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The moving tribute hidden in Selena Gomez’s latest red carpet look

<i>Kristy Sparow/Getty Images</i><br/>Another floral look from Mishra's collection also featured large-scale
Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
Another floral look from Mishra's collection also featured large-scale

By Taylor Nicioli, CNN

(CNN) — Selena Gomez was in full bloom at her inaugural Rare Impact Fund Benefit on Wednesday, wearing a hand-embroidered purple dress from designer Rahul Mishra.

With loosely sculptural pieces resembling a lush flower’s petals, the floral minidress was comprised of thousands of meticulously placed amethyst-colored sequins that flowed over the star’s shoulders and neck and cascaded down to mid-thigh.

Gomez hosted the gala event, “A Night of Radiance & Reflection,” in Los Angeles, with all tickets and other proceeds going to support the Rare Impact Fund, an organization she started in July 2020 with a goal to “expand access to mental health services and education for young people around the world,” according to the fund’s website.

The fund was started in collaboration with her beauty line, Rare Beauty, from which 1% of all sales are donated to the fund. And ahead of the event, Gomez released an Instagram video confirming that on October 10, World Mental Health Day, all proceeds from sales of Rare Beauty at Sephora stores would benefit the fund, which expects to raise $100 million within the next 10 years.

“It is an issue that has become very close to my heart,” Gomez said in a CNN article for World Mental Health Day in 2020.

“I try to use my voice to help reduce the stigma associated with talking about mental health, and to encourage people to celebrate their uniqueness.”

Dazzling in not one but three looks that night, Gomez also sported a sparkling Valentino halter gown, which also featured floral detailing at the neckline, and a velvet, jungle-inspired look from the Monse Fall-Winter 2023 collection.

But her vibrant “Iris” dress drew the most attention, thanks in part to a hidden message at its core: Neatly camouflaged in the middle of the dress was an embroidered portrait of Munir Ahmed, one of Mishra’s tailors, at work on a sewing machine.

The petal corset is one of 92 pieces in Mishra’s “We, The People” collection, which he presented at Haute Couture Week in Paris in July. (On the runway, the piece was paired with a glamorous pair of sequinned leggings, as well as purple socks and chunky silver heels.) Mishra called the collection as “an ode to our fashion workers who articulate the looks at our atelier,” in an Instagram comment. 

Mishra’s Instagram post included photographs of the dress in various stages from concept to completion, as well as a video displaying close-ups of the intricate embellishments.

Mishra described Ahmed as someone “who has been an essential part of our team for over a decade.” And speaking previously with Vogue at his Paris show, he praised his employees similarly: “The work we do belongs to all of us, to all the people that contributed to making this collection come to life,” Mishra explained. “It’s a collective dream.”

“The way you chose to pay homage to your tailor by immortalizing him through this garment is pure brilliance,” one Instagram user commented under Mishra’s post, while another expressed their exuberance for what they called a long-awaited “star wearing stars collection.”

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