Paulina Alexis wore a custom look designed by Bitterwater for Redhouse for the Critics Choice Awards, where she was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Reservation Dogs.”
“It just feels like me, and I have to give a shout out to my stylist, Britt [Theodora], for always pulling through with this stuff,” said Alexis, from her final fitting on Friday afternoon. “Brit really loves to show my personality through my outfits, and she does such a good job at finding the right people to make my outfits.”
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The two-piece dress featured a red velvet skirt and corset, which was embellished with dentalium shells. “It looks like an eagle,” Alexis said. “And my Indian name is Young Eagle.” She accessorized the dress with red Manolo Blahnik shoes and a Judith Leiber clutch.
Bitterwater for Redhouse designer Michelle Luna titled the dress “The Power of a Red Woman.”
“As a Dine’/Navajo woman, red signifies the sun. The sun brings forth light, growth and blessings,” Luna said of her design. “Red velvet fabric is often used in traditional wear for the Dine’ people. The white dentalium shells are worn by many northern nations and are a symbol of sacred wealth. I took these two representations of a southern and northern nation to create a dress for a strong being within our Native community. The red velvet and centered dentalium shells portray a woman lifting her hands to the sky in prayer.”
The red of the dress also called attention to MMIW/MMIP — missing, murdered, Indigenous women and people.
Ahead of Sunday’s awards ceremony, Alexis planned to prepare with fresh fruit, water, meditation and prayer. “I remember being so small and going to audition,” said Alexis, who was nominated on Sunday alongside leading costars D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai and Devery Jacobs; the series was up for best comedy. “I want to give a shout out to the critics and thank them as well for the nomination.”
What was she most looking forward to about attending the ceremony on Sunday?
“I’m bringing my boyfriend,” Alexis said. “I’ve always said I want to bring my baby to an award show at least once,” she added. “And I think my posing game got a little better. Because when I first started off I was a rookie, so I didn’t really know how to pose. I was shy — but now I’m not.”
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