Michaela Coel, Joan Smalls, Hari Nef and More of the Week's Best Dressed

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After starting the month with warm-weather style, celebrities threw out the rule book last week. Without an overarching trend or strict dress code to guide them, stars opted for individualism, attending IRL premieres, parties, and awards shows in personality-driven pieces. 

Leading the pack was the week’s big winner Michaela Coel, who took home top honors at the BAFTA’s television Awards in a gown from Maximilian Davis. Coel’s elegant black and red gown was demure at first glance, but the second the I May Destroy You star turned around to reveal the look’s daring back with cut-outs, its edginess came to the forefront. When Davis’ creation debuted in Fashion East’s spring/summer 2021 look book, it was solid black, but for Coel, he added on crimson cuffs, a detail that added drama.

Similarly spectacular was the shock of acid yellow Raf Simons that Hari Nef brought to the TriBeCa Film Festival’s screening of In the Heights. A deceptively simple neon column paired with sequined opera gloves, the look was one of several standouts. In one corner, Nef brought modern minimalism; in the other, Joan Smalls offered a taste of Riccardo Tisci’s sultry reimagining of Burberry tartan. The model’s check cut-out midi-dress fit like a glove, but despite its overtly sexy body-conscious silhouette and strategic cut-outs, Smalls made it seem regal. 

Still, the night’s fairytale moment belonged to the film’s star Leslie Grace, whose classically minded Armani Privé dress was pure fantasy. Attention to detail is what sets couture apart, and Grace’s fringe, sequin, and mesh-covered gown featured multiple embellishments combined with such care that the final product was seamless. Each time Grace twirled on the red carpet, her movement illuminating the gown’s frenzy of sapphire blue and green crystals, it felt like a dream. 

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