Janelle Monáe's Oscars Gown Was So Heavy, It Required a Team of 4 People to Bring It to Her
The Oscar performer brought glitz and glam to the red carpet with a Ralph Lauren Collection gown embroidered with nearly 170,000 crystals
Janelle Monáe is the queen of taking fashion risks on the red carpet, and that includes ones that require a little help from her friends.
The Harriet actress, 34, needed a team of four people to deliver her Oscars 2020 gown to her dressing room, proving that a major fashion moment doesn’t come without a little sweat.
On Sunday night, she arrived in a custom metallic tulle mesh A-line gown from Ralph Lauren Collection with a draped hood and open back. As the tulle mesh dress boasts over 168,000 hand-embroidered Swarovski crystals (which took 600 hours to make), it required a robust team to deliver the heavy gown to Monáe.
Stylist Alexandra Mandelkorn, who dressed Monáe, said that it took a team of four people to carry the skirt of the dress down the hallway to Monáe before she put it on, a source tells PEOPLE.
Monáe teamed her Ralph Lauren dress with crystal-lacquered silk lamé platform sandals from the designer and Forevermark diamond jewelry, including a choker, studs and several rings, to complement her glitzy gown.
The Harriet star is set to perform at Sunday night’s award show.
While she is not nominated for an Oscar herself, her Harriet co-star, Cynthia Erivo earned a nod for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance of Harriet Tubman in the biographical film. The movie is also nominated in the Music (Original Song) category for the track “Stand Up,” performed by Erivo.
Ahead of the 2020 Oscars, Erivo (who is the only acting nominee of color at the 2020 Academy Awards this year) told PEOPLE that she became emotional during the tearjerking moment when Tubman is finally free in the movie.
“There was a moment where Harriet makes the step into freedom, and the day was just as gloomy as you can believe. The sky was grey, it was raining, and we had so much to do that day that it just felt like it was impossible,” Erivo, 33, recalls, but that didn’t stop director Kasi Lemmons from wanting to shoot the pivotal scene anyway.
She continued: “We start shooting, and just as I make the step over, the clouds break, the sun comes out,” Erivo says. “So the sun in my face [in the movie] is the real sun in my face. You look around and everyone’s in tears. It felt like one of those moments where we knew that we weren’t doing it on our own.”
The 92nd Annual Academy Awards will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.