Brandon Maxwell Designs Custom Gown For Syrian Mother and Refugee For Oscars Red Carpet

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Photo: @BrandonMaxwell on Instagram

Rising designer and frequent Lady Gaga-collaborator Brandon Maxwell dressed Hala Amil, star of the Oscar-nominated documentary short Watani: My Homeland, for this year’s Oscars red carpet.

In a touching Instagram post, Maxwell shared some of the story behind Amil and his decision to create a stunning purple gown for her.

“Hala Kamil made her red carpet debut tonight at the 89th Academy Awards in a custom Brandon Maxwell look, made in purple to represent the color of her favorite flower, which happens to be my mother’s favorite color as well,” he wrote. “To me, every woman is a star and every star has a story. Hala’s story sincerely touched me and I am truly honoured that I had the privilege to create this look for her celebrating this momentous occasion. The goal for my collection is always to empower all women and to not just make them look beautiful, but feel beautiful as well.”

He continued to reveal a moving piece of Kamil’s past relationship to film’s biggest night: “She used to stay up with her husband every year and watch the Oscars from her home in Aleppo, which has now been destroyed, and tonight she walks the carpet. I hope she is having the time of her life.”

Take a look at the custom gown below:

Syrian refugee, mother of four, and focus of the Academy Award nominated short documentary film Watani: My Homeland, Hala Kamil made her red carpet debut tonight at the 89th Academy Awards in a custom #brandonmaxwell look, made in purple to represent the color of her favorite flower, which happens to be my mother’s favorite color as well. To me, every woman is a star and every star has a story. Hala’s story sincerely touched me and I am truly honoured that I had the privilege to create this look for her celebrating this momentous occasion. The goal for my collection is always to empower all women and to not just make them look beautiful, but feel beautiful as well. Hala’s strength and courage throughout her experiences is supremely admirable. Seeing her walk the red carpet full of confidence and elegance, and being a small part of her special night means the world to me. She used to stay up with her husband every year and watch the Oscars from her home in Aleppo, which has now been destroyed, and tonight she walks the carpet. I hope she is having the time of her life. Styled by the wonderful and truly amazing @sweetbabyjamie

A post shared by Brandon Maxwell (@brandonmaxwell) on

Watani: My Homeland was directed by Marcel Mettelsiefen and nominated this year for Best Documentary Short Subject. Watch the trailer below: