Tems attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Tems attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images ) Credit: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Tems’ Oscar’s outfit goes viral. Was it a slay or a nay?

At the 95th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday, A-listers were largely celebrated for their daring fashion choices. Across the red carpet and after parties, there were barely-there bandeau tops, salmon satin dinner jackets, a surprising proliferation of capes and at least one bow-tie with googly eyes on parade. It was the Oscars, after all

A nominee this year in the best original song category, the Nigerian musician and producer Temilade Openiyi, also known as Tems, debuted one of the night’s more extravagant looks: a voluminous gown from the LA-based label Lever Couture. The dress featured a sculptural flourish of pleated and boned fabric strips that curved up through the bodice and around the head, seemingly frozen in space, and a skirt so full that it spilled over into the surrounding seats.

The bridal-style design was widely labeled as ethereal and angelic; it ranked highly on many social media users’ best-dressed lists, But others, however, took some issue with its scale.

With a tweet now liked tens of thousands times over, the writer Jarrett Bellini labeled the look a view-obstructing “stratus cloud,” empathizing with whoever was assigned the seat directly behind it.

“Tems got that one lady fighting for her life,” wrote another Twitter user along with a video clip of a woman, seemingly sitting in that very spot, craning her neck to look around and catch a glimpse of the stage. (None of those who sat in Tems’ orbit appear to have commented publicly on the fashion moment or its impact, though.)

Some Oscar watchers weighed in on whether this outfit was a slay or a big nay!

Patricia Markham Woodside – Beautiful! Too much for seated awards show. No consideration of people sitting directly behind her.

Trina McReynolds Bailey – It’s a beautiful dress. She looks stunning BUT it was an amateur move. It appears that this was her first time at the Oscars so she had zero situational awareness.

Victor McGlothin – Ridiculously Dope but Inconsiderate AF!

Amber Kale – Nope let her slay. No one complained of Cardi’s during Grammys.

Traci Lynn Manigault – Inconsiderate and disrespectful!

Julie Smith Fields – Inconsiderate if you had to sit down in front of people but she is sharp as HELL! LOL

Angelia Jones-Wilson – Let her slay!! It was beautiful.

Jarrett Keeling – Y’all didn’t say nothing about mothers cogic hats that covers the first row let her make it. What times the wedding?

Mellissa Westbrook – When you get a chance to shine baby shine!!!! I love it!! Every bit and folks can look around. Nailed it.

Lesley Hal – Wear on the carpet and change into something else for the awards ceremony.

Janice Jackson – What would WE say if Taylor Swift wore this? It was beautiful but inconsiderate to those seated around her.

Adeola Saul Tull – Extremely dope but also inconsiderate. And everyone who might be referencing Cardi’s outfit as similar. Cardi did not wear that outfit all night. She was a performer and changed. The outfit was essentially to walk the carpet. Also the Grammys had a different set up this year, weren’t folks sitting at tables as well? Her stylist was dead wrong!

Nakecia Bowers – Let her slay from the back or side of the room. Inconsiderate based on her seating.

Sonya Denise Johnson – Who was the designer and was this their first time designing for an awards show? They both were inconsiderate of others as the wrap should have been made detachable.

Kalimah Shabazz – If she wanted to be seen we saw her and we never missed her. I didn’t realize it was her till the end, I kept saying who is that lady in the wedding dress.

Kimberly R. Tezeno – Although it is a nice gown, the wrap around should have been foldable or detachable once she got to her seat.

Veronica Aikins Reid – Let her slay! Whatever the reason, it worked because it has us talking about her.

Jennifer Campbell – Somebody go get the head usher to escort her to a row in the back! Beautiful gown to be showcased on the carpet and for photo ops, but inconsiderate when she sat and blocked other people sitting behind her.