Camila McConaughey on Her Custom Oscars Gown: I Don't Do a Big Dress Because I'm Not a Nominee

03/03/2014 at 04:36 PM ET

Matthew McConaughey Camila Alves Oscars 2014Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Talk about a power couple: Matthew McConaughey took home an Oscar, while wife Camila’s stunning custom Gabriela Cadena gown beat out some of the night’s nominees for a spot on our editors’ picks list. But the 31-year-old Brazilian beauty says it’s never her intention to be in the spotlight when she’s on the red carpet supporting her man.

“I wanted to keep it simple because I want to show respect toward the reason that I’m there. I think that everybody who goes to a special event has their place,” McConaughey, who teamed up with Bailey’s before the Oscars, tells PEOPLE. “I don’t necessarily feel comfortable showing up with the biggest dress of the night because I’m not one of the nominees.” But despite her best efforts, her pale pink, draped dress with a regal half cape gown was awfully hard to overlook.

RELATED PHOTOS: See gorgeous Oscars gowns from every angle!

McConaughey dished on the process of creating the dress from scratch, looking at numerous sketches and working with the designer to nail down the gown’s shape and pastel color. “The wow factor means doing a silhouette that I’ve never done before … It took me a minute, but I love it!” she says. “We wanted to stick with the natural colors, but I had this one tone that would not leave my mind. We were supposed to do it a different color, but last minute I called and said, ‘Do the dress in this color.’ It was not leaving my mind.”

We think quite a few fashion fans had the same sentiment Sunday night. What do you think of the star’s Oscars outfit? Is she on your Best Dressed list? Tell us below!

— Michele Corriston, reporting by Elizabeth Leonard

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Showing 68 comments

Angelica on

Her dress is beautiful.

Kiki on

And that is why I LOVE her. She is so right. Why are people like Paris Hilton at the Oscars? If you’re invited to a wedding, you want to look nice but not try and upstage the bride. Yes it’s a little different with the Oscars but I appreciate she’s saying that she is not a part of this community in an artistic sense and the focus should all be on them. Such class.

Guest on

John Legend and Aaron Paul’s Signifant others could really learn from this, and not seem so attention seeking.

Guest on

Classy lady.

Carrie M on

She looked gorgeous. No “big dress” needed!

Lala on

I thought she looked perfect in her dress! She’s a beautiful lady, and you could tell how proud she was of her husband. When you radiate that kind of beauty, you could show up in a potato sack and still look beautiful.

Kari on

What a class act.

Denise on

She was one of the best dressed. She has such elegance and class!

SandFeet on

Camilla is absolutely correct. It was such a beautiful dress and the color was perfect. Very elegant and classy. The hair and makeup was spot on as well. Camilla complimented Matthew perfectly. I love this couple!!!

GreenTeam7 on

Hollywood needs more couples like them! What a great example Camila is, supportive of her husband and respectful of her place in the community of her husband’s peers. Matthew is a great example of a doting husband. They complement one another perfectly! I can see why her husband overflows with love for his wife and family. She is gorgeous inside and out!

Tracy on

She looks stunning, period. As a model, but also working with designers, she knows her body and knows what will look good on it. The dress shows off her figure without showing off a lot of skin, and at least the color isn’t nude or black — two shades that seemed to dominate the color choices at this year’s Oscars.

Mary Edmonson on

Good for you, Camila. Wear what you want! I think your gown was lovely. All the best to you, Matthews, and your children.

Terry on

I thought Camilla looks beautiful.

Marie Mullin on

Good for her, she is beautiful,

dancer92136 on

She was one of my favorites. Real Class. I thought this was memorable.

ddcook2 on

Don’t have to. You and your husband complement each other so well. Gorgeous!!!

Judy on

I love this couple. Matthew’s acceptance speech was wonderful.

Susan on

Now that’s the definition of class, all the way around. Irony is, despite her intention to avoid stealing the show, the elegant and modest (yet with her figure, still sexy) beauty of this gown did just that! She can’t help but be stunning. Lucky man.

karmen on

I also think she was one of the best dressed of that night. The dress was perfect and she proved a women doesn’t need to show skin to be sexy.

Tina on

She looked beautiful. And I love that she felt it was her husband’s night to shine.

Gina on

Gabriela Cadena, the designer, is from Ecuador :)

Polka on

simplicity = elegance

Lisa on

I thought they looked like royalty. Perfect.

