“Two Years Ago, I Would’ve Said No To This Dress,”But….. -Tems Reveals Why She Wore Viral Oscars Outfit

Tems Speaks On Why She Wore Viral Oscars Outfit

Over the last 24 hours, Nigerian singer, Tems has gotten everyone talking both locally and internationally. The award-winning crooner had stormed the 95th Academy Awards popularly called the Oscars in a custom-made gown by Ukrainian brand, Lever Couture’s AW22 Leleka Couture collection, a look that Tems described as “outside the box.”

She wore the dreamy white gown with metallic silver eyeliner and cocoa-lined lips that complimented the overall futuristic tone of the outfit.

Tems real name Temilade Openiyi was nominated for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars for her work with director Ryan Coogler and Rihanna on the Wakanda Forever track “Lift Me Up.” Even though she didn’t win, she definitely got tongues wagging.

In an interview with Harpers Bazaar, the singer revealed why she wore the controversial outfit adding that she wanted to “go all out” with her outfit since it was her first time at the Oscars.

See excerpts from her interview below.

On her Oscars nomination

“When I first started out, this was not on my list of things I needed to do,” Tems told BAZAAR days ahead of her big night at the Oscars. “But honestly, I am honored. It’s the first time I’m in this space, and it just gives me the motivation to keep going and do more and reach my maximum potential.”

On her show-stopping dress

tems oscars 2023 dress

“Two years ago, I would’ve said no to this dress,” Tems laughs.But it’s my first Oscars — I am going to go all out. I really wanted to make the most of the day. 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!'”

The singer’s stylist, Dunsin Wright, also wanted to reflect the magnitude of the moment.

“At the start of the year, Tems said she was entering a new era. That played on my mind as I considered the perfect outfit for the Oscars. We wanted something that felt quite delicate but powerful, something that made her feel ethereal,” Wright says.

“I had spotted Lever Couture a while ago after their fashion show in Tokyo and instantly knew I wanted to work with them. It was a bold option, but I was confident that if anyone could wear it the way it needed to be worn, it was Tems. She is so graceful and confident, and she makes every piece her own.

“We wanted something that felt quite delicate but powerful, something that made her feel ethereal.”

On her groundbreaking career achievements and successes

“It’s an indication to me that I’m on the right path and that I am doing something that hasn’t been done before. If the biggest women in the world love my work to such an extent that they are working with me, then that must say something,” she explains. “My work is actually reaching places, it’s making some type of impact. And that is insane! I really am just trying to keep my feet on the ground and continue running and doing things that are a hundred percent authentic to me. Evolving, learning, growing. It’s just the beginning for me.”

How she deals with imposter syndrome

“If I see a limitation, I cure it. Any limitation that I find in myself or things that are hindering progress, I reject that. My normal state of being is without limitations. Who I am is without limitations. Limitation is a foreign thing to me,” she says confidently. “I’m going to go and go and go and go and go and go and go and reach and reach and reach and reach till I literally cannot anymore—which is till I die. Like till the grave!” she laughs.

“All of this, to me, is an open door. Not just for me, but for everybody who is from where I’m from. If I can do it, they can do it,” she continues. “I’m happy that I got to fight, and I want to let people know that they should fight for every single thing that they believe in. It’s not easy, but once you have a plan, once you know who you are and you know where you’re going, every single thing sorts itself out.”

Tems is the first African woman to have five Billboard hits (including her collaboration with Wizkid, “Essence”). She’s also the continent’s best-selling female artist.

She made an appearance on Beyoncé’s groundbreaking album Renaissance, where she was featured alongside Queen Bey and the legendary Grace Jones.


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