Lupita Nyong’o in Giambattista Valli at the 2014 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon

Posted on February 28, 2014

We weren’t even going to feature these pics today because even though this is more striking than 95% of what you see on the average red carpet, we fear that we may be overloading on Lupita, not to mention overpraising her. But then we realized we’re going to see a lot less of her after the Oscars on Sunday (at least for only a little while, we hope) and that decided things for us.

Lupita-Nyongo-Giambattista-Valli-2014-Essence-Black-Women-Hollywood-Tom-Lorenzo-TLO (1)Lupita Nyong’o attends the 2014 Essence Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California in a Giambattista Valli ensemble paired with an Elie Saab clutch, Sophia Webster pumps, and Neil Lane jewelry.

Lupita-Nyongo-Giambattista-Valli-2014-Essence-Black-Women-Hollywood-Tom-Lorenzo-TLO (2)Giambattista Valli Spring 2014 Collection

Lupita-Nyongo-Giambattista-Valli-2014-Essence-Black-Women-Hollywood-Tom-Lorenzo-TLO (4)

Lupita-Nyongo-Giambattista-Valli-2014-Essence-Black-Women-Hollywood-Tom-Lorenzo-TLO (3)

Lupita-Nyongo-Giambattista-Valli-2014-Essence-Black-Women-Hollywood-Tom-Lorenzo-TLO (5)

Lupita-Nyongo-Giambattista-Valli-2014-Essence-Black-Women-Hollywood-Tom-Lorenzo-TLO (6)


Best to overload on her now in preparation for the drought to come once the awards season poledance comes to a close.

Love the top and skirt. Hate the clutch and shoes. But you knew that already. Oh, kittens. How we’ll miss these times once they’re gone.





[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans/,]

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  • PastryGoddess

    I kind of love the whole outfit. Except for that thing in her head. Either COMMIT to a headband or forego one. The monochrome palette lets her complexion shine, which is rather apropos since her speech was on her struggles with her skin color

    • pattyw

      It looks like the headband is more substantial/visible on the side of her head we’re not seeing in these photos.

    • MilaXX

      I like the entire look, headband included, it’s just the design s on the side we can’t see.

    • Charles

      I know right? I want it destroyed.

  • VicD

    I much prefer the open midriff on her than some of the sternum baring looks. This enables us to envy her toned physique, while the sternum shots make me want to look away.

    • VicD

      PS – we may not like her shoes, but they are WAY better than the model’s.

  • Blair Sylvester

    not working for me from head to toe.

  • MilaXX

    You really should go read her speech on Essence magazine’s website. *sigh* I love her.

    • anneland

      I read it and I cried. Then I saw there was a video. I watched and cried some more. Oh, Lupita…. good speech.

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      Thanks for the heads up on that – I’m having a little cry now. She really is something special.

    • ChaCha_70

      Just read it. Definitely teared up. So beautifully said. Miss Lupita is such a special star. I am so hoping she wins on Sunday!!!

    • Alloy Jane

      Thank you for bringing that speech to my attention. It was beautiful and tear-inducing. I refuse to watch the video because I don’t really want to have a bawl right now, but at some point I will.

      • fursa_saida

        I watched it, I cried, definitely wait until you need or want a good cry. (And I don’t mean “good cry” just in the sense of a real cry, but in the sense of one that feels good even while it makes you cry.)

    • TerryMH

      Just watched it on Essence. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. Fantastic.

    • Pablo

      What a beautiful speech indeed, with fingers crossed we’ll hear her at the oscars

  • Sylvia

    I can’t read what the letters on the skirt and top say? It’s highly distracting and reminds me of the fake, roughly embroidered LV bags you sometimes see.

    • SierraDelta

      Reminded me of that awful phase Coach went through with myriad “C”s splashed all over their merchandise.

    • largishbearishAtlish

      Actually I like it as it is rather subtle, at first glance I thought it was just the material pattern, then noticed a few letters…. but I don’t see it as ‘all letters’ (like a wordsearch puzzle). It’s different (in a good way). I do hope she doesn’t fade away after the Oscars and gets some ‘right’ jobs out of all this.

      was it really last year that you couldn’t hear the words “Anne Hathaway” with out hearing the words ‘poledancing’?

  • anneland

    I like the chain for a headband. Looks cool and different. I just noticed this today: she fills in her hairline different ways to get different looks. It’s genius. I really like the heart shape hairline from when she wore a different white dress a while back. Also, like this outfit a lot.

  • your face

    This is the only time I can remember seeing a formal crop top ensemble and liking it.

