Oscar nominee Olivia Colman strode across the red carpet at the Academy Awards wearing a custom jewel-toned green Prada gown that was a collaboration of herself, the designer, and stylist Mary Fellowes. The stylist is helping the star, who once dreaded these events, feel comfortable in her own skin with all eyes on her.
Town & Country joked that Colman’s gown is “one of our favourite looks of the night.”
Colman is staking her claim on the big and small screen as the queen, with her role of Queen Anne in the Oscar-nominated film, The Favourite, and as Queen Elizabeth in the upcoming two seasons of the Netflix series The Crown, so she needed a gown that says “I have arrived.”
The New York Times shared the story of Colman’s green Prada gown with the charcoal beaded wrap that was a true collaboration. Colman explained that she loves making movies, but attending openings and awards ceremonies have always been an uncomfortable experience.
“I have never felt confident having to do any photographs or red carpet. Being someone else is easy; being me is torture during those events.”
But with the nominations and big things coming her way, there was no avoiding it, so why shouldn’t she feel good in something she wears?
Enter stylist Mary Fellowes, who convinced Colman that it was possible to find something that would make her feel “powerful and confident,” at least enough for her to walk the season’s red carpets with poise. She says in Fellowes, she has found her enabler.
As a stylist, Fellowes also dresses actors Tracee Ellis Ross, Liv Tyler, and Amy Adams, among others, and met Colman in 2017 and they struck up a quick friendship. Fellowes says that Colman is a strong woman, a working mother and an original thinker, but she adds that she also has “a real woman’s body” and a personal sense of style that should come through especially in a gown for a major event.
So when Prada called, asking to dress Colman for the Oscars, Fellowes says she almost cried.
“It felt like the stars had aligned.”
She says that she then worked with Colman on sketching ideas, and brought along a file of Prada dresses and fabrics on the road to the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Colman, from the beginning, knew she wanted something simple with “a big bow on the back,” and Prada made it happen, and the experience was actually pleasurable says the actor.
“The Prada team are so bloody lovely, it’s like getting ready for your wedding.”