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Tracking Lupita Nyong'o's Pre-Oscar Awards Season: The Wins, Losses, and Dresses

Lupita Nyong'o
(Getty Images | Zimbio)Lupita Nyong'o has had a big year. As soon as 12 Years a Slave opened, it was clear the Kenyan actress had loads of talent, but no one knew she'd be an instant style icon, too.

As the lithe newcomer has made her way through awards season, Lupita has landed on as many best dressed lists as she has year-end critics' lists. With the Oscars just days away, we looked back at each of her awards show appearances to track which awards she won, and what she wore while winning (or occasionally not winning) them.

For a little expert commentary on Lupita's wardrobe we turned to Simona Rabinovitch of sister site StyleBistro.com. Let's start with a look at the actress' awards season fashion palette, along with a tally of wins and losses.
Lupita Nyong'o's fashion palette
Lupita Nyong'o
Hollywood Film Awards, Oct. 21, 2013

The Awards: Lupita's first brush with awards season glory came back in October when she picked up the "New Hollywood" award at the Hollywood Film Awards. While she came away with the newcomer award, she lost out to Julia Roberts for Best Supporting Actress. In her emotional acceptance speech she told director Steve McQueen, "I will never forget this opportunity you have created for me. Your thoughtful and complex direction will stay with me always. I love you."

The Dress: Bright canary yellow is a powerful hue that not every actress can rock on the red carpet, but Lupita dared to do so, and looked amazing in her flattering J.Mendel gown––a winner, to say the least.


(Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong'o
Los Angeles FIlm Critics Association Awards, Jan. 11

The Awards: The day before the Golden Globes, Lupita picked up her second award of the season from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The LAFCA, like its East Coast counterpart, the New York Film Critics Circle, is a smaller organization than, say, the Academy, but still holds sway in the film community, helping the actress build momentum early on.

The Dress: From yellow to orange; white to gray, bright solid colors look glorious on Lupita. This elegant soft gray number by Altuzarra featured a plunging neckline and silhouette that hugged her enviable curves. A perfect choice.

Lupita Nyong'o
(Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong'o
Golden Globes, Jan. 12

The Awards: Lupita's first loss of the season came at the Golden Globes, where Jennifer Lawrence won Best Supporting Actress. The award proved Lawrence was a real contender for the Oscar, setting up the Academy's most interesting race of the year.

The Dress: While Lupita may not have taken home the Golden Globe, her jaw-dropping red Ralph Lauren caped gown was a definite style champ of the evening. Gotta love those brights, and the confidence to rock a cape on the red carpet.

Lupita Nyong'o
(Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong'o
Critics' Choice Awards, Jan. 16

The Awards: After topping so many critics' year-end lists, it was no wonder Lupita took home top honors at the Critics' Choice Awards. The tears were flowing as she accepted her trophy, dedicating it to her uncle, who attended every one of her plays when she was younger but never lived to see how she would fare in Hollywood.

The Dress: Another awards ceremony, another winning dress for Lupita. Her white Calvin Klein gown featured cut-outs and simple lines––that also invited her natural beauty shine through. Win-win.

Lupita Nyong'o
(Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong'o
Screen Actors Guild Awards, Jan. 18

The Awards: Capping off a very busy and emotional week in January, Lupita took home the SAG award for Best Supporting Actress. The win solidied her status as Oscar frontrunner because the largest voting block in the Academy is made up of actors, which overlaps considerably with the Screen Actors Guild. By the time this win came around, Lupita was starting to get into her acceptance speech rhythm, smoothly running down her list of thank-yous while almost holding the tears at bay.

The Dress: Simple lines aside, where gowns are concerned, sometimes an actress has to bring out all those feminine bells and whistles she can muster and show off her girly side. With a little help from Gucci, Lupita did just that with ultimate grace at the SAG awards––and in a gorgeous shade of turquoise, no less.

Lupita Nyong'o
(Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong'o
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, Feb. 16

The Awards: In the last big awards show leading up to the Oscars, Lupita came away disappointed with a loss to Jennifer Lawrence at the BAFTAs in London. To make matters worse, Lawrence didn't even show up to accept the statue. She says she was actually in the makeup chair on the set of the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, being painted blue for her part as Mystique, when she heard.

The Dress: Bright emerald green worked wonders for Lupita at the BAFTA awards, as the actress sported a stunning strapless Christian Dior Couture gown with a skirt that just kept on giving. She looked radiant, stylish, and every bit the style icon that she's becoming.

Lupita Nyong'o
(Bauer Griffin)
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