America Ferrera's 2020 Oscars Look Pays Homage to Her Indigenous Lenca Ancestors

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Watching celebrities show up for the red carpet at the Oscars is at least half as important as the big show itself — especially when stars get dressed with meaning. In the past, for award shows, we've seen stars choose outfits with intention to speak up for a cause, to show love for an organization, or to throw it back to an icon, and at the 2020 Oscars, America Ferrera chose her look with her own history in mind.

She's attending the Academy Awards on Sunday evening to bid adieu to the How to Train a Dragon series, which she's been a key part of for 12 years, and she walked the red carpet in a long red custom Alberta Ferretti gown with structured sleeves and a custom gold headpiece by Jennifer Behr.

"For the Academy Awards, America is wearing a custom red Alberta Ferretti gown," celebrity stylist Aviva Perea tells ishonest. "The dress has big shoulders and a full skirt, so to balance out the volume of the dress, we wanted to keep her hair super sleek and shiny with a center part."

After drying Ferrera's hair, Perea ran a flat-iron over it and then sprayed a healthy amount of Suave Professionals Flexible Control Finishing Hairspray to a clean mascara spoolie to smooth any remaining flyaways. "The goal is to keep the long super straight hair movable while maintaining the smoothness, and I think this hairspray has the right amount of hold," she says. "I attached her headpiece and off she glided to the Academy Awards."

In addition to some photos of herself from the night, the photo slideshow also includes two images that likely served as inspiration for her outfit for the night — one photograph of children, presumably from the Lenca tribe, and a drawing of a man wearing a similar headpiece.

During an interview with E!, Ferrera mentioned that even though How to Train a Dragon would be over with the ending of this award season, she has much to look forward to, including an upcoming Netflix series called Gentrified (of which she's directed a couple of episodes) and the birth of her second child.

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