Attending a big movie premiere, and walking the red carpet for it, is a pretty big deal in and of itself. But for In The Heights star Leslie Grace, her film’s debut at the Tribeca Film Festival last night was also her first time attending such an event, so you could say the stakes were that much higher. But despite being a Hollywood newcomer, she certainly delivered a fashion moment like an A-lister, with the help of a striking fashion look by Armani.
The movie-musical, directed by John M. Chu, is one of the splashiest and most-anticipated of the year: It centers around the lives of a tight-knit community in Washington Heights, New York, where the premiere was also set last night. Among the mostly-Latinx cast is Grace, who marks her feature film debut as Nina Rosario, a student who has come home with a secret. Being born in the Bronx, the star says the role was a full-circle moment for her. “Coming back to my home state to shoot my first movie, on the very blocks where my mom made the best of what she had to open her first salon, that is what dreams are made of,” says Grace. “Every single day was the best day ever, on and off set that summer. We love each other beyond words and that’s para siempre!”
For the big premiere, Grace needed a showstopping look to go with it, so she enlisted stylist duo Wayman + Micah to craft a look for her. They ended up dressing her in an elegant Armani Privé embroidered gown that commanded paparazzi flashbulbs. “It felt like pure magic from the moment I put it on,” says Grace. “The beadwork drew me to the look. You can feel the work that was put into it in the weight of the dress. The colors were stunning, and the way it shined on the rack was hard to beat.” When it came time for the glam to go with the dress, Grace also incorporated a more personal touch to the night: her mother, Elba Martinez, did the slicked-back hair, while her aunt, Isabel Perez, did her makeup using Armani Beauty products.
Now that the Hollywood newcomer has gotten a taste of the glitzy red carpet experience, she says we can expect her to continue delivering the stellar fashion moments for the rest of her promo tour. “I love to play. Whether it be with hair, clothes, or makeup, I want it to be fun,” says Grace. “I’m a chameleon, so I love to bring that energy to all of my looks and to create different moods. Wayman + Micah have allowed me to play, and have introduced me to so many incredible designers and looks throughout this promo tour. We are having so much fun!” As for her summer plans when she has a little time off? “I’m looking forward to spending some time back uptown and reliving the In The Heights nostalgia,” says Grace. “I’m also working on music and celebrating life with family.” Clearly, she has a lot to celebrate.
Below, exclusive getting-ready photos from Grace’s premiere.