Nigerian singer and songwriter, Tems, has explained her fashion choice at the 2023 Academy Awards (Oscars), where she wore a white gown that some critics described as “view-blocking.”
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, the Grammy winner explained that she wanted to “go all out” for her first Oscars experience, and wearing the Lever Couture gown was her way of making a statement and celebrating her work.
She said, “The dress is also my way of celebrating my work and the people around me, celebrating my country, and celebrating the people that are rooting for me. This dress says ‘Yes, yes, I am here!'”
Tems added that the global attention she is receiving, including landing an Oscar nomination, only proves to her that her efforts are paying off.
At the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023, Tems caused a stir with her gown.
The co-writer of Rihanna’s Oscar-nominated single, “Lift Me Up,” wowed the red carpet in a Lever Couture gown with a delicate tulle fabric headpiece woven into a head-to-toe asymmetrical silhouette.
Although her outfit was an instant entry for the night’s best-dressed list, social media users were widely divided when it came to the headpiece’s presence inside the venue, where it obstructed the views of some of the guests seated behind her.
On Monday, Tems responded to the drama on Twitter, sharing four photos of herself in the now-infamous gown and writing, “Oops.”
Tems was nominated for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars for the movie’s soundtrack, “Lift Me Up,” which she co-wrote with Rihanna, music producer Ludwig Göransson, and Black Panther’s director, Ryan Coogler.
However, Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj’s “Naatu Naatu” won the category.