BET Awards 2022: Novi Brown's Couture Gown Featured Over 2,300 Cowrie Shells! [EXCLUSIVE]

The 'Sistas' actress chatted with about the inspiration behind her showstopping look.

Novi Brown successfully created a fashion moment at the BET Awards 2022 on June 26. In case you missed it, all eyes were on the Sistas actress as she sashayed down the red carpet in a stunning LaFalaise Dionn couture gown that spoke to the overall vibe of Culture’s Biggest Night—perfection.

Eager to learn more about the black asymmetrical gown that captured our attention, we caught up with the busy BET star shortly after the ceremony to find out the inspiration behind the look. We also chatted with the Black designer responsible for the regal ensemble. Here's what we know!

Novi Brown attends the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

“I really wanted to bring something new to the table,” Brown told BET Lifestyle exclusively about the inspiration behind the one-of-a-kind gown that was beautifully decorated with more than 2,300 cowrie shells to symbolize "divine power, prestige, and status.” 

“I knew that I wanted to represent the culture and the BET Awards was the perfect place to do it,” Brown shared with us about working closely with LaFalaise Dion to create the show-stopping piece. “I wanted to fuse African American culture with African culture because bridging that gap is really important for us.”

The fashionable chemistry between the actress and designer is unmatched. After building a relationship with Lafalaise Dion—also known as the “Queen of Cowrie”— over the internet for a little over a year, Brown knew she wanted to work with the visual artist from Man, the 18 mountains city in Côte d’Ivoire, to create a show-stopping moment at the BET Awards. 

“[Novi] has a very creative mind,” Dion shared with us about collaborating with Brown. “It was a huge honor to work with her on this couture dress. Beyond the professional aspect, it was a human experience. I gained a muse, but most importantly I also gained a great friend and sister.”

"The perfect dress for the perfect body."

According to LaFalaise Dion, the entire look was created in three months, which includes the time it took for research, conception, and realization. “Everybody was so involved, it was real teamwork,” she explained. “We were all so proud and mesmerized by the rendering of the dress. It was a match made in heaven! The perfect dress for the perfect body.”

The masterful designer added, “My work is dedicated to the divine feminine. This dress was designed to magnify the beauty of curves, to show how women are powerful in their plenitude, with magic in natural simplicity. I wanted Novi to turn heads and make time stop for a minute for contemplation and appreciation of divine.”

Novi Brown attends the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

As an advocate for natural hair, Brown wanted her hair to match the dynamic of the dress, and she convinced her makeup artist Marquis Ward to create her braided crown. “Now Marquis does not like to do hair all the time, but this was just a divine moment,” the star revealed.

Brown's look was hands down one of the best, all the way down to the shoes. 

Speaking of shoes, you’ll never guess just how much she paid for those cuties. “Girl, I paid no more than $30 for those shoes,” she happily shared with us. Genius! 

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