The actress pulled out all the style stops to present at this year's awards show

By Colleen Kratofil and Andrea Lavinthal
February 28, 2021 08:46 PM
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Cynthia Erivo attends the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton and broadcast on February 28, 2021 i
Credit: Todd Williamson/NBC/Getty

Cynthia Erivo brought a big dose of high-fashion glamour to the 2021 Golden Globes.

The actress, 34, who presented during Sunday's telecast, debuted her bright and bold neon green tea-length Valentino Haute Couture dress and sky-high metallic silver platforms on Instagram. She topped off the ensemble with jewels by Wempe and Maria Tash.

Erivo's go-to stylist, Jason Bolden described the look as a "much-needed fantasy" — and he revealed that the actress actually didn't know anything about it before the show. "Cynthia knew nothing about this dress, but she trusts me and allows me to be creative," Bolden said during E!'s pre-show broadcast.

For more on the Golden Globes, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day!

Bolden tells PEOPLE that amid the pandemic, he and Erivo wanted to select a look "to just make us all smile."

"With colors like that, that's what it triggers. It triggers that emotion of happiness and joy. Right now, I feel like that's what we need. That's why I really wanted to lean into something that looked like that — bold and impactful. That's exactly what it did," Bolden says.

"The shoes are like skyscrapers! The color and the shape is so bold and why not to add some much-needed fantasy," he added during the E! pre-show broadcast. "The neon green tea-length dress reminds me of scuba fabric. Obsessed!"

When Bolden finally showed Erivo the ensemble — two days before the Golden Globes ceremony, to be exact! — her first reaction was pure bliss. "She's like, 'You know me.' She was beyond thrilled. [Cynthia's] a fashion girl, so anything that's out of the box and where most people would probably be nervous and be concerned, she takes that on and she likes that challenge," Bolden tells PEOPLE.

Since the look came together last-minute, Bolden was lucky that the Valentino Couture confection fit Erivo like a glove. "She tried it on, zero alterations. I got excited. It made me happy. We didn't try [on] anything else. That was the only dress I brought," Bolden says.

The two-time nominee joined a group of other A-list presenters, which included Anthony Anderson, Awkwafina, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Angela Bassett, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones to name a few.

Erivo was nominated last year for best actress in a motion picture drama for her role in Harriet as well as for best original song in a motion picture for "Stand Up."

The star had many memorable fashion moments during last year's award season.

Cynthia Erivo
Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty

At the 2020 Oscars, she wore a head-turning white custom Atelier Versace one-shoulder bustier gown, featuring a crystal mesh bodice and front-slit detail revealing her white Stuart Weitzman platform heels. She accessorized with Piaget diamond rings and earrings, as well as Maria Tash earrings and mismatched blue and white nails.

Cynthia Erivo
Credit: John Salangsang/Variety/Shutterstock

She brought a splash of color to the SAG Awards red carpet in a strapless custom Schiaparelli Couture ballgown with red bustier top and pink voluminous tiered skirt. She paired the bold look with Roberto Coin jewelry.

Cynthia Erivo
Credit: Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

And kicked everything off at the 2020 Golden Globes in a $3 million Bulgari sapphire pendant, teamed with a black-and-white custom hand-beaded, off-the-shoulder gown by Thom Browne.

The 78th Annual Golden Globes Awards are airing live on NBC from 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET.