Her stylist, Jason Bolden, told InStyle all about the look — including the secret meaning behind her stunning accessories.

By Samantha Sutton
May 24, 2021 @ 2:48 pm
Jason Bolden Talks Cynthia Erivo's Billboard Awards Dress
Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

There's a lot to love about actress, singer, and songwriter Cynthia Erivo (seriously, just that resume alone!), but one thing that's way up there on the list? The amount of fun she has with fashion. Over the past few months, as we've slowly pushed ourselves to revisit items like bras and jeans, the multi-hyphenate has really brought her A-game to every red carpet, whether it's stepping out in bright green dresses or elaborate sequin designs. Her stylist, Jason Bolden, always dreams up the most stunning looks for the star — and, of course, he's to credit for her whimsical Billboard Music Awards ensemble, which included ruffles, polka-dots, and sparkling jewelry.

With so gorgeousness to take in, we knew we needed to know more. What was the inspiration behind this look? Was there tiny details we might be missing at first glance? Of course, Bolden was happy to give InStyle the scoop — including the special, secret ruby that was included in Erivo's accessories.

What was the inspiration behind Cynthia's look?

"I wanted bring full on glamour back with a party feel to it. Cynthia embraces the flamboyance, the fun, and the fantastic dance party vibe."

Were there certain features you wanted to highlight with this look?

"We wanted it to be about volume, leg, and drop dead jewelry. The dress is a custom Carolina Herrera, having fun with polka dots. Carolina has polka dot heritage and no one does it better. I wanted to make a statement that a petite girl can wear volume and wear whatever your heart desires."

Are there specific details you want to point out that we might miss?

"The dress was a bold choice, but we also want to talk about the Christian Louboutin shoes. The 'Walk in a Mile in My Shoes' Collection was created in partnership by Louboutin and Idris Elba's wife Sabrina. 100% of the proceeds with support 5 grassroots organizations working to build greater equity in communities of color across the world. Cynthia is the first person to ever wear the Collection."

Jason Bolden Talks Cynthia Erivo's Billboard Awards Dress
Credit: Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Tell us about the jewelry and why you chose these pieces.

"The jewelry is all by Roberto Coin. I wanted something bold to complete the look but also feel very classic. Anytime I think of classic jewelry, I think of Roberto Coin. I love the jewelry because every piece has a hidden ruby and a hidden meaning. I feel it is often a secret only myself and the talent know, but Roberto Coin puts a hidden ruby in every piece so it touches the woman's skin. By doing this, it brings her peace, prosperity and happiness. How can you go wrong with that? That ruby represents the hidden fire in all my talent and especially Cynthia."

Cynthia always looks so great. Does she enjoy experimenting with style? What is the planning process typically like?

"I love work with Cynthia because it is very collaborative and she is fearless. We have these master mind conversations and then our ideas are able to come to fruition. Cynthia is rare in that she allows the Art of Fashion to be the ART."

What most excites you about the return to a more normal red carpet?

"My favorite part is seeing the finished product. I cannot wait to the photos to post – that is the most exciting part to me. That moment when they hit the red carpet and they just shine. I think tonight I am going to feel nostalgic because we have been waiting for that Red Carpet brilliance to come back."

Jason Bolden Talks Cynthia Erivo's Billboard Awards Dress
Credit: Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Do you feel like outrageous and statement fashion is going to have a resurgence this summer?

"God, I hope so. I want fashion to be as bold as it can be, and want people to fantasize about fashion and fashion be a place of fantasy."