The ‘best dress’ at the Oscars that everyone should be talking about

And it isn’t Emma Stone’s. The gown we’re talking about, which was designed by Marchesa and sported by Olivia Culpo, is so much more than just a pretty silhouette with sparkly beading.

Detail of the gown worn by Olivia Culpo, a one-of-a-kind Marchesa for Stella Artois gown featuring beads made from the Stella Artois Limited-Edition Chalices that benefit Water.org during the 89th Annual Academy Awards on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood. Frazer Harrison | Getty Images | AFP

For days—perhaps months—people will be talking about the odd and very à la Miss Universe ending to the Academy Awards, when an envelope mix-up caused La La Land to be mistakenly named as the winner of the Best Picture award; The actual winner was Moonlight. And, besides the snafu, most fashion magazines are debating who was best dressed, among them, Emma Stone’s golden ensemble.

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If only Olivia Culpo, who was crowned Miss Universe back in 2012 (luckily without any who-won-it? drama), was getting the same level of attention for her dress, which was a creative and charitable stunner.

Her gown was an unusual collaboration between fashion mogul Marchesa and the beer company Stella Artois, creating a dress inspired by water—a resource that many Americans take for granted, but can be so scarce in some parts of the world.

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Every bead on her dress gave five years of clean water to a person in the developing world.”

“Our concept for the dress is to really evoke the mood of water—so the idea is to use beads that feel like they’re reflecting light as if they were water,” Marchesa representatives explained. And what does Stella Artois have to do with all of this? The brand has a campaign called “Buy a Lady a Drink” that helps the organization Water.org (which was co-founded by actor Matt Damon), give five years of clean water to one person in the developing world for every Limited-Edition Stella Artois Chalice—created especially for this cause—that they sell.

The best part is that Olivia Culpo’s participation in this effort wasn’t limited to simply standing on the red carpet and spreading this message; every bead on her dress was fashioned from these special Chalices, so the very creation of her dress donated gallons and gallons of water.

“It feels really nice to be a part of something that’s not just about looking the best on the red carpet. It really is about the bigger message and the difference that this is all going to make,” Culpo told E! Entertainment.

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Most actresses don’t do any philanthropy with the dresses they wear on the red carpet (Keira Knightly is one of the few who donated one of her dresses—her Vera Wang dress from 2006, which raised money to fight hunger in Africa), and the recent dispute between Meryl Streep and Karl Lagerfeld, regardless of who was right, made it clear that there are, in fact, brands that pay celebrities to wear their dresses. In light of this, it’s refreshing to know that there are celebrities, fashion designers and companies that are willing to work together to take advantage of the Oscars’ popularity and bring attention to issues of vital importance which can help thousands of people in need.

Beyond a doubt, together we are stronger.

Adriana Bello
Adriana Bello
Adriana is the editor-in-chief of a fashion and lifestyle magazine in Venezuela. She believes elegance is a matter of good taste, not money. Her fashion icon is Coco Chanel but most of the time she feels like Bridget Jones.

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