinterest will have realized by now! Goodness.

  19. Clio says:

    Agree with everything said about Lupita.

    Next time you are in NY for the Oscars, let us know and you can get thru it the way the rest of us do…. with drinking games!
    http://www.ibtimes.com/best-oscar-night-drinking-games-2014-1558675

  20. marcyhmakes says:

    I didn’t watch the Oscars but your comment about the bored actors and actresses reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet. When asked to tell about her dress, her answer was “well, this is the top and this is the bottom.” Apparently she couldn’t be bothered to memorize the designer details, lol.

  21. Alison says:

    Love your post! (And your blog while I’m at it.) So nicely said.

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