May 13, 2020

Lupita Nyong’o’s Top 10 Red Carpet Looks

Lupita Nyong’o In Prada – ’12 Years A Slave’ Toronto Film Festival Premiere - 2013

We have an eye for fashion (by we, I mean you the readers and I), because the second we saw Lupita Nyong’o make her red carpet debut in Prada for the Toronto Film Festival premiere for ’12 Years A Slave,’ we instantly fell in love with her style.

That was back in 2013.  Cut to 2020, and that love is still going strong.


Because there is no colour (of dress or makeup), and no hairstyle that she hasn’t tried.

We easily could narrow down a red carpet look for the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Rooney Mara, but the same could never be said for Lupita, as she always keeps things interesting.

We’ve loved her style so much, that we often forget (chose to ignore) the fact that her shoe game is not as strong as her outfits.

Here are a look my top 10 favourites from Lupita.

1. Lupita Nyong’o in Prada – ’12 Years A Slave’ Toronto Film Festival Premiere – 2013

You never forget your first time, and this Prada dress will always hold special place in my heart.  I would even rank this in the top two when it comes to her hall of fame.

Lupita Nyong’o In Ralph Lauren – 2014 Golden Globe Awards

2. Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren – 2014 Golden Globe Awards

A newbie on the awards season circuit, the actress didn’t let us down with this bold red Ralph Lauren gown.  Many comparisons were made to Gwyenth Paltorw’s Tom Ford cape dress from 2012, but Lupita was very much in a league of her own, and this ranks as one of her most iconic looks to date.

Lupita Nyong’o In Calvin Klein Collection – 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

3. Lupita Nyong’o In Calvin Klein Collection – 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

After reading the comments I realised that I did miss this gorgeous look from Calvin Klein Collection.

We know Lupita for bold colour and bolder silhouettes, but this sleek design is probably the most simplest on this list, yet is very impactful.

Lupita Nyong’o In Gucci – 2014 SAG Awards

4.  Lupita Nyong’o in Gucci – 2014 SAG Awards

When it comes to my all-time favourite look from Lupita, this Gucci dress is it. 

The colour, the detail, the makeup.  I do wish she had saved this for Oscar night, but it was probably more fitted to this occasion due to the more contemporary vibe which we don’t always see on Oscars ‘play it safe’ night.

Lupita Nyong’o In Christian Dior Couture – 2014 BAFTAs

5. Lupita Nyong’o in Christian Dior Couture – 2014 BAFTAs

I’m on look five, and I’m barely out of February 2014. That’s because 2014 was the year we saw the very best of Lupita.

She may not have won an award on the night, but she was easily our Best Dressed in this stunning green Dior Haute Couture gown.

Lupita Nyong'o in Carolina Herrera - ' Queen of Katwe' Toronto Film Festival Premiere

6. Lupita Nyong’o in Carolina Herrera – ‘ Queen of Katwe’ Toronto Film Festival Premiere – 2016

The Toronto Film Festival continued to prove to be a good stomping ground for the Kenyan actress. 

She looked every inch an African queen in her gorgeous custom Carolina Herrera strapless embroidered gown paired a traditional head piece.

This was the living embodiment of the phrase, the “bold and the beautiful.”

Lupita Nyong’o In Atelier Versace – ‘Black Panther’ World Premiere

7. Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace – ‘Black Panther’ World Premiere

The ‘Black Panther’ tour was another epic display of colour, style and hairstyles for Lupita, but her standout look was this Atelier Versace gown. 

Everything was carefully considered from the colour purple, to the traditional hairstyle. 

She was giving us so much more than a pretty dress, and we ate it up.

Lupita Nyong’o In Armani Privé – 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

8. Lupita Nyong’o in Armani Privé – 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Lupita has had several Vanity Fair Oscar Party red carpet looks. 

The Miu Miu from 2014.  The Calvin Klein from 2015.  The Oscar de la Renta from 2019, but this Armani Prive from 2018 is by far my favourite.

The level of elegance is unparalleled.

We all love Lupita for her love of colour, but she didn’t fail us when she wore black either.

Lupita Nyong’o In Calvin Klein by Appointment – 2019 Golden Globe Awards

9. Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein by Appointment – 2019 Golden Globe Awards

The colour and embellishment on this Calvin Klein by Appointment dress were divine, but the makeup really reinforces the brilliance of this look.

This was the last look I slotted into the top 10, as I couldn’t decide between this and Lupita’s Cannes debut in Gucci, but ultimately, I felt we already had a glorious Gucci moment earlier.

Lupita Nyong’o In Prabal Gurung & Mansur Gavriel – Good Morning America

9. Lupita Nyong’o in Prabal Gurung & Mansur Gavriel – Good Morning America

The actress had several colourful TV show and street style looks, but this moment in Prabal Gurung and Mansur Gavriel still gives me goosebumps.

It is the perfect embodiment of Lupita’s style.

Colourful, with bold prints while boiling with energy.   Even the shoes were on point with this look.

I still covet this from head-to-toe.

10. Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace – 2019 Met Gala

From the explosion of colour, to the gold afro combs, makeup and sticking to the theme?

What was not to love about this Atelier Versace look?

Where is her 2014 Prada Oscars look?

It was one of her most beautiful red carpet outings, but I feel that all these looks are stronger, and are a truer representation of her stand out style.

Update: Yeah, this ended up being 11. 

