Andra Day stormed the red carpet with a dazzling look paired that had a special meaning.
The ‘United States Vs. Billie Holiday’ star, 36, channeled the legendary singer she portrays in the Lee Daniels-directed biopic at the 93rd annual Academy Awards, walking the red carpet in a sultry custom Vera Wang gold gown. Day accessorized the sexy dress, which features a large cutout and side slit, with Tiffany & Co. jewels, a gold clutch and matching stilettos.
Before she walked the red carpet, the star’s makeup artist Porsche Coopertold PEOPLE “you’ve never seen anything like this on the Oscar’s red carpet,” of her gown.
Speaking with PEOPLE at a press junket ahead of the Oscars, the star teased that she was going to honor Holiday by choosing something out of her comfort zone. “I wanted to wear something that I, myself as Andra Day would have never worn before the movie. I wanted something very, very sexy.”
Day added that Holiday “loved being sexy” and “loved lingerie,” which she said is a testament to the “Strange Fruit” singer’s mental state during the time period portrayed in the Hulu film.
“I wanted something that was really just gorgeous and really fit the woman’s body,” the “Rise Up” singer said of her Oscars gown.
The Golden Globe winner also shared that she got the opportunity to speak with Wang during the fitting process. “She really dove in to what my vision was and what it is that I wanted to express,” Day explained. “She was so moved by the movie. She has created some incredible designs, and I am just elated. I am honored truly to be wearing her at the Oscars.”
Earlier this year, Day said her character took “hold” of her while filming The United States Vs Billie Holiday. From losing weight and smoking cigarettes, to changing her mannerisms and cutting off her hair, Day’s transformation was drastic.
“You know, usually you’re like celebrating, you’re like, ‘Yay, big chop,'” she told the PEOPLE Every Day podcast of cutting her hair. “But I was like, ‘Did we just straight [cut] right into the back of my head? Okay.'”
“It was worth it,” the singer continued. “I was happy actually. I actually really enjoyed the short hair. So ultimately it was working, and I think there’s just no way to do a character like her’s justice without going [all in]. I mean, that’s a Black woman in [the] ’30s, you know, there’s no way to do a justice without going that deep.”
The 93rd Academy Awards are airing live on Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.