The Story Behind Yalitza Aparicio’s Oscar Night Dress

A few months ago, the name Yalitza Aparicio would not have meant much to many, but tonight, at the Academy Awards, she stands proudly nominated for Best Actress for her role in Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma. Before being catapulted into the spotlight by Cuarón’s latest film, the 25-year-old primary school teacher from Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, had no formal acting training, let alone red-carpet experience. Tonight, though, she’s among the brightest stars. And her dress of choice for Hollywood’s most glamorous night? Custom Rodarte.

The bespoke Rodarte dress, a pale mint tulle design with flashes of polka dot silver and hidden, delicate embroideries, was a true labour of love. “We worked very closely with Kate and Laura Mulleavy to make a dress that really felt like Yalitza,” Aparicio’s stylist Sophie Lopez tells Vogue ahead of the big night. “A lot of love has gone into this dress.”

Inspired by a runway piece, Lopez and the Mulleavy sisters worked together to personalise the dress for Aparicio over a month-long period. “Making her dress was magical from the first sketch; the stars aligned on every detail,” the Rodarte designers said of the asymmetric gown. “We are so honoured to make such a special dress for one of the most incredible women and most inspired performances that we have seen. Roma is a true gift of a film and we are thrilled to celebrate Yalitza’s brilliant performance in it.”

Lopez, who also dresses Kate Hudson and Aparicio’s Roma co-star Marina de Tavira, has been working meticulously behind the scenes to craft Aparicio’s image. “I work on the personality of the client,” says the LA-based stylist. “Their likes, their dislikes, what they feel amazing in – that’s how we select the looks. It’s always a collaborative experience.”

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