See Halle Bailey's Best Looks from 'The Little Mermaid' Press Tour
Ahead of the release of The Little Mermaid, Halle Bailey has been channeling her inner Ariel with some gorgeous mermaid-inspired gowns. See some of her best looks from the Disney press tour
Part of Her World
Halle Bailey looked like like real-life undersea royalty as she stepped out at The Little Mermaid premiere in Hollywood on May 8. For the special event, she shined in a custom gown by Valdrin Sahiti that evoked a mermaid's shimmering tail.
Speaking to PEOPLE on the red carpet, Bailey gave a nod to princesses played by actresses including Brandy and Anika Noni Rose who "were the blueprint for me to even be able to be here today."
She added, "I hope that [Black girls] know they are worthy and we deserve to be in these spaces. And I hope that they see themselves in me on the screen. I'm just grateful to be here."
Showing Off Her Red Locks
Not only did Bailey go full mermaidcore with her liquid-esque gown, but she completed the look by donning red locks like her character Ariel.
In a cover story for Ebony, Bailey expressed why it was so important for her to show her natural hair in the movie.
"There was a time when we'd barely see locs—and now we have a Disney princess with them, which has never happened before," she told Ebony. "It was super important for me to have my natural hair in this film. I was really grateful to [director] Rob Marshall, because he wanted to keep my locs. It's always important to have somebody to cosign."
Two Disney Princesses Unite
After walking the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere, Bailey slipped into a beaded gown that was reminiscent of the dress Ariel wears as she emerges from the ocean and reunites with Prince Eric in the film.
Following the screening, Bailey also shared a magical moment with Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the original 1989 Disney animated movie. Donning her own princess-perfect gown, Benson beamed alongside the newest iteration of Ariel.
On May 11, Bailey joined actor Javier Bardem (who plays Ariel's father King Triton) at the film's premiere in Mexico City, Mexico. The two showed off their sweet bond as they held hands and shared an embrace on the red carpet.
For the Mexico premiere of The Little Mermaid, Bailey was draped in another gown that evoked the sea, with its netting effect and pearl embroidery, as she posed on the red carpet, which was transformed into a seaside grotto.
Going Under the Sea
For "Disney Night" on American Idol, Bailey gave a special performance at Disneyland Resort. Wearing a blue satin gown that gave the effect of rising out of the water, Bailey belted "Part of Your World" on the stage.
For the film's London premiere on May 15, Bailey donned a custom Miss Sohee gown with beaded seashell motif and a glamorous "swim cap" style headpiece.
It's All in the Details
Pearl accessories and the scalloped edges of the headpiece further added to the sea-inspired vibes of the look.
An Adorable Disney Duo
Bailey and her costar Jonah Hauer-King (who plays Prince Eric) showed off their sweet chemistry as they shared a laugh on the red carpet.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Bailey held a mini meet-and-greet with a group of lucky young girls as she attended the London premiere of The Little Mermaid.
Speaking with PEOPLE, Bailey expressed how grateful she is to inspire the next generation, especially young girls of color. "It's exceptional to be able to see a figure that you look up to that also looks like your auntie or your sister," she said.
"When I was able to see them, I felt like I was worthy," she adds. "Now that I'm on posters and inspiring these little girls that come up to me, it's very surreal. I just want to continue making them proud of me."
Bailey and Melissa McCarthy (who plays Ursula in the film) were far from poor unfortunate souls as they posed on the red carpet together.
McCarthy, who recently graced PEOPLE's Beautiful Issue cover, said she begged director Rob Marshall to play the Disney villain in the film.
"I loved her so much," she told PEOPLE. "She's such a broad, I just wanted to have a drink with her. And yes, she's the villain, but I was like, I think I get her. She's been ostracized. Especially after COVID, I think we all get Ursula a little bit more — spending all that time alone. I just thought she was funny. And I love that it was about this young woman who was just trying to figure out what she wanted."
Hugs From Ariel
Bailey shared an embrace with one young girl at the premiere, who was proudly holding Bailey's Ariel doll.
Of getting a doll in her likeness for the film, Bailey previously said, "I am literally choking up because this means so much to me, and to have one that looks like me, that is my favorite Disney character, is very surreal."
Riding the Wave
Bailey donned a pearly white ensemble as she arrived at Good Morning America on May 18, greeting photographers with a wave and bright smile.
Bailey donned an ocean blue dress with matching eyeshadow as she attended the film's Australian premiere on May 22. While the top of her dress was encrusted with shiny jewels, the bottom featured a long train, giving the appearance of a mermaid tail.
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