  • GeoDiva

    Sigh…. She is such a breath of fresh air to this award season. She is perfection 99% of the time, but it is her awful shoes that make her human.

  • kmk05

    I LOVE ALL OF THIS. I think her team/her have a love of accessorising that is immensely refreshing: look, she’s wearing earrings, makeup that isn’t no-makeup/consumption makeup, an awesome headband and a ring!

    Also, I would hate this mid-riff baring juvenile nonsense on anyone but she makes it work. Shoes and bag are inoffensive, really.

  • NMMagpie

    INCROYABLE. ‘Nuff said.

  • DeebaCee

    The length of the skirt keeps bugging me. Otherwise, loving the look. Her makeup is usually on point, but this is definitely in my top 5 of “Lupita looks”

  • @Biting Panda

    Lovely. It’s refreshing to see her dial it back a bit. I like her serene and confident. I hope she’s enjoying her meteoric rise, and I hope the right kinds of projects are lining up for her. The red carpets need her.

  • DTLAFamilies

    Lupita is on the cover of People’s award season special issue, which is a big deal: People is a very middle-of-the-road publication and the award season issue is normally a big seller for them. Putting a dark-skinned black woman with natural hair on the cover as a style icon, an aspirational figure for middle America is a big deal, folks. The magazine wouldn’t do it if they didn’t think the issue would sell. And that is very exciting.

  • marlie

    I don’t love the outfit, but Lupita seems to make anything look good. Her hair and makeup look great, though!

  • enchanted216

    Her taste in shoes is tragic.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I’ll miss the daily dose of Lupita once the Oscars are over. Sigh.

  • alyce1213

    Lupita can elevate an outfit only so far. This is really bleh, not striking enough to go all monochromatic.

  • kt

    This reads as child in out grown hand me downs.

  • kimmeister

    JLD had black shoes on a black carpet today, now we get white shoes on a white carpet! Her shoes don’t disappear as much as the black ones did, but it still creates a bit of a weird floating foot stump effect again.

  • nowlo

    This would have been killer with a silver clutch and shoes. I dig the delicate gold chain in her hair–unexpected and pretty.

  • jilly_d

    This could have been a knockout with different shoes/bag. Sweet headband, killer abs, and she is really making that hem length work like no one else probably could.

  • SugarSnap108

    The shoes and clutch are boring and unfortunate, but she looks great otherwise. Just look at that FACE.

  • macwell

    Love Lupita, but I am getting a little tired of the matchy matchy shoe/purse thing….

  • yethica

    What do her stylists have against contrasting colors? Seriously… I want to know.

    • yethica

      (As a side note, do you see those ab muscles? Amazeballs.)

  • Good grief, she looks so beautiful!

  • SewingSiren

    She is one of a very few who can make the crop top look polished. I love the hair jewelry.

  • butterflysunita

    She looks lovely. So much better than the model.

  • Imasewsure

    Really like the outfit and her beautiful face/makeup/hair but those shoes… a miss (ok and the clutch doesn’t work either but I hate the stupid clutches on the RC).

  • Glam Dixie

    I really like this skirt length on her, it is much more flattering to her legs than the at or just above the knee length. I would say it’s hard to go wrong with white or off white on a dark skinned girl but Miss Naomie had to go and prove that theory incorrect earlier today.

  • Leah Elzinga

    reasons to feature more women of colour on runways: Exhibit A. Contrast, it’s a good thing.

    • It looks so good on her (color-wise, I don’t love bare midriffs), and so meh on the original model.

  • LJCdoc

    This looks several million times better on her than the model.

  • Alloy Jane

    I read that Essence speech of hers MilaXX pointed us to and now I will never care how tragic or matchy an outfit she wears is. I’m just too in love to hold it against her. She gives me hope for the future of women. “What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.” I hope she inspires women the world over to rethink their concept of beauty and that she stays immune to the industry meat grinder. Seems to have taken a lot for her to get to the point to feel the self-compassion that allows her to radiate so strongly through every picture.

  • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

    ive got a theory. I think she is trying out for the 1st living african american barbie…and i effing love it. She makes me smile every time i see her…i love how she can change up her look and her hair…if i could buy her makeup people i would die a happy girl.

  • I think my favorite thing is her lip color.

    • susu

      Yes, I want it! I really wish I had a guide to all her make-up.

  • kerryev

    I just love the “we were going to” thought-process posts.
    This outfit bores the heck out me, though. I swear I sold some of that fabric in the home decor department in the late 90s.

    • 3boysful

      Oh, I like the fabric.

