Congratulations to Viola on her first academy award! She won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Fences! So proud of her!
Elizabeth Stewart discusses Viola’s thoughts on picking out those gorgeous dresses she wears during Awards Season with Vanity Fair.
Stylist Elizabeth Stewart discusses her client’s perspective on fashion this awards season.
Viola Davis is the heavy favorite to take home the best-supporting-actress prize this weekend at the Academy Awards. She is sure to be one of the most photographed attendees at the ceremony, which means her dress is going to be one of the most photographed dresses, as well. Davis’s style has recently become a topic of great fascination in the press, as a recent New York Times profile—in which her style was described as a “symbol of hope in dark times”—signaled. (Her fashion sense, and the way she embraces color on the red carpet, has been celebrated on VF.com for some time, as well.)
But the public may be more invested than Davis herself is, according to her stylist, Elizabeth Stewart. “The interest in what Viola’s wearing is way greater than the attention she pays to it,” she told Vanity Fair, with a laugh. When asked if Davis enjoys the process of selecting her outfits for awards-season events, Stewart answered quickly: “No, I would say I’m like the dentist to her.”
Stewart explained that she usually gets about “five minutes per fitting” with Davis, who is often tied up with her commitments to her film roles, as well as to her television series, How to Get Away with Murder. The process this awards season, her third with Davis, was extremely straightforward: “[Davis] is super-decisive. We literally had a five-minute discussion while we said we’re going to do color, clean, strong, bold. That was going to be our M.O. for the season and we pretty much stuck to it.” Stewart continued, “Given the time constraints, she just doesn’t have the time to devote that much to fashion. We sort of figured out what works for her and it’s like, ‘Here’s what works, here’s what we wanna do.’ ”
Stewart said that the comfort and elegance Davis exudes makes her something of an icon for the “all-American woman.” She explained, “This is an important award season, so, I think [the impetus for her looks] came from [focusing on bold colors] and also the working-woman thing. There’s a real simplicity to what we’re doing. It has an effortless vibe, and that works also with everything that she has. I feel like she’s the all-American woman because she’s busy, she does so many things, she’s a mom—and this is what works for that kind of woman. What she’s wearing is, to me, an inspiration to working women across America. Find what works for you, get your formula, stick to it.” Stewart reiterated that it’s all about efficiency when it comes to dressing Davis. “I think she enjoys when I make it a three-minute fitting instead of a five-minute fitting, let’s put it that way.”
Stewart—who also works with Julia Roberts and Jessica Chastain—said that Davis’s yellow Michael Kors Golden Globes gown is the one that she would call her favorite of this particular awards season. “It was just sort of exactly what we wanted to be,” she recalled. “I think Michael Kors is such a great match for Viola. When I describe our M.O. for the season, it’s him. He is not doing her Oscar dress, but, that said, he sort of sums up what we were after [this awards season].”
Ah, yes, her Oscar dress. Stewart is tight-lipped about the designer of the frock—other than excluding Kors from the mix. All she’ll say is that the dress is a “continuation of our sort of story.” She then repeated, “Yeah, I mean, we’re sticking to the story, so to speak.” She did note that, while everything was mapped out from the get-go, each garment has been custom-made, and, as of earlier this week, Stewart was still waiting for items to come in. “Even though we know what we’re doing, conceptually, we have some choices and, believe it or not, they’re arriving late,” she said.
For Stewart, a veteran of the red carpet at this point, the actual day of the Oscars is not particularly stressful, though, as the key decisions have already been made at that point. “It’s not chaotic. The day of is when everything is finally done, so it’s really just hoping for good weather and that nothing spills on the dress. But we always have a backup in place because if you don’t, something will spill on the dress. The day of tends to be calm and happy because we’ve gotten all our ducks in a row, so to speak, and that’s really what styling is all about, just being ready for anything.”
Stewart—who said she is also very excited to see what Emma Stone (not her client) wears on Sunday night—acknowledges the shift in the world of fashion in terms of the focus now on celebrity. “I moved [to Los Angeles] to get married and I was working at W magazine, and The New York Times Magazine, and I came from that editorial world, and, since I got here, it completely switched over from editorial to celebrity.” She paused briefly. “Covers changed to celebrity and the interest in the red carpet just grew and grew and grew. That’s what has been funny to see, and sort of ride along.”
Yesterday Viola & Genesis attended the GBK Pre-OSCAR Luxury Lounge. I have added images from their fun day to our gallery.
