Despite not actually being nominated for any award at this year’s Grammy’s, singer and Scientologist Joy Villa was able to catch everyone’s attention on the red carpet on Sunday night with her gown with the patriotic red, white and blue motif. What made it more eye-catching was the name “Trump” emblazoned with glitter on the bottom of the dress and the the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” on the front.
As a woman who identifies herself as biracial (with a multiracial background of Afro-American, Italian, and Choctaw Indian), her outfit came as a surprise to some, especially since the entertainment industry itself has largely expressed its opposition toward many of Trump’s social policies.
It should also be noted that the designer behind the Trump gown worn by Villa is actually an immigrant from the Philippines.
According to designer Andre Soriano, the dress was created to express positivity. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he is supportive of the new president regardless of his stance on immigration and other issues.
In describing the inspiration for the dress, Soriano stated:
“I heard that somebody wanted to bomb the White House. And then I saw the Women’s March. … Joy Villa is all about love with her music. I’m like, ‘ Joy, We have to make a statement on what is right for our country, of what we believe in, for the Constitution.'”
When Soriano was asked about his political beliefs, he responded by saying that he is a proud American and stated that he believes that he is an example of the American dream.
Soriano was a naturalized citizen who got his first break via Rihanna’s reality show, “Styled to Rock”. The San Diego-based designer began selling ready-to-wear and red-carpet looks online via his own label in 2013.
“There are a lot of people that are in power that really misconstrued what this country stands for,” he said. “I love this country. I’m from the Philippine islands, I am a proud American. I really love this country. I am a minority, Joy is black. America is about immigrants.”
While Soriano has also made dresses for other popular artists such as Macy Gray, Courtney Love and Bai Ling for red-carpet events, he noted that his relationship with Joy Villa is quite special.
“I always channel Joy’s music as a designer — we’re both artists, and I love her so dearly,” says Soriano. “She is one of the people on this planet that really promotes love. We need to move this country forward, and we believe it’s time to promote love. We only live once, and we need to promote love. We have one president now who is going to do the best thing for planet America.”
In fact, many are questioning her stunt as an effort to get attention to Scientology or use it as a means for a Scientology safe point (term used for creating a perception that Scientology is beneficial to the community) via President Trump.
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