By Alexis Garrett Stodghill (Article originally published on theGrio.com)
Lupita Nyong’o, a star of the lauded film “12 Years a Slave,” has been blazing a trail down the red carpets of the world, promoting the movie in jaw-dropping ensembles that showcase her stunning beauty.
Whether its a saturated gown in a mouth-watering color, or a sleeveless jumper with slim pant legs, Nyong’o’s looks have been as consistently chic, refined and elegant as her simple, low Afro.
“I love Lupita Nyong’o’s style,” fashion stylist Beagy Zielinski told theGrio. “She has a beautiful face and flawless skin and she knows how to dress to highlight those attributes.”
Lupita Nyong’o grabs the fashion spotlight
Zielinski is not the only style expert to take notice. Media outlets ranging from the Los Angeles Times to Buzzfeed.com have praised Nyong’o for her refreshing sensibility when it comes to red carpet appearances.
“This year’s best dressed Hollywood newcomer is Lupita Nyong’o, the Yale School of Drama-educated actress garnering awards buzz for her role as the abused slave Patsey in ’12 Years a Slave,’” affirmed Times writer Booth Moore.
Buzzfeed writer Heben Nigatu implored that readers make Nyong’o their “new fashion icon.” In a “listicle” that enumerates what makes this breakout star so great, Nigatu points out everything from Nyong’o’s top notch “lipstick game,” to her ability to rock both casual looks and glamorous gowns to perfection.
Breaking down of the best of Nyong’o’s style
What makes Nyong’o’s style work?
Zielinski, who just won Glamour.com’s stylist reality show competition, “Dress to Kill,” has broken down the elements that help Nyong’o create a flawless, attention-grabbing look every time. Nyong’o is styled by Micaela Erlanger, but Zielinski has nailed some key elements.
“She wears colors that compliment her skin tone like ivory, yellow and orange tones,” the celebrity stylist, whose clients have included Pharrell Williams and Kelly Rowland, noted, “and often chooses dresses with some sort of detail or structure around the chest and shoulder area. This works well with her short hair cut because it frames her face.”
These choices also show off her trim, chiseled arms and shoulders to perfection — a move perhaps from first lady Michelle Obama’s playbook. While Mrs. Obama has firmly cemented her place as a modern style icon, the sartorial choices Nyong’o has worked in recent months show that she is well on her way to similar idol worship.
Nyong’o sees style status as a “bonus”
“I love that the looks she chooses always have amazing detail and construction, but that she keeps her accessories really simple,” Zielinski mused. “She really nails it every time, I can’t wait to see what she does this award show season.”
The Golden Globe-nominated actress, who has also picked up numerous accolades for her “12 Years a Slave” performance as the slave “Patsey,” is taking all of this attention for her personal style lightly.
“It’s definitely a bonus thing,” she said of her new fashion “it girl” status. “It was in no way my agenda when I started.”
Watch Lupita Nyong’o discussing Beyonce’s new album
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter @lexisb