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Viola Davis' Golden Globes dress was incredibly meaningful - find out why

The Ma Rainey's Black Bottom star wowed in an African print dress that got everyone talking. 

Brandi Fowler

Viola Davis never misses a chance to make a statement on a red carpet or use her platform for change - and the same was true even when she did so virtually for the Golden Globes Sunday. 

MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2021 Golden Globe Awards

The Ma Rainey's Black Bottom star stunned in a silk cotton African print dress by Los Angeles-based black-owned brand Lavie by CK, and shared a photo on Instagram of herself wearing the off-the-shoulder number, striking a confident pose with her hands on her hips as she flashed a big smile. 

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Viola stunned in a Louis by CK gown

Viola’s stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, completed the look with a gold and diamond Pomelatto encrusted Tango chain necklace and matching drop earrings, and palmed a red Gabo Guzzo clutch. The renowned actress also wore her natural hair coiffed to perfection. 

MORE: Cynthia Erivo's unexpected Golden Globes dress sends fans into a frenzy

But Viola didn’t just choose to wear the dress because she liked it. It was important to her to put a spotlight on a black designer - and continue to emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusivity at the Golden Globes and within the HFPA. 

Several stars, including Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, pointed out that the organization still doesn’t have any black members.

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The Oscar winner’s stylist, who collaborated with designer Claude Kameni to make the statement dress, further explained the reason behind it, saying in an Instagram post, "Viola wanted a designer that spoke to her as a Black woman."

"So how do you define glamour in a new era striving for more diversity and inclusivity?," she continued. "In the world of fashion, that still has a way to go, this is a fabulous start. Thank you Claude Kameni of @laviebyck for the fabulous custom dress! @pomellato @stuartweitzman @autumnmoultriebeauty @jamikawilson @jordan_grossman @kristinaelainetaylor @inclushion @christinaviles @cabine_creative".

Viola's stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, collaborated with Designer Claude Kameni to make the ultimate statement piece. 

In the photo, Viola strikes a pose in the dress in the doorway of a glamorous home, with a chandelier and an ivory dining room set visible in the background. 

The designer thanked Viola in the comments of her post, writing, “You look absolutely stunning!!! Thank you for choosing me to design your gown. This is definitely a big moment for me especially being a young black designer. I’m very proud of this moment. Viola snatched in a #laviebyck gown (literally screaming)... also, thank you to @elizabethstewart1 and @cabine_creative for this Major opportunity.”

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Viola was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a motion picture - drama

The iconic thesp didn’t share her thoughts about the dress in her Instagram caption, but she did post a pointed message to the HFPA on Instagram ahead of the Globes Friday, sharing a graphic that read ‘Hollywood Press Association. Not a single black member out of 87.”

"Telling the world you're trying is not doing. - Shannon L. Adler,” she wrote. “The journey of a Black artist is littered with obstacles in creating, developing, and being acknowledged for our work. If we continue to keep silent, the younger generation of artists will have the exact same load to carry. No more excuses. #TIMESUPGlobes #TIMESUP

Viola was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a motion picture - drama for her starring role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and is the first black actress to receive an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony.

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