As was expected, Michaela Coel dominated the TV BAFTAs 2021 last night. In recognition of her seminal 2020 television series I May Destroy You, which grappled with one woman's fallout following an incident of sexual assault, Coel took home awards for Best Lead Actress, Best Mini-Series and Best Director. While devoting her acceptance speeches to the hidden work of the crew and the intimacy coordinator on her show, Coel wore a floor-length black dress made by the young, London-based designer Maximilian Davis, who is currently part of Lulu Kennedy's talent incubator Fashion East.
Coel's BAFTA dress has previously been referred to as the 'highway gown' - Davis created the look for his S/S 21 collection with plunging cut-outs on the front and back of the dress, evoking the curvy motorways from his early memories of Trinidad. The designer added custom details to the dress for Coel, including a pair of red cuffs.
Senior fashion editor at large of AnOther Magazine, Nell Kalonji, styled the look on Coel. 'This was such a moment. She's not someone who promotes herself very much - she's not on social media,' says Kalonji over the phone.
Davis was the first designer who came to Kalonji's mind, after Coel reached out to her about creating a look. 'Maximilian shows black elegance, so they (Coel and Davis) are a match made in heaven. There's such an elegance to her as well,' she says.
Yet, despite this inherent elegance, Coel, just like the television she creates, is down to earth. 'She's very easygoing. The fitting didn't take long. We put it on her and were like, "Yep, that's the one. Cool."'