ICYMI, this past weekend marked the first-ever Latin American Fashion Awards, which honored Latin designers, models, and creatives revolutionizing the global fashion industry. But for Leslie Grace, the occasion was more than a celebration of artistic excellence—it was a homecoming.
The Dominican-American actress and singer co-hosted the ceremony at the Altos de Chavón Amphitheater in La Romana, a city on the Dominican Republic’s coast, which happens to be same city in which her parents met. “It is always a source of pride for me to represent my people wherever I go, but even more so when it is in my country,” she tells ELLE.com. “I feel the warmth and affection of my people in a special way.”
Grace kicked off the night by singing her hit “Bachatica” alongside a lively, Dominican-inspired band, and no less show-stopping was the black sequin gown she sported on the red carpet. Created by Dominican designer Giannina Azar, the dress featured exaggerated shoulders, an open back, and a dramatic plunging neckline. “The pride I feel tonight wearing one of my favorite Dominican designers to kick off the night is unmatched,” she adds.
Grace continued to honor her roots through her accessories, pulling pieces from her mother’s personal jewelry archive for the occasion. “For a night so close to home, I’d wear some jewels with personal significance to me,” she said, pointing to a silver David Yurman ring that has become a favorite among the mother-daughter pair.
“Fashion has always been a vehicle of expression for me that in many ways has helped me discover myself more and more,” Grace says. “It makes me so proud to see the impact of our communities celebrated within the fashion world in a way that is unprecedented.”
Below, Grace invited us to tag along as she got ready for the Latin American Fashion Awards.
Getting ready at Casa de Campo.
My heart is always full when my mom, who has dedicated her life to beauty as a salon owner and hair stylist for 40-plus years, can be with me on special occasions such as this.
They always say that one is not a prophet in their own land, but tonight, listening to my song “Bachatica,” I feel the warmth and affection of my people in a special way.
Fueling up for an important first event of many ahead!
This look hits home quite literally because we are in the city where my parents met and my father is from, La Romana.
The pride I feel tonight wearing one of my favorite Dominican designers, Giannina Azar, to kick of the night is unmatched.
Fashion is such an effective language. It has the power of communicating so much without saying a word. I love that!
I thought for a night so close to home, I’d where some jewels with personal significance to me. These accessories were passed down from my mother’s archive.
One of my favorites of hers is this ring by David Yurman.
Tonight is very special because it is the first edition of the Latin American Fashion Awards in Altos de Chavón!
Azar is known for creating show stopping designs and has an incredible eye.
Shoes by Christian Louboutin.
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