27th Annual Stellar Awards: Fashion & Faith Edition
Coverage provided by Imani Daniel & Christina McSwain of Seeking Zion Creative Consultants for ROOT Magazine
Photography By Ta-Tanisha Thomas
On Saturday, January 14, the 27th Annual Stellar Awards were held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. ROOT Magazine was on the scene providing full coverage of the awards and surrounding events. It was a jam-packed weekend full of fashion and faith and we’ve got the style scoop on what your favorite artists wore.
Carlos Hale and Urban Soul Café kicked off the weekend’s festivities with their Access Granted tribute to Gospel Legends, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole and The Rance Allen Group. Kim Burrell was also honored with the USC Artist of the Year award.
Known for her Midwest take on church-girl glamour, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole dished about her classic style, crediting her mother, the late Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, with instilling an appreciation for “head-to-toe” fashion in her and her sisters. Clark-Cole says “Your first impression may be the last impression. Represent Christ and have people around you who know what they are doing.”
That evening, style-setters Damita Haddon and Jai agreed that to them, fashion is about “being who you are and letting that shine through.” Newcomer and vocal powerhouse Brittney Wright named Kim Kardashian and Lucille Ball as her style icons and says her look is easily described as vintage glam. She makes intentional fashion choices that attract people, but without distracting them from the message of Jesus Christ in her music. The traditional, yet trendy Nevels sisters revealed that they like to have fun with fashion too and take their style cues from 1 Timothy 2:9 which states “…women should be modestly adorned…”.
The weekend celebrations continued, and Friday afternoon hosted the BMI Trailblazer’s of Gospel Luncheon, where Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Kirk Franklin were honored for their contributions to gospel music. On the fashion front, attendees’ looks ranged from prim and professional to classy casual. Style favorites were Sunday Best winner Y’anna Crawley, with a white pant suit and bold pop of color. For men, Isaac Carree wore a custom black suit by Antar Levar Bespoke and shoes by Tom Ford with a black turtleneck for a clean, tailored look.
Friday evening marked the third anniversary celebration for Bonnerfide Radio – the online radio station and brainchild of Gerard Bonner. This Stellar weekend hot spot featured live performances from gospel newcomers and industry veterans alike. The crowd was trendy and playful with their looks, combining street style and classic pieces. Most noted looks of the night were from the NYC-based group Liv’re; their funky twist on black and white stood out, as they dressed by Micah McDonald in designer pieces from Gucci, Burberry, and Dior. Stellar nominee Kierra Sheard was also playful in a casual black and white T-shirt, coupled with jeans and a bold royal blue pump for fun.
The Stellar Awards ceremony was an evening of standout individual style. Best dressed nods go to Stellar Award winner for Song of the Year & Album of the Year, Kirk Franklin who donned a tailored velvet blazer by Gucci over a denim dress shirt and black bowtie paired with dark washed jeans and black combat boots. His wife Tammy was our style favorite and complemented his look, with a fun twist on tuxedo inspired menswear in black leggings by Ralph Lauren, a fitted blazer by Dolce & Gabanna and Miu Miu open-toe suede sandals. Sunday Best runner up Jessica Reedy also served stunning style in a gorgeous white column gown by Apaella accessorized with a stunning gold tone collar and cuff bracelets for the red carpet. For her performance look, stylist J. Bolin dressed her in “all black everything” with trendy tassel accessories by BCBG. Leandria Johnson, also from Sunday Best fame, went from simple chic on the red carpet in a red-toned cocktail length dress, to high glamour for her performance look in a beautiful, floor length purple one-shouldered gown with knee-high split.
Host Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole had several outfit changes throughout the show, and wore designers including Wayne Daniels and Sir Gregory. Stellar Award winner for New Artist of the Year, Y’anna Crawley radiated with a vibrant pop of color and bling in a long-sleeve fuchsia gown with contrasting empire waist belt detailing.
The night’s big winner, VaShawn Mitchell, was in grey plaid by Tom Ford, while Deon Kipping, fresh off the Fearless tour with Kirk Franklin, kept it simple and classic in a black 3 piece Hugo Boss tuxedo paired with Gucci ‘Morgan’ Loafers. Issac Carree, our February cover artist wore a custom Navy Blue tuxedo with black contrast piping by Antar Levar. While Gospel Music veteran, Kurt Carr stepped on the red carpet in a custom grey plaid suit with purple velvet piping and Louis Vuitton’s Velvet Prom Loafer. Needless to say, our brothers in the faith did not disappoint when it came to their fashion.
It is our belief that the God of our faith can be celebrated and represented in our fashion as well. While looks aren’t everything, they are something, and through our presentation, we exemplify the beauty and grace that comes from the One who saved us. More than the glitz and glamour of designer fashions and elaborate accessories, it was the love and life of Christ, shining through everyone, that made for a great weekend of fun style and the Father’s spirit.
Never forget, Look Fancy AND Live Free!