  • Suzanne Johnson

    I did listen to her speech and found it moving and thought-provoking. But I’m worried. It sounds as if poor Lupita has a cold. She was sniffling and several times pulled out a tissue to wipe her nose. This kid hasn’t had a break from the publicity treadmill for months, it seems. I hope she can stay home tomorrow and rest up for her big night at the Oscars — because, after all, her final red-carpet appearance of the awards season is going to have to last us a long time.

  • vickilu

    It’s really nice to see a healthy woman on the RC. I mean really, look at those guns and abs. She can kick anyone’s ass.. while also wearing couture and posing for photos and still not break a sweat. Such a flawless person.

  • icm

    she really is beautiful

  • bertkeeter

    Not much to it?

  • nannypoo

    Her skirt’s too long. She’s otherwise fabulous of course.

    • Gatto Nero

      I like the length of the skirt to balance the bare torso. (But that’s just me.)

      • murt

        Same. ETA: mid-calf length also suits her better than knee length.

  • Jacob Bowen

    Love that headband! So OVER the crop top and skirt, but Lupita’s abs made my jaw drop.

  • little_miss_strange

    This is just so much love right here. Something about it all is so ’80s… the GOOD ’80s. She is out of this world fabulous. Thank you Uncles for being so thoughtful and posting this! <3

  • There’s no such thing as “overpraising Lupita”.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Did you see the United Colors of Lupita? I didn’t pay attention to who put it together. It is a fabulous rainbow collage of her colorful red carpet wear. She is wonderful!

  • Gatto Nero

    I dislike crop tops in general, but this is fabulous on her.
    Would love to see her in a stronger shoe for once.
    Makeup, jewelry, and even the little hair accent — lovely.

  • boweryboy

    I don’t like this at all but it looks fantastic on her. Further proof that she’s reached PhD levels of wearing clothes.

    I am going to miss seeing her on the red carpet. Let’s hope she wins the Oscar and immediately signs on to another film.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    Oh I envy that waist! I wish she’d gone for colored accessories here. Other than that, wow. Rooting for her on Sunday.

  • quiltrx

    She seems like such a lovely, humble, nice person. That’s why I have developed her alter-ego in my head…channeling her inner Naomi Campbell and screaming “you fuckers better go find some SHOES THAT MATCH right fucking NOW!”

  • Sunraya

    I think bare stomachs are for the beach and square dances. I really dislike cropped tops in formal or semi-formal wear. Leave it for the beach!!!!

  • Derrick

    I’m going to be thankful when the Oscars are done just because I can stop seeing Lupita on your front page three times a day. We get it–you love her, but there are other people in the world. I love your site and I want to keep coming back–BUT HOLY LUPITA OVERLOAD

  • ashtangajunkie

    I love seeing Lupita all the time. She’s been a breath of fresh (fabulous) air.

  • stubbornthoughts

    Love this on her (agree on the shoes and clutch).

    I just watched 12 Years a Slave and I’m perplexed by the hype surrounding Lupita’s performance. While she was good, I wasn’t impressed, like I thought I’d be given all her critical acclaim. Ejiofor and Fassbender were absolutely remarkable and awards-worthy, and the film itself is brutally brilliant. But Lupita’s Patsy character felt paper thin. I felt sorry for her, but since we never learned anything about her, I didn’t *feel* for her like I did Chiwetel’s Solomon. Just my two cents. I think she works a red carpet better than this movie role.

    But as long as I get to see her in pictures, she can be nominated for whatever.

    • murt

      I agree about her acting in 12 Years a Slave – she is gorgeous and I love seeing her on the red carpet, but for me, her acting was the weak point in that movie.

    • boweryboy

      This. Exactly. Was my reaction too. Her character wasn’t fleshed out enough for me to fully be invested in her story. Although Lupita is good perhaps the hype is more about her beauty than acting. I can’t wait to see what she does next to determine this for myself.

  • halleygee

    So beautiful!

  • Judih1

    I agree with everything you said – everything!

  • LaSylphide

    Never cared for crop tops, but I think this one works so well because…well, everything works on her, doesn’t it? But the best thing is that the waistband fits. A lot of crops are paired with pants or skirts that have gaping waistbands, which ends up being all I can look at. Much better when the fit is good. Love the length on her: some people would look dumpy, but this length flatters her.

  • fiddlecub

    Midriff cutouts that don’t bare the navel look so very odd to me; I see the skin and expect a belly button, so when it’s not there, my brain immediately interprets things as “she must have no navel.”

  • grasshack

    She always has such a peaceful vibe…

  • joannanyc

    What do all those letters spell?