Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o shines in custom Misha Japanwala breastplate at Tony Awards

Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o shines in custom Misha Japanwala breastplate at Tony Awards

The Pakistani sculpture artist has previously collaborated with rapper Cardi B.
13 Jun, 2023

Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o made a stunning statement on the red carpet at the Tony Awards 2023, donning a unique creation designed by Pakistani sculpture artist and designer Misha Japanwala, who is also her close friend.

Nyong’o’s eye-catching ensemble featured a distinctive silver breastplate, moulded to fit her own body. She expressed her profound joy at wearing Japanwala’s masterpiece in an Instagram post, describing it as a “shameless out-of-body experience.”

She shed light on Japanwala’s artistic philosophy, emphasising her role in rejecting and deconstructing the external shame society attaches to one’s body. Japanwala’s artistic process involves creating a realistic and authentic representation of the human form, serving as an act of resistance, celebration, and a demand for the freedom to exist fully in our bodies.

Applauding Japanwala’s artistic journey, she talked about her ongoing exhibition, titled “Beghairati Ki Nishaani: Traces of Shamelessness,” currently showcased at the Hannah Traore Gallery in New York City until July 30. Expressing gratitude to the artist, Nyong’o wrote, “Thank you for this special opportunity to be exactly here, in this body, now.”

She also shared a video of the creation process of the attire, saying, “Japanwala’s work molding BODIES which all BELONG exactly as they are, has moved me deeply and I hope her message of RADICAL SELF-ACCEPTANCE may find a home with you too.”

Nyong’o attended Japanwala’s wedding in Pakistan last year, letting everyone know that the two are besties!

Styled by renowned fashion stylist Michaela Erlanger, Nyong’o flawlessly paired the unique breastplate with a black velvet blazer, flared trousers, exquisite De Beers diamonds, and a chic Bella Rosa Collection clutch.

Adding to the allure of her ensemble, Nyong’o showcased a captivating henna tattoo by artist Sabeen Marghoob, adorning her recently shaved head. This is not the first time Nyong’o has collaborated with the Pakistani artist. Previously, for the premiere of Mira Nair’s onstage musical Monsoon Wedding, Nyong’o embellished her scalp with henna art created by the New York-based Pakistani mehndi artist.

Their meeting at Japanwala’s wedding last year led to Marghoob designing a bespoke decorative motif for Nyong’o. On her Instagram, the Black Panther actor wrote, “Dare yourself to seek out beauty in new ways.”

Japanwala has been making waves with her unique artistic creations. Her work not only serves as a means of personal expression but also sheds light on social issues prevalent in Pakistan. Japanwala’s preferred medium is the breastplate, as she expertly moulds and sculpts bodies to convey her own aesthetic vision.

The talented artist’s achievements have not gone unnoticed. In 2021, she was honoured by Forbes, featuring in their prestigious 30 under 30 list and she has previously collaborated with rapper Cardi B for her music video ‘Rumours’ and also designed a custom gold breastplate and arm cuff for the rapper’s pregnancy announcement.

Nyong’o’s choice to wear Japanwala’s creation at the Tony Awards not only showcased her unique style but also highlighted the rich artistic talent emerging from Pakistan. With their creative collaborations, both Nyong’o and Japanwala are breaking boundaries and fostering artistic connections that transcend borders and celebrate the beauty of being comfortable and embracing your body.