Red Carpet Kelly Marie Tran Felt Like A Disney Princess In Her Red Carpet Áo Dài

Red Carpet Kelly Marie Tran Felt Like A Disney Princess In Her Red Carpet Áo Dài

Kelly Marie Tran played Rose Tico in Star Wars in 2017, becoming the first woman of color to portray a major role. Following a barrage of racist and sexist internet bullies, she deleted her Instagram and responded in a strong personal essay. In Raya and the Last Dragon, she reprised her role as the first Southeast Asian Disney princess. Tran wore a traditional Vietnamese outfit and headpiece created by Thai Nguyen to the virtual premiere.

kelly marie tran illustration

The Clothes of Our Lives series decodes prominent women’s sartorial decisions, examining how fashion can be used to communicate. Tran told us what it takes to make Hollywood history.

When I initially entered this business, I had no clue what I was doing. I was an office assistant before Star Wars. My parents work at Burger King and funeral homes. I had no idea stars had stylists! I had no idea people sat in hair and cosmetics for hours. It was all so overwhelming and fast-paced that I first doubted my ability to make smart clothing choices. But now I’m a new person. I’ve realized how I can utilize my privilege and position to elevate voices that have gone ignored.

Raya and the Last Dragon was a movie I wished I had seen growing up. It meant a lot to me since it was influenced by Southeast Asian traditions, where my family is from. I seldom get to honor this area of the globe in my work. So for the film’s virtual premiere, I contacted Thai Nguyen, who created my first premiere outfit for The Last Jedi. (He also designed for Paris by Night, my parents’ favorite Vietnamese performance show.) “Do you mind if I wear a áo dài?” I inquired. A traditional Vietnamese outfit. My mother wore áo dài to school every day, but there are several styles for special occasions. On my first trip back to Vietnam after The Last Jedi, my sisters and I dressed up and posed in front of the street where my father was homeless.

Thai loved the concept and gave me some sketches. “Thai, we only have one chance,” I said. “I want to be a Vietnamese queen.” And he nailed it. I wanted ours to be regal. I knew I wanted black and gold since gold is a significant hue in Asian culture. A phoenix theme was chosen since my Vietnamese name Loan means a mystical, miraculous bird. Overall, it’s one of my favorite outfits.

When I wore it with full hair and makeup for the premiere, I felt like a Disney princess. Growing up, I was extremely aware of my differences and tried to conceal them. This location felt so therapeutic and full-circle.


His experience has taught me so much about how to utilize my voice and make smart choices. I finally see my role in this narrative. I used to feel thankful when someone gave me a chance, as if it was a fluke. Now I’m thankful, but I also know I deserve to be here. My voice should be heard. That was not true of me a few years ago. I had to work hard to realize how much prejudice I had absorbed. I’m simply different. I know my pals. I (Kelly Marie Tran) am surrounded. Now I’m not so alone in this business.

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