In Queen of Katwe, Lupita Nyong'o's latest film, the actress plays Harriet, the mother of a young girl, Phiona, living in poverty in Uganda. Phiona, an untapped chess prodigy, falls in with a chess club run by David Oyelowo. It's just one of a truly diverse array of films Nyong'o has on tap at the moment: Fresh off the success of the sci-fi epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in which she plays the ancient alien Maz Kanata, and The Jungle Book remake, she's premiering Queen of Katwe before moving on to the Marvel film The Black Panther and an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. That's not to mention her stage role in Broadway's Eclipsed. And amid it all, of course, there are the full range of promotional appearances: a Vogue cover; myriad premieres; and the occasional television gig. Most recently, she stepped out onto Stephen Colbert's stage in a chic black-and-white ensemble by Monse.
Who: Lupita Nyong'o.
When: Wednesday, September 28.
Where: A taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in support of Queen of Katwe in New York, New York.
What: A black-and-white A-line minidress by Monse from the label's Resort 2017 collection with a coordinating black-and-white silk head wrap.
Why: For her recent appearances, Nyong'o has stepped out in dresses by a whole range of designers, including Elie Saab and this Monse look, with a coordinating head wrap. As her hair stylist Vernon Francois explained in Essence earlier this month, the new look ties in to her Queen of Katwe character – Harriet wears a similar wrap throughout most of the film. And here, from a purely aesthetic perspective, it picks up on the power-clashing monochrome patterns in Nyong'o's dress, adding a polished finish to a nonchalant, asymmetrical design. Nyong'o has an effortless appeal that's partly in the attitude — and partly in the ink-black sunglasses she wears. She makes a logical pairing with Monse, the label of two Oscar De La Renta alums who have defined their look with a louche, deconstructed take on traditional work wear. Further, Francois explained that he prefers to call the wrap a "crown," which makes perfect sense to us, because Lupita Nyong'o is fashion royalty.
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