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Getting Ready With Danielle Brooks for Her First Oscars

It may have been her first time at the Oscars, but best supporting actress nominee Danielle Brooks wanted her dress to tell a different story.

“I wanted to give a vibe of ‘This is my first Oscars, but I’m coming back.’ It’s giving ‘I belong here,’” Brooks says over the phone the day before the big awards. “That’s how I feel about it. I feel like some looks give ‘This will be my first and only time, so I’m going to go big.’ For me, I feel like it’s like, ‘I’ve arrived and I’m here to stay.’”

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For the big day she wore a custom Dolce & Gabbana black corset gown that made her feel “quite secure and beautiful.” Her approach this awards season has been to continually try new things with fashion for each different event.

“I just wanted to continue to switch up the look and not be safe. We’ve done suits, we’ve done very flowy, girly dresses, we’ve done sheer, we’ve done corset, we’ve done everything. I’ve just really wanted to just not be safe and really represent for the plus-size women,” she says. “That’s been a lot of fun, to remind people, ‘Don’t forget that we’re sexy too.’ And we can wear designers as well, and just that we are here.”

Her one must-have throughout it all?

“Spanx. Spanx. Spanx,” she says. “The undergarments are really important. I feel like it can make or break a dress. Half of my suitcase — and I’m talking about the big boy suitcase — is filled with nothing but Spanx.”

That, and a change of flat shoes.

“It’s a lot of long days, a lot of time on your feet. So after you take that good picture, make sure you relieve yourself by changing out your shoes in a pair of good old flats or sneakers that match your look,” she says.

For beauty, she started working with Wella as a hair ambassador recently.

“It’s been really good because your hair can truly get damaged during this process. It’s constantly being tugged at, pulled on, braided flat, ironed heat, you’re putting a ton of heat on your edges. I have really good baby hair and I want to make sure that I keep my baby hair,” she says. “My hair has really taken a lot of stress. And so getting to work with Wella and use their Ultimate Repair Miracle Hair Rescue has really rescued my hair for sure.”

Going into Sunday, Brooks’ emotions were “all excitement.”

“I don’t want anything in my hand, but a drink and hopefully an award, and to have my family surrounding me. I just want to have a good time,” she says. “I want to soak in everything. I’m going to be taking notes on my phone all the time because I want to remember what people said to me and remember how I felt and remember the things that I experienced. I just want to continue to write down everything as I go because this moment only happens once. You only have your first Oscar one time, and I just want to never forget March 10, 2024.”

Launch Gallery: Getting Ready for the Oscars with Danielle Brooks

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