There wasn’t an actual red carpet, but Sunday’s virtual BET Awards was an impressive showcase of Black style.
Host Amanda Seales represented all Black-designed clothing, jewelry, hair-care and makeup brands, including a custom gown by Los Angeles-based rising fashion star Claude Kameni. Above is a sketch of the custom design by Lavie by CK.
“The BETs are our Oscars, our Grammys, our everything, where we are able to show ourselves and have fun and show off,” said her stylist Bryon Javar of the 13 looks, using pieces from Pyer Moss, Romeo Hunte, Sergio Hudson, Sister Love, Brother Vellies, Grayscale, Bishme Cromartie, Dapper Dan-Gucci and more, and paying homage to iconic moments in Black style history, from Hilary Banks’ Nineties power wardrobe in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to Janet Jackson’s fierce “Rhythm Nation” outfit. “It made sense for this moment to celebrate Black everything,” Javar said.
Besides serving up Hollywood’s first mega-fashion moments since the pandemic, the 20th annual BET Awards were an opportunity to reflect on what could be for inclusion in fashion and celebrity dressing if Black designers are considered as a norm, not just for the moment.
“I really hope, as other awards shows start to come back, we will see more Black designers represented — not just when it’s convenient,” said L.A. designer Claude Kameni.
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Sketch by Selame Negussie