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Cynthia Erivo’s Red Carpet Style Is Bold, Impactful, Strong

Oct. 29

“The Harriet Tubman story is very intense, and it’s a story that needs to be told, so this is the moment that Cynthia and I always talk about for Harriet: How would Harriet do a carpet?” says Bolden, who went for bold, impactful and strong. “All of those looks have this really fantastic, colorful, happy vibration.” The cascading floral dress Erivo wore to the L.A. premiere was one Marc Jacobs sent in lieu of a different one. Erivo’s reaction to trying it on said it all: “If you can imagine the size of this dress, she sits down and she looks like this little girl sitting in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas Day, and that much excitement.”

Jan. 2

The navy Schiaparelli Haute Couture hooded dress that award recipient Erivo wore to the Palm Springs Film Festival Gala was inspired by Whitney Houston in “The Bodyguard.” “We had an ongoing joke that this is her ‘Queen of the Night’ ‘Bodyguard’ moment,” says Bolden, who felt it showed her range. “She is such a couture girl — she loves to wear the things that people normally wouldn’t gravitate towards because they’re really hard looks to wear. But she doesn’t care about what critics think. She literally is what fashion needs — we need people that really, really love the art. The harder the dress is to wear, the more she wants to wear it.”

Jan. 5

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“The Thom Browne threw people off because I think everybody thought she was going to be in this huge gown,” says Bolden of Erivo’s Globes choice. “The magic to being a good stylist is to show all the sides of your talent.” The sequined dress with hand-stitched crystals and pearls took 11 people over 800 hours to make. “We wanted something quintessentially smart but yet, Old Hollywood. It was a smart, quirky play on things and showed all the different sides of Cynthia. She loves to wear everything; she doesn’t have one set style.” The $3 million Bulgari necklace was the first thing Bolden saw. “She just trusts me — and she is a jewelry fanatic.”

Jan. 12

“That Fendi Couture dress was a complete accident,” says Bolden of her Critics’ Choice Awards look. “Cynthia’s been so crazy busy while filming [Nat Geo’s] ‘Aretha’ and doing her press run for ‘Harriet.’ We had a 15-minute fitting to fit nine things.” After Erivo tried this dress, she had to run out. “She was supposed to wear something else, and I called her and was like, ‘I literally had a dream about this, you’re supposed to wear the Fendi dress.’ Her response was, ‘OK. See you Sunday.’ It was perfect with those beautiful David Webb earrings. There was fantasy behind it, there was romance behind it, but there was still that edge that Cynthia loves.”

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