Zendaya Goes Flapper Chic in Vintage Cavalli at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards

All eyes were on Zendaya as she stepped out in a flapper-esque vintage Roberto Cavalli dress at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards on Wednesday night at 1 Hotel’s Harriet’s in West Hollywood.

As co-chair of the event, which also drew Chrissy Teigen, Helen Hunt, Jennifer Coolidge, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, and Annie Lennox, Zendaya has long embraced vintage for red carpet appearances.

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Most impressively, her last look — a chrome suit of armor from Mugler’s Fall Winter 1995 couture collection — reportedly generated $13.3 million in media exposure after wearing the piece to the Dune: Part Two premiere in London.

To mark this occasion, she rocked a silver roaring twenties-inspired gown from Cavalli’s spring 2011 collection. But the night was about much more than just sustainable sartorial selections.

“Fashion has always been a lens that we use to look at the world,” the awards show’s founder Livia Firth explained. “When you want to talk about any issue — gender equality, poverty, education, fossil fuel — the first [stop] is fashion. If it is a lens, how do we use it in a way that is not myopic, but is actually a magnifying glass and how do we use it to connect all these different issues?”

“This is all connected and it’s connected through what I’m wearing,” Firth, the founder of Eco-Age consultancy and creative studio, continued. “So, how do we elevate this connection and make sure that it’s not only about the sustainable capsule collections? But it’s also about indigenous rights, equality, and peace. Last year, we started to establish this by creating this mixture of putting indigenous leaders, young leaders, the fashion and entertainment industry together during the biggest communication platform in the world and in the year, which is Oscars week. So how do you hijack the moment to turn it on its head? This year, there is less fashion, per say, and it’s more about leadership in a different way.”

Zendaya - Green Carpet Fashion Awards - Roberto Cavalli
Zendaya attends the 2024 Green Carpet Fashion Awards at 1 Hotel West Hollywood on March 6, 2024 in West Hollywood.

Underscoring this, John Legend received The Rebel award for his work toward ending mass incarceration through his foundation, FreeAmerica. After being presented by activist Shaka Senghor, Legend sang an impromptu rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”

“I wasn’t planning to sing, but after hearing Shaka speak like that, I was so inspired,” said Legend, who then joked: “When you think of John Legend, do you really think ‘the rebel?’ I’m an extremely chill person. You know how there are people with no chill? I’m all chill. But I do believe that I’ve been given a platform and I’m supposed to use my platform to speak out, use my voice, amplify the voices of other people and to fight for justice and change in places where we need change and we need more justice. I use my voice to speak out to end mass incarceration in America to make us a more just and more loving country.”

Donatella Versace was presented with the GCFA Changemaker award by Coolidge and MJ Rodriguez. “I’m sort of an imposter here tonight,” Coolidge joked. “I’m just staying in the hotel.”

Michaela Jae Rodriguez - Green Carpet Fashion Awards
Michaela Jae Rodriguez attends the 2024 Green Carpet Fashion Awards.

Rodriguez shared her personal experience having met Versace at the MET Gala in 2022. “Being in a space as a trans woman, especially a trans woman of color, you don’t know if there’s any space for you,” she said while reminiscing about that night. “[Donatella] floated in and I told myself, ‘Are you going to go up to her and say hello or are you going to stand here by this statue?’ I went up and said hello. It was the warmest and welcome hello. I really appreciated that. You just don’t know how one hello can really change somebody’s perspective in a space where you feel like you’re the only one.”

For her part, Versace said, “I have always tried to embrace change — even when it felt difficult to do it. Change is a great teacher. We would not grow without change. I’ve learned so much from my time spent with queer and transgender leaders and activists.” She referenced Nex Benedict, the transgender student from Oklahoma who was recently killed in a school bathroom. “This is an unspeakable tragedy,” Versace said. “We must raise our voices.”

John Legend - Chrissy Teigen - Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2024
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen attend the 2024 Green Carpet Fashion Awards.

Additional event honorees included the former President of Ireland and chair of Nelson Mandela’s The Elders organization, Mary Robinson (presented by Vanessa Nakate); labor activist Kalpona Atkar of Bangladesh (presented by Lennox); Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq of Greenland (presented by Trudie Styler); United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres; and Ugandan pop star turned politician Bobi Kyagulanyi Ssentamu and wife Barbie Kyagulanyi ,whose story is featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary film Bobi Wine: The People’s President.

Model Amber Valletta, a longtime sustainable fashion advocate, hit the stage to discuss the dinner’s “surprise” main course, which was presented alongside Champagne Telmont, Flor de Caña rum, and Avaline wine.

“It’s hard to follow all of the people before me with such powerful messages and what I got from everyone that spoke was it starts with us individually,” Valletta said, before joking, “Now I’m going to talk about food and fashion.”

Clad in a look by Triarchy, Valletta went on to explain that everyone’s pasta was made from tomatoes that were grown by Firth’s farm Quinto Sapore using scraps from Campari Denim’s compostable stretch denim fabric.

“Pretty soon you’re going to be eating your denim tonight,” she said, as the pasta was served. “This is truly circular fashion. Maybe next year you’ll all be able to eat my outfit. It’s made by the same denim.”

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