The Venice Film Festival may not be teeming with stars this year, but the annual amfAR Gala brought the glamour (see every look here). Leona Lewis stunned in scarlet — and she exclusively shared the behind-the-scenes details of her look with Us Weekly.
The 38-year-old singer is a passionate supporter of amfAR and the fight against HIV and AIDS, which inspired her fashion choice. “Red was important symbolically as it is the color for AIDS awareness globally,” Lewis tells Us. Fittingly, she chose a dress by Fouad Sarkis, accessorized with Damiani jewels and Jimmy Choo shoes.
The getting ready process was an intimate affair. Lewis’ makeup artist, Heidi North, and hairstylist, Rio Sreedharan, flew in from the U.K. to prep the star, and the trio glammed at the Madama Garden Retreat Hotel in the heart of Venice. The boutique lodge has a home-away-from-home vibe that the Bleeding Love singer adores. “It feels like you’re staying at a glamorous friend’s house,” she shares.
While nibbling on vegan treats including pasta with fresh pesto and locally-made cookies, they set to work. Streedharan waxed the ends with Ouai’s matte pomade before wrapping Lewis’ natural hair into a “tight, curly, messy bun with a few curls peeping out to keep the look fresh,” the pro tells Us.
North painted “a modern take on a classic Hollywood glam” look. The finishing touch? A swipe of Nars’ Heat Wave lipstick. “Leona loves an opportunity to wear a red lip, so we went for an orange-based red with a creamy matte finish which looked gorgeous against her skintone,” she says.
U.K. garage music pumped in the background until it was time for the activist to do her vocal warm-ups — then she provided the soundtrack, herself!
Scroll through to see the building blocks of the look.