Dress by Thai Nguyen Atelier
Jewelry by Ash + Ames
Alexander McQueen clutch from MyHabit
The biggest red carpet in the world. Dozens of interviews. Six and a half hours on air. Four inch heels. One STUNNING dress. Hosting the Academy's #OscarsBackstage this year was a blast!
It was a mad race to prepare for this event, late-night cramming on nominees and presenters, watching everything I possibly could and of course, dressing for the most high profile red carpet of the year, but it all came together seamlessly and I am very proud of the work that we did.
My co-host Orlando Jones was an absolute delight to work with, and put me at ease with his quick wit, intelligence, and enthusiasm. We felt so much in sync, we even ended up wearing matching looks in mixed metallics without even planning it.
Speaking of outfits, I feel so lucky to have worn Thai Nguyen Atelier's gorgeous hand-beaded gown! He is about to break through big time and on a night where diversity was the hot button topic, it was important to me to represent an Asian American designer, especially one who feels like family. Let me explain. When I was 19, my first job as a back up dancer was for a Vietnamese variety show, kind of like the MTV of the Vietnamese community. Thai designed costumes for the show, and has since translated his mad skills into opening his own atelier and dressing stars for the red carpet. Aside from his being the most stunning dresses I tried on, it just felt good and right, to support a fellow journeyman who's now hitting his stride, to use this huge platform to turn the spotlight on someone's work that is exceptional, original and impeccably crafted. If Jennifer Lopez wears him on American Idol and Kelly Osbourne, Jeannie Mai and Tracee Ellis Ross all chose him for Oscar night, clearly, I'm not alone.
From being a 19 year old back up dancer, to walking one of the biggest red carpets of the year, it's more than just a pinch-me moment. To see myself on an Oscar best-dressed list? Completely surreal. It's icing on the cake to be mentioned on Jezebel's list of least boring Oscar looks.
But the best part of all, was seeing my sister, who coincidentally works for the Academy, bring my 10-year-old niece down the red carpet and smile and wave to Auntie Di. That was truly priceless.
Palm Springs + Modern Design= happy place. I'd long heard of Modernism Week (happening now through February 21st) and finally made my first trip there for opening weekend. Sunny and 80 degrees, it was the perfect weather for being a looky-loo in some of the coolest and most iconic mid-century modern homes in the city. We signed up for the Signature Home Tour, and it was worth every penny, even if just to pretend for a moment that this was my pool.
I seriously need to up my succulent game.
What my living room could look like with terrazzo floors and no children. On a good day.
Drooling over Platner dining chairs....
...and a shower that gives mine an inferiority complex. #showergoals
My kind of garage.
As fun as it is to peek inside this lifestyle, covet it, and daydream about living in homes like these someday, this was the perfect reminder to ground myself in love for the life I've built for myself...and my vintage Eames dining chairs from ebay. Life is good. Thanks Palm Springs Modernism!
Thrilled doesn't even begin to describe how excited I am to be hosting The Oscars Backstage! Walking the red carpet, interviewing the stars, exclusive backstage access during the broadcast, I'll be sharing it all with you... and millions of viewers on Oscar.com, as the Academy's Official second screen experience. And lest we forget the controversy of the night, it will be more than a little interesting to see how the show addresses this year's lack of diversity in nominees. The backstage team is certainly diverse though, as I am co-hosting with actor & comedian Orlando Jones. #OscarsBackstageNotSoWhite 🙂 Stay tuned...
Of course, after saying, "How cool!" everyone's next question is "What are you going to wear?" Understandably, it is not unlike attending the fashion Olympics, so I'm enlisting a little help here. My dear friend, stylist Sam Saboura, is navigating me through the world of Oscar fashion, but in the meantime, I'm exploring what kind of dress, er, GOWN I even like. I asked him if I could wear Free People. He laughed. Can't help it, I'm a boho girl at heart. Here we go, let the gown games begin!
First dress I tried, this bright pink Roland Mouret. Loving the seams and color. Amazing construction. Still feels like me.
Am I an Herve Leger girl? Never thought so, but this gorgeous peacock color and detail around the neck are sure to look great on camera.
I love the deep plunge and the beading is so pretty on this Alice and Olivia. It feels fresh and modern and not trying too hard, which is exactly how I want to look, but Sam thinks you see the dress first, and me second. 🙁 Never good to be upstaged by your dress.
Not sure about how this will read on camera, but I'm LOVING this boho-esque Alice and Olivia dress. Unconventional, comfortable (!) and totally me. But, it does need a strong accessory game and a killer shoe to make it red carpet ready. Maybe a coral lip and beachy waves...will have to marinate on this one.
Which one is your favorite so far?
More updates to come as the hunt for the dress continues...
Had a blast working the red carpet and winners' walk at last night's Primetime Emmy Awards for Yahoo TV! Check out our pre-show where we chatted with some of the biggest names in TV and film. And if that's not enough for ya...click here to see my personal pics from behind the scenes.