I anticipate that I will say this again after the SAGs, and probably every time she does anything before the Oscars, but: Waking up to these photos made me so excited for what Viola will wear to the Oscars. She’s been supporting Black designers, via either bright colors or bold patterns or both together — beginning with this custom Lavie by CK dress at the Globes, followed by a Greta Constantine gown with statement earrings, and then continuing with this bespoke frock by Duro Olowu for the NAACP Image Awards:


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This looks tremendous on her, and the colors and pattern are so cheerful. I want it in a bedspread. I don’t typically fall for a peplum, but this one looks neither twee nor bulky; it was all made for her, and it shows. Plus, we’ve had so many dresses in the last few years with a minimum of fabric that maybe my pendulum is swinging back extra hard. Capes! Huge sleeves! Peplums and matching hems! PUT THE CLOTH BACK IN CLOTHING.

Viola’s suit here is by XULY.Bët, a Parisian brand that’s been around since 1991, but I haven’t run across it before — and the brand’s Instagram page sounded so excited by this, it makes me wonder if it’s their most high-profile placement. She not only looks fabulous, but the shot itself is so well-styled that her orange armchair even works brilliantly as an accessory. That is some A+ mastery of Instagram as a fashion tool.

I’m not clear on how old this next video is, but Viola’s makeup artist Autumn Moultrie posted it very recently in celebration of Viola’s Academy Awards history-making nomination, and I couldn’t resist sharing it:

If you turn your sound up, there’s music. The outfit is GREAT and the achievement even better — although I also hope someone will surpass it soon, because the number of nominations it took to become the most-nominated Black actress was four. Meryl has 21. Close that gap, Oscar.

[Photo: Getty]