Behind Moana inspired dress for Auli’i Cravalho


A world premiere is a huge event that any star wants to look their best at. But when that star is Moana’s leading lady, voice of Moana, and movie newcomer, Auli’i Cravalho, the red carpet look has to be perfect. To find the exactly right dress, Disney tapped New Zealand fashion designer Kiri Nathan. Kiri dressed the rising star in a stunning, cobalt blue gown with a cascading, wave-like train emulating the shades of the ocean (Moana means “ocean” in several Polynesian languages).

Below is a behind-the-scenes video from Disney showcasing the “making of” the dress. Watch the design team discuss each intricate element of the garment, which pays homage to Māori culture and tradition; and see 15-year old Auli’i’s reaction as she meets with the designer for the big reveal of the gorgeous gown.

The dress incorporated:

  • Flower designs, traditionally worn when hosting or welcoming.
  • Kona pattern, representing authority and determination.
  • Raranga weaving and Whakairo carving.
  • Pounamu jewelry, the most precious stone to the Māori, only found in the south island of New Zealand, and the most significant gift you can give to another person.


We agree that actress Auli’i Cravalho looks like a star and can’t wait to see Disney’s Moana to see her character brought to life. November 23rd is right around the corner.

Photo information:
Top:(L-R) Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, actress Auli’i Cravalho, executive producer John Lasseter, and actor Dwayne Johnson attend The World Premiere of Disney’s “MOANA” at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

2nd: Actress Auli’i Cravalho attends The World Premiere of Disney’s “MOANA” at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

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