Together with a desi mehndi artist, Lupita Nyong’o created the ultimate fashion statement.
The musical adaptation of Indian director Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding had its opening night, and Kenyan-Mexican actor Lupita Nyong’o made quite the fashion statement. Her outfit included a stunning Pakistani designer sari and, more significantly, stunning mehndi applied to her head.
The mehndi was created by an artist known on Instagram as Henna by Sabeen. She works as a desi artist in New York. She met the Black Panther actor through Pakistani artist Misha Japanwala, whose wedding mehndi she had applied.
“Last year, I encountered Henna by Sabeen at a Pakistani wedding. I was astounded by the complexity and beauty of the henna design she created for the bride. She used henna art as a method to express herself, and it had a distinctive quality. “And I made a promise to myself: ‘One day, I will have a reason to work with Sabeen,'” she wrote on Instagram.
It was for Japanwala’s wedding that the actor traveled to Karachi in February 2022.
She claimed she was scurrying at the last minute to find something to wear a year and a half later. She borrowed a sari from Japanwala as well as some jewelry; the sari was created by Pakistani designer Demesne Couture, but she didn’t feel the outfit was complete.
And suddenly, in the middle of the night, a vision of a henna design covering my bald head SHOOT into my head! I might use the readily accessible canvas to create something unique and meaningful to honor the culture! I was unable to fall asleep again because I was so thrilled by the thought. Sabeen and I were on our way after Misha introduced us, Nyong’o wrote.
They faced a hurdle because neither Nyong’o nor the artist, Sabeen, had ever designed mehndi specifically for a head. “The only thing I told her I wanted was a widow’s peak (in homage to the bindhi, borla, and maang tikka); everything else was her original invention. She recommended jagua, a natural dye made from the South American jagua fruit, since it would be dark enough to provide a good contrast to my dark complexion.
“We experienced both excitement and fear. What if something went wrong or appeared odd? I suppose I could always wear a head scarf, I reasoned.
But they were both pleased with the outcome in the end. “She was DETERMINED to leave me a satisfied client, so we took breaks occasionally so I could offer her comments. Sabeen was METICULOUS as well. She persisted until it was flawless. We both cracked up when we saw the finished head.
According to the 12 Years a Slave actress, the dye takes around 24 hours to truly show up. “And the next day, when it arrived in COMPLETE CONTRAST, I was just MOVED. It was lovely. It had a point of view and was both elegant and bold. The risk we took in not playing it safe paid off. She wrote, “And I had discovered a new way to express myself without hair.
Therefore, the lesson of this tale is to DARE YOURSELF TO SEEK BEAUTY IN NEW WAYS. And, Sabeen, I appreciate you giving me the grace of your hand and history.
We adore witnessing admiration for Indian culture, which is to say, inappropriate admiration. Nyong’o was admiring and respectful of her complete appearance, and she looked stunning!