Vanessa Hudgens Gave the SAG Awards Its Couture Moment in Versace

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When Vanessa Hudgens started thinking about her look for the SAG Awards, the words chic, sexy, and classic sprang to mind. Crafting an ensemble that could encapsulate each and stand out on a red carpet populated by some of Hollywood’s boldest fashion stars was a tall order. Still, Hudgens and her stylist Jason Bolden knew precisely who would be able to pull it off: Donatella Versace. The Italian fashion legend has been instrumental in elevating red carpet fashion, and the Atelier Versace double-silk column dress she created for Hudgens was downright dreamy. A striking shade of aquamarine with draping along the neckline and the iconic Medusa head medallion on its straps, the gown was fit for a princess.

For Hudgens, the couture experience was mood-altering. “You just feel different when you’re wearing a dress that was made for your body,” she says. While the dress itself is a one-of-a-kind piece, it owes much to the supermodel-filled Versace fashion shows of decades past. “Jason had brought Donatella inspiration from a few dresses from the 90s,” says Hudgens, who found herself impressed with the craftsmanship of the final piece. “I was blown away by the structure,” she says. “I felt incredible in it.”

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A sketch of Vanessa’s Atelier Versace gown

A performer since childhood, Hudgens’s relationship with Screen Actors Guild began early, and getting the chance to reveal this year’s nominations with fellow presenter Rosario Dawson was a pleasure. “I’ve had my SAG card since I was 8,” says Hudgens. “Announcing my fellow peers for their incredible work was an honor.” Indeed the show itself, with its focus on camaraderie and community, has a special place on the awards season calendar. “Being surrounded by fellow actors that all respect each other and having a place where we celebrate the craft is the best part,” says Hudgens. “I had so many moments that I’ll never forget throughout the night.”

Hudgens’s evening had plenty of highlights—including presenting the female actor in a comedy series prize—but her moment of bliss came courtesy of another chic Versace fan. “Chatting with Salma Hayek after the show was really special,” says Hudgens. “I just adore her, and she said my dress was totally something she would have worn at my age.