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Who Let the Dogs Out? Young Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis did this award season! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 11:25


The youngest Best Actress nominee in history, Quvenzhané Wallis made a name for herself with her powerful acting and her playful purse choices.
Wallis was only five years old when she auditioned for the role of Hushpuppy in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” She so impressed the director that the film producer and writer adapted the character to mesh with her young age.
The Poochie & Co. inventory has leapt off the shelves since the actress began her award-show posing. The Yorkie one-of-a-kind creation will be manufactured for the public—perhaps in the upcoming months.
Even with her award firmly grasped in her hands, the actress manages to juggle her puppy purse!
Pretty as a picture, the actress beams at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Radiant in a reddish purple, Miss Wallis makes sure that her poodle purse complements the bold color choice.
The National Board of Review was the ideal forum for a more mature, grown-up ensemble.
A black-tie affair is the perfect forum for showcasing a shiny black dress, with pink edging, and a pink-accented white pup bag.
Fashion checklist: earrings, necklace, bracelet, and doggie bag!
A striking blue dress, and her ubiquitous pooch purse, make a darling fashion statement.
A casual luncheon still gets a biting bit of splash and color!
In a bold, stripe-patterned shirt, matched with a black-and-white puppy purse, Wallis is a young girl’s role model.
The youngest Best Actress nominee in history, Quvenzhané Wallis made a name for herself with her powerful acting and her playful purse choices.
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I love the pageantry and flair of the Oscars. When movies, which I’ve seen and enjoyed, are nominated, that’s an extra added bing to all of the Academy Award bling. When I’m not familiar with most of the nominees, it’s a long night of gawking at glamour and rubbernecking at long-legged starlets and hunky, handsome heartthrobs. Luckily, this year, I had caught 6 of the 9 Best Picture candidates, and 3 of the Animated Movie choices. So, we were certainly excited to see how the evening would unfold.

By “we,” I mean me and my 8-year-old daughter, Jane. For the first time ever, she was really aware of what was nominated and had a preferred dog in the race. An out-of-her-mind fanatic for the animated film “Brave,” Jane has memorabilia that highlights every aspect of that Highlands epic: dolls, bears, nightgown, and bow & arrow set. She was rooting for that film to win, and I let her stay up to watch a bit of the ceremony. Fortunately for Jane, the cartoon considerations happened during her awake time, and she lustily cheered the victory of “Brave.”

Her other preferred nominees wouldn’t occur until much later into the night. (I’m an old hand at these award shows, so I had a good sense of when the bestowing of the trophies would be scheduled.) Jane’s favorite movie of the year nabbed a handful of Oscar nominations. It was the only one of the Best Picture nominees that she had seen—in fact, she had seen it twice and had memorized some of the dialogue. She was smitten by “The Beasts of the Southern Wild” and was captivated by the six-year-old who starred as the courageous and indomitable Hushpuppy.

Apparently, this film had to have languished in the Hollywood system for quite some time, because the tiny and talented actress, Quvenzhané Wallis, who plays the feisty Hushpuppy is now nine years old. The youngest nominee ever for the coveted Best Actress accolade, Wallis is a natural actress. She was able to capture moods and nuances with the tilt of her head or the widening of her eyes. Blessed with charisma, she carried the independent feature on her small, slim shoulders.

Jane was taken with Wallis’s voiceovers and with her passionate confrontations with her drunk but well-meaning father, as well as a pack of unfrozen prehistoric beasts. (You have to see the movie to understand the symbolism.) Just as the Scottish Disney princess Merida defies the odds in her adventure, Hushpuppy stands up to personal demons and external hurricane forces in this fantasy flick. She proves herself to be valiant and brave.

During the awards season that led up to the Oscars, Quvenzhané Wallis made the red-carpet rounds. At every gala, luncheon, banquet, and ceremony, she arrived in gorgeous duds, with a puppy purse on her arm. The fashion police that patrol these celebrity affairs were atwitter at the bold accessory choice. (They obviously aren’t aware of Douglas, Fiesta, or Aurora and their animal pocketbooks and backpacks.) The couture critics took to Twitter and Facebook and lionized Wallis for her darling doggy selections. They loved that she coupled such a youthful, age-appropriate item with her more grown-up designer togs.

The purses hailed from a company called Poochie & Co., a division of Cuddlie Accessories, ( and are adorable beyond belief. Each of the canine choices has a name and a biography: Betsy the bulldog, Fifi the poodle, Lizzy the cocker spaniel, and Sadie the curly haired, to name a few.

For the big Oscar night, Miss Wallis had a specially made, one-of-a-kind Yorkie purse crafted especially for the fete by Poochie & Co’s lead designer. Leslie Palmer knew that the young thespian had a beloved pet Yorkie at home, so she contacted Quvenzhané’s mother and asked what gown or gowns was her daughter considering for the big night out. After learning of the color possibilities, Palmer designed a Yorkie that would match with each potential hue. (The Wallis family also has a German shepherd, but a Yorkie was deemed sweeter for a pocketbook mascot.)

When the possible purses arrived, Palmer sewed the tutu and tiara on with her own hands. The hard work and the outreach to Quvenzhané’s mom paid off big-time. Everyone at the awards show went gaga for the unique bag. Fellow Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain oohed and ahhed over it. So did E! TV host Ryan Seacrest.

Wallis told him that she had a Yorkie at home named Sammy. Immediately tongues started wagging that the dog would be promptly renamed “Sandy.” (Whether this will truly become the pup’s real name, or it’s a bit of well-placed PR promotion, it certainly helped to launch the announcement that Quvenzhané Wallis will be playing Annie in Will Smith and Jay-Z’s updated version of the popular musical.)

Jane was sad when she learned the next day that “Beasts of the Southern Wild” didn’t nab any awards. Still, she maintains that it is one of her favorite movies EVER! She also loves the fact that there is a nine-year-old actress in Tinseltown who seems like a kid she’d like to hang out with and play with.

“I bet you her parents are so proud of her,” Jane said when she watched the petite nominee mug for the camera during the opening bits of the very long ceremony. “I hope you’ll be as proud of me,” she added.

My heart swelled, and I had to tell Jane: “I’m already so proud of you. And if we ever meet Mr. or Mrs. Wallis, we’ll arrange for a play date.”

That made Jane smile real big. “Maybe I’ll have the Chloe the Cat bag, and she’ll have another new dog one. That would be fun!” It’s good to have dreams.