Syrian refugee Hala Kamil celebrated a monumental moment last night when she walked the red carpet at the 2017 Academy Awards in Los Angeles. The Syrian mother of four, who fled from Aleppo with her family, is the subject of Oscar-nominated short documentary Watani: My Homeland. Directed, produced, and written by Marcel Mettelsiefen, the film was shot over the course of a three-year period that began in 2013.
Moved by Kamil’s story, designer Brandon Maxwell was quick to step in, creating a custom look for her. Within a tight three-day timeframe, Maxwell dreamed up a two-piece gown inspired by the color of her favorite flower. Kamil made her red carpet debut wearing a long-sleeved lilac peplum top, paired with a long black skirt, complemented by a lightly draped lilac hijab.
Honored to have dressed Kamil for the special occasion, Maxwell posted a picture of her on his Instagram profile as she arrived to ceremony, writing: “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.”