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Style > Fashion

Lily Gladstone’s Intricate Indigenous Dress Design At The 96th Oscars

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

The 96th Academy Awards took place on Sunday, March 10th where star of the early 2023 Scorsese film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Lily Gladstone was propelled into a global spotlight. According to Vogue, after being the first Native American to be nominated in the Best Actress category, Gladstone shared, “I don’t know that I’ll ever fully process it, but I know it’s not just mine,” (Vogue). She arrived on the red carpet in a deep-blue dress with embroidery that holds more meaning than what meets the eye. 

Gladstone’s dress features a bustier along with a cape with matching floral quillwork motifs. Her look paid tribute to her Indigenous community as well as her newfound Osage friends from the set of Scorsese’s film. Jason Rembert, Gladstone’s stylist, and her used her platform when she could in order to highlight Indigenous artists while on the press tour for “Killers of the Flower Moon” when she could.  

Both Rembert and Gladstone decided on a custom look designed by Gucci (watch the video to learn more about it, here!) creative director Sabato De Sarno in collaboration with the Indigenous artists, Joe Big Mountain (@joe.bigmtn on IG) and his wife, Sunshine Big Mountain. Big Mountain, a Mohawk, Cree, and Comanche, is renowned for his quillwork jewelry. De Sarno stated, “Creating a dress that conveys beauty and illuminates Indigenous designers and artistry, passed down through generations, is powerful; The collaboration with Joe and [his wife] Sunshine in Italy was a special moment for me,” (Vogue).

In order to hand-quill 216 individual quilled petals to the gown’s velvet cape, a team of indigenous artists was assembled by the Big Mountains on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin. This team consisted of Kendrick Powless-Crouch, Jossalyn Metoxen, Seven Oshkabewisens, Dionne Jacobs, Paige Skenandore, and Aryien Stevens. Immediately after trying on the dress, Gladstone said, “I can literally feel the love poured into each quill and bead—the dress is alive with it. The effortless integration of pinnacle luxury [from] both Iron Horse and Gucci was my dream from day one. It’s so brilliant, I cried,” (Vogue). 

As for the official Vanity-Fair Oscars after-party, Joe Big Mountain and De Sarno at Gucci collaborated once again for Gladstone’s second dress of the evening. The second dress was a black, floor-length design with short sleeves, beaded fringe, and more quillwork embroidered into the neckline. 

Unfortunately, Gladstone walked away that night without an award, but she left with something much more: the pride of knowing she represented the Indigenous community nation-wide. Gladstone’s acting and fashion designs not only catch the attention of viewers and The Academy, but provide Indigenous representation that’s long overdue for her community.

Bella Cox

Cal Poly '26

Bella Cox is a second-year student at Cal Poly, majoring in Journalism. She is currently involved in Her Campus as a writer on the editorial team. Beyond her academic pursuits, she finds joy in exploring new places, immersing herself in literature, volunteering within her community, and journaling about life. She is eager to pursue a career where she can share her writing with as many people as possible, and maybe even travel while doing so!