The Harvard Gazette has announced that Harvard has chosen Viola as the Harvard Artist of the Year.
Will headline Harvard Cultural Rhythms Festival March 4
iola Davis, the popular actress, producer, director, activist, businesswoman, and philanthropist, has been named the 2017 Artist of the Year. She will be awarded the Harvard Foundation’s arts medal at a ceremony on March 4 during the 32nd annual Cultural Rhythms Festival in Memorial Hall’s Sanders Theatre.
“The students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation are delighted to present the acclaimed television and film artist Viola Davis with the 2017 Artist of the Year award,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “Our student committee praised her outstanding contributions to American and international film and theater. She recently received the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and British Academy of Films and Television Arts awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Rose Maxson in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s play ‘Fences.’”
Davis co-starred in the play’s 2010 Broadway revival opposite Denzel Washington, who also joined her in the film adaptation. Her performance earned her a Tony Award, as well as the Drama Critic’s Circle Award, Outer Critic’s Circle Award, and Drama Desk Award.
On television, Davis currently stars on “How to Get Away with Murder,” for which she received the 2014 and 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series. In 2015, she also won an Emmy in the same category, becoming the first African-American to do so.
Born in St. Matthews, S.C., Davis grew up in Central Falls, R.I., and has remained active in the community there, raising money for the town’s library and Central Falls High School. She and her husband, Julius Tennon, founded a multiethnic film, television, and theater production company, JuVee Productions, in 2012. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Davis received an honorary doctorate during its 109th Commencement ceremony. She also holds an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College.
The Harvard Foundation, the University’s center for intercultural initiatives, honors the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year. Previous Harvard Foundation awards have been presented to distinguished artists including Shakira, LL Cool J, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifa, Sharon Stone, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, Denzel Washington, Salma Hayek, Wycelf Jean, Eva Longoria, and Lucy Liu.
The Artist of the Year award will be presented during the 32nd annual Harvard Cultural Rhythms Festival. The program begins at 4 p.m. on March 4 at Sanders Theatre. For ticket information visit the Harvard Foundation website.
Last night Viola & Julius attended the Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party.
Only one more day until the Academy Awards ceremony! Fingers crossed for Viola!
When Oscar Sunday arrives on Feb. 26, no one will be surprised if Viola Davis wins Best Supporting Actress, thanks to her powerful work in Fences. The three-time Oscar nominee is overdue for a win, and her complete embodiment of the character of Rose should be the role that earns her the statue. In an exclusive clip from the Digital HD release of Fences, Davis and her co-stars offer up powerful insights about Rose and the knockout performance Davis delivers in the film.
Based on the Broadway play of the same name, Fences is the story of a marriage, and the performance Davis gives as a woman who devotes her life to a proud man who makes many mistakes is one of her best to date. In the behind-the-scenes clip, Davis’ co-stars Denzel Washington, Jovan Adepo, and Russell Hornsby have nothing but glowing reviews for the actor.
Hornsby, in particular, cuts to the heart of what makes Davis such a stunning performer. When talking about his co-star’s unique ability to bring Rose to life, he says,
“Viola digs deep into the terra firma of our ancestors to find their voice, to find their blood, to find their pain, and bring it to life. And say this is for the people who cannot speak.”
When asked who inspired her portrayal of Rose, Davis is quick to name herself, her mother, and any woman who “ever sacrificed a piece of herself for the greater good.” By focusing in on a pivotal scene from the final moments of the film, the digital extra illuminates what drives Rose to make the most difficult choice of her life. Whether you have seen Fences or it’s still on your to-watch list, the clip is an absolute must-see — and trust me, if you haven’t seen the film it will leave you wanting more.
Come Oscar night, movie fans need to understand why critics cannot stop talking about Davis’ performance. The actor originated the role on stage, but she somehow found a way to bring even more nuances to Rose on film. As a black woman, wife, and mother in 1950s Pittsburgh, Rose struggles to reconcile her various roles in a way Davis is right to point out many women to this day will be able to relate to. Her sacrifices cut deep, and Davis is unafraid to show the scars left behind.
Fences is available for digital download on Friday, Feb. 24 and will be available on Blu-ray March 14.
Thursday Viola presented an award to her co-star Aja Naomi King at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards.
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > February 23 | Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > February 23 | Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards – Audience
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > February 23 | Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards – Ceremony