Nigerian singer Temilade Openiyi, popularly known by her stage name Tems, has explained why she opted to attend the 2023 Oscars in an extravagant outfit. 

The Grammy Award winner had received backlash from Twitter users who said the dress was view-obstructing to some participants who attended the event on Sunday. 

She was dressed in a white sculptural gown by Ukrainian brand, Lever Couture’s AW22, Leleka Couture collection. The gown features a large headpiece which makes it difficult for anyone behind Tems to see what is in front owing to how view-obstructing the headpiece is.  

Why she wore that: In an interview with Harper’s Bazzar, Tems disclosed that she decided to “go all out” and “make the most” of her first Oscars attendance. She said:

  • “Two years ago, I would’ve said no to this dress,” she said. “But it’s my first Oscars — I will go all out. I really wanted to make the most of the day. The dress is also my way of celebrating my work and the people around me, celebrating my country, and celebrating the people that are rooting for me. This dress says ‘Yes, yes, I am here!’” 

On her global success: Asked what her recent global achievements mean to her, the singer told the publication that it was an indication she is on the right path. 

  • “If the biggest women in the world love my work to such an extent that they are working with me, then that must say something. My work is actually reaching places, it’s making some impact. 
  • “And that is insane! I really am just trying to keep my feet on the ground and continue running and doing things that are a hundred per cent authentic to me—evolving, learning, and growing. It’s just the beginning for me,” she said. 

In case you missed it: Tems was nominated for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars for the movie’s soundtrack, ‘Lift Me Up’ which she co-wrote with superstar singer Rihanna; music producer, Ludwig Göransson; and Black Panther’s director, Ryan Coogler. 

On Sunday, she joined Hollywood’s elites who attended the annual award ceremony, which took place at the Dolby Centre in Los Angeles and was attended by Hollywood’s finest dressed in stunning outfits. The Nigerian singers’ attire was the talk of the event for several days.