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What Lupita Nyong’o stolen Sh13.5 million pearl dress can buy

By Tony Mochama | February 28th 2015

She stole the evening, fashion-wise, after being named the best-dressed person of the evening, our own Lupita Nyong’o, last Sunday at the Oscar Awards’ ceremony. All the glitterati critics all said ‘Yes’ to her dress.

But a few hours after the event, at the paradoxically named London Hotel in West Hollywood, some sartorially inclined thieves stole her dress.

All glittering white with 6,000 natural pearls straight from the oyster, a heist worth $150,000 (Sh13.5 million), because that is the worth of the Calvin Klein dress, custom-made for Lupita by the famous designer Francisco Costa, costs on the open market.

In other words, that dress would buy you (choose one):
(a) An Aston Martin V8 vehicle, (b) An Audi R8, (c) Maserati GranTurismo, (d) Mercedes Benz CL- class.

(Let’s go with D because you are Kenyan and, like me, cannot tell a GranTurismo from a safari ant crawling up your pants).

A quick search on OLX told this writer that for Lupita’s stolen dress, you could purchase real estate at Lang’ata. ‘China Gardens, behind Carnivore restaurant, this 4-bedroom, two en-suite, and servants’ quarter maisonette.’

Lupita, who last year was named by People magazine as ‘the most beautiful person in Hollywood’ got her breakthrough role playing Patsey, a slave girl, in the award winning movie ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ in 2013.

Ironically, the stand-out moment of the film is when Patsey (Lupita) is stripped of her dress, down to the skin, and then mercilessly whipped black, blue and red - until her skin resembles the tattered flag of some broken kingdom.

You could say the thieves stole the dress off her back, or in this case, out of her hotel room in West Hollywood. But it could have been worse.

On that same weekend another thespian, Nicholas Brendon of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fame was arrested in a Hollywood hotel room for causing mayhem and destruction worth $ 450 (Sh40,500) in the hotel, including peeing in the manager’s office while intoxicated. He was charged with ‘grand theft’ for refusing to pay a $ 380 (Sh34,200)  bar bill. His actions were neither valid- nor legit.

Earlier in the day, he had tweeted thus: ‘Hey, stuck in Hollywood w/no per diem. No hotel. No ride to airport. Thanks Twatters.’

Lupita Nyong’o, 31, had earlier said she wanted her dress to be fluid and liquid as a ‘homage to the sea.’ But on Oscar night, on the red carpet, the actress recanted: ‘ I’m just wearing my diamonds and pearls,’ she joked. ‘It’s my homage to Prince (musician).’

That particular Prince song goes: “If I gave you diamonds and pearls/ would you be a happy boy or a girl.
If I could I’d give you the world ...’ It looks like if for Lupita, the world is her oyster, then she has given some thieves the oyster’s pearls - on a silver dress.

And although they are reviewing the CCTV footage, no arrests have been made. Perhaps Lupita could do with a good talk to her father, Senator Nyong’o, also ODM Secretary General, to provide those Men in Black for security purposes, during these award ceremonies.

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