Credit: Getty

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25 Responses to Lupita Nyong’o’s Top 10 Red Carpet Looks

  1. Cris May 18, 2020 at 10:56 am #

    Maybe I’m in minority here, but her 2015 Cannes Film Festival green Gucci dress is also one of my favorites. She pulled it off, despite its design being a bit crowded:

  2. Kathy May 18, 2020 at 1:42 am #

    Lupita wears color and texture so well. She also always appears to be genuinely enjoying herself, which goes a long way in selling these looks. She never looks like the deer-in-the-headlights starlet who’s been wrangled into a dress she secretly hates by her stylist.

  3. DVM May 17, 2020 at 6:50 pm #

    Lupita in the blue Gucci from the SAG awards was my vote in your Best dress of the decade poll. It’s one of my all time favourites.

    The white Prada at the TIFF is also amazing.

    I love Lupita’s style!

  4. Kat May 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm #

    So many strong looks, but all pale beside the glory of the red Ralph Lauren at the 2014 Golden Globes.
    Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
    Perfection. Modern & timeless. A classic. Bravo Lupita!

  5. Tiger Nueng May 15, 2020 at 6:50 am #

    LOVE the Gucci @2014 SAG Awards

  6. Tiffany May 15, 2020 at 2:22 am #

    Toronto Film festival is my favourite, without a doubt.

  7. Pheephee May 14, 2020 at 11:03 pm #

    She has had many a great looks for sure. Love most of these (hate the Met Gala look, even though it was on-theme)
    I adore #7 Versace Black Panther World Premiere look. So so cool, unique, and strong.

    But I have to say the 2014 Prada Oscars look, in that ‘Nairobi blue’ color…..was tops for me.
    I remember seeing her (for my first time) walking down the red carpet in that dress and was so STRUCK. It was beyond.

  8. argentina May 14, 2020 at 5:08 pm #

    Thank you so much for all the RC reviews you’re posting FC. This is amazing.
    I have to say though I’m truly missing the Oscars Sky Blue Prada dress. A typical pick, I know, but iconic princess moment, an iconic movie and beautiful actress winning her first Oscar. I can still remember the chills watching her when she walked down the red carpet.

  9. Jess May 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm #

    Ah, she is just glorious! I would’ve got her Cannes 2018 white Dior dress in there too…. I loved that

    • Catherine Kallon May 14, 2020 at 4:11 pm #

      That was one of my one the fence dresses.

  10. TeaAtTwo May 14, 2020 at 12:50 pm #

    Her Prada look was a perfect red carpet debut and a forever favourite.

    • Catherine Kallon May 14, 2020 at 4:12 pm # of her best

  11. TeaAtTwo May 14, 2020 at 12:48 pm #

    I missed the Carolina Herrera look so extra glad that you included her gorgeous look here. It had a mixed reaction but her green Gucci 2015 Cannes looks is one of my favourites, she looked so beautiful. I prefer it to the Dior Couture. A daytime that I’m still obsessed alongside her fab Gurung outfit with is her chic outfit that she wore to the view.

  12. P&P May 14, 2020 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m personally not a fan of color (I know 🤣) but this woman can rock a rainbow and look absolutely fantastic. I also love how she mixes classic silhouettes with avant-garde jewelry and textiles. It’s fresh and fun, but also sophisticated.

  13. _Hannah_ May 14, 2020 at 11:12 am #

    I do love your top 11 🙂 I absolutely adore her style – it’s fun, colourful but also elegant and sophisticated.

  14. Camilla May 14, 2020 at 11:09 am #

    Had you thought about doing a poll of the Oscar Best Actress winners outfits of the last 10-20 years? That would be an interesting one! Brie Larson’s already stands out to be as a less insipid choice.

    • Chris May 14, 2020 at 12:04 pm #

      I like the idea. I’d also be interested in a post like that for both Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, to maybe compare who usually had the more inspiring dress choices: The leading actress winners, or the supporting

    • TeaAtTwo May 14, 2020 at 12:45 pm #

      A good suggestion.

    • hi May 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

      It’s funny how much that Brie Larson look has aged well when I didn’t like it at first.

    • Catherine Kallon May 14, 2020 at 4:13 pm #

      Yes. This is a great idea.

      Looks like I’ll have plenty of time to be working on these post with LA’s lockdown extended.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

  15. Dominos May 14, 2020 at 10:28 am #

    What stands out to me is 1) my GAWD she rocks colour and 2)how on point her accessories always are – perfection.

    • Catherine Kallon May 14, 2020 at 4:14 pm #

      Yup. Nothing is duplicated. A striking, original look every time.

  16. chryss chrys May 14, 2020 at 7:10 am #

    She is drop-dead gorgeous and the one to look for at events!Great choices!

  17. Chris May 13, 2020 at 11:16 pm #

    #3 and #1 might just be my favorites. I also LOVE #2, #5 & 6, though. I’m also really missing the white Calvin Klein from the 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards, that one’s definitely within my personal top 3 Lupita looks.

  18. Nat39 May 13, 2020 at 10:37 pm #

    Outstanding, no question about it. 2014 in particular was the strongest year for her, I’d also add her white Calvin Klein Collection from 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards (instead of looks 7,8, or 10, which I personally didn’t find quite as great in comparison). The 3rd turquoise Gucci is really pretty, 100% her silhouette. A bit more improvement and refinement in her MET gala fashion (which tended to be a bit too overdone and overcooked) and she’s epic all around.

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