Singer Joy Villa turned heads over the weekend when she arrived at the 61st Anual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in a "Build-the-Wall" gown, complete with a red MAGA purse.

The 27-year-old Trump supporter wore a long white dress featuring a grey brick print, which looked similar to the iconic Pink Floyd album cover of The Wall. Continuing with the theme, the infamous phrase “Build the Wall” was printed on the back of the gown, in a familiar red font. The outfit was accessorised with barbed wire, a spiked headband and a red purse with the words “Make America Great again”.

While the gown drew a lot of criticism, Villa stood by her political views, taking to Twitter to thank her supporters and also give a shout out to the designer of the dress, Desi Allinger.

Allinger from Anaheim, California calls herself a celebrity fashion designer and has owned Desi Designs Couture for five years.

Indy100 sat down with her to discuss her thoughts on the controversial dress, the inspiration behind it and how she got to designing for the I Make The Static singer.

How did your collaboration with Joy Villa come about? Did you know who she was previously?

I knew of Joy when she appeared on the Red carpet at the 2017 Grammys wearing her [Make America Great] Trump dress. I thought she was very brave. A mutual friend (Nichole Ray, her makeup artist) introduced us a few months ago.

Joy was looking for someone to design her 2019 Grammys red carpet dress and Nichole recommended me.

I met Joy and we instantly hit it off. She was humble, kind, open-minded and I felt like we had known each other for years.

We initially collaborated on a look that was non-political. Something very couture and grand. After her first fitting, two weeks before the Grammys, she indicated that she needed a second look as she had a new vision: a “Build The Wall” dress. I said, "OK!” I embrace challenges.

Did you consider other designs or was the dress always intended to directly depict the border wall?

After Joy told me what she wanted, I slept on it. That is when I do my creative thinking. I woke up the next morning and the barbed wire shoulder piece idea popped in my head. That’s where it started. I had visioned what security fences look like when people are protecting property. Then I had to implement the words “Build The Wall” somewhere. I imagined gray brick, not red, hand painted with a LA graffiti vibe. I sent a sketch to Joy and she loved it. The rest of the look (headpiece, silver overlay, and purse) came later as we were developing the look.

Were you aware that Joy's previous outfits on the red carpet were controversial? What did you think of them?

Yes, I was aware of her previous red carpet looks. I just saw a person taking a stand for things she believes in or passionate about and expressing it through her wardrobe as most people do.

It’s ok to not agree or like everyone’s work but what is important is to respect people

What are your personal opinions on the dress and what it was depicting?

I am very proud of my work and I was able to create the vision my client wanted.

How much does it cost to make a 'Build The Wall' dress?

Without giving an exact number, I used very high-quality material, fabric paint, lining, imported rhinestones, and a high quality of supplies to create any client’s work. There have been many hours of sewing and handwork done to create Joy’s look.

How do you feel about the negative reactions the dress has recieved?

It’s been overwhelming at first, and I was really excited, but wow! There is so much hatred out there!

But with every negative comment had been followed by two positive ones. The opinions that matter to me are my family and close friends. They all are proud of me and support me.

It’s ok to not agree or like everyone’s work but what is important is to respect people.

I am designer who believes in diversity inclusion and my models in photo shoots and the runway reflect that. I design for all types of people - plus size, short, tall, transgender and female impersonators. We are all different and we belong.

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