Dori on

Wow she was refreshing an stunningly Beautiful ..

Guest on

Lol this is so funny to me everyone is saying what a class act . Camilla worked in a bar saw a famous movie star got knocked up with a couple kids finally got married had another kid. So tell me again how is she so different from all the others like Kim kardashian and other a famous for nothing !!!

Dori on

Camillia is a Stunnilgly Beautiful Woman she looked every bit exquisite …

Dori on

Commented twice .. ?????????????????????????

Karen on

Camila may not think her dress was a “big” deal, but she was one of the most beautiful, and beautifully-dressed, women there. Classy. Humble to boot. She was in my Top 5 best dressed!

Sandy on

I understand her point, but it’s very difficult to not get caught up in the excitement of the night-all the pomp and circumstance of it. I don’t blame those women who do choose beautiful dresses. Most people never get the chance to wear something grand, and if you have a legitimate chance and life is so short anyway-what is the terrible harm in going for it? Life is too short to spend it on looking ordinary all the time and not feeling beautiful once in awhile. After all, the actresses performances are where they’re supposed to really shine. No one can take that away from them no matter how good they look.

Sandra Bowen on

I love this dress! Classic, elegant, absolutely beautiful! Love, love, love.

ciparliamo on

She looked stunning…a gorgeous, elegant dress…

Heather on

This lady is a true class act! She is my inspiration on how to be a good wife to my husband. She’s got it right!

Lacey on

Looks like a blanket.

Lisa on

I LOVED this dress!!! It was by far my favorite!

cynlee on

She was one of the best dressed; she looked amazing!

Lolo on

Her husband is some lucky guy! She is gorgeous inside and out!

christa on

I loved, loved, loved her dress and you could see, that these two love each other very much.

One Two on

I thought Camila McConaughey had on the most beautiful dress of the evening. I like her dress better than anyone else’s.

Mariel on

Classy dress, classy lady. Matthew is a lucky man.

guest on

Pure class. Love Camilla’s devotion to her family. Unfortunately, a rare quality in Hollywood. Hang on to her tightly Matthew!

Rhonda on

It might not have been a big Oscar dress, but it was a fabulous dress nonetheless. She looked better than some of the other women anyway. She has curves while some of the other women on the red carpet were stick figures with no breasts.

Jenb64 on

I think I am madly in love with both of them. She is a classy girl and she could make a paper bag look good.

He always seems like fame hasn’t affected him. In one interview (maybe with Jimmy Fallon?) leading up to the Oscars he said that he and his family went to Brazil to stay will Camilla’s family. They wanted to stay with her family so they could really spend time with them and Matthew, Camilla and all three kids slept in one bed together, because that was the only room available. He only let the kids pack what they could fit into one backpack, even though they were going for three weeks. No schlepping 20 suitcases like you see the Housewives do for a weekend trip! It’s nice to see that money and fame didn’t change him the way it could have.

PS on

Not to mention, she doesn’t NEED a huge fancy gown. As someone I knew used to say, you could put her in a burlap sack and she’d still look stunning.

Louie Gomhert on

The gown is absolutely smashing. One of the best ever at Oscars!
(Sorry but Mat’s wife is not that beautiful.)

Louie Gomhert on

Not bad for an ex cleaning lady from Brazil

She has come far.

Bianca on

Not only is she a beautiful woman…she is a classy lady.

K. on

That woman is gorgeous.

MrsJAZ on

She looks stunning.

Canucker on

She seems very nice and I love her dress. She kept it classy too!

lola on

She would have looked beautiful in any dress. I thought it looked like a “Dynasty” inspired dress. Not too crazy about it in 2014, but she should have a talk w/Pharell. Because he looked like a darned fool!! She wanted to respect why she was there and he should have done the same.

Truthfinder on

That dress was anything BUT simple. I thought she looked gorgeous, but it DEFINITELY was meant to make a statement, mark my words. She knows what she is doing and she looked elegant doing it!

Brooke on

She looked stunning! Easily one of the best dressed of the night without trying to be :)

Candace on

What a classy woman. She is beautiful without an air of pretense about her. She really loves the guy and it is no wonder he fell in love with her. She does not seem like she cares much for the fame and she let the night be about him.

jabba on

That IS a big dress, it’s a fancy, classy gown, if she thinks this was a simple, small dress she’s very mistaken. I looked at HER, not Matthew. She didn’t tone it down at all.

Ange on

I’ve seen tons of pictures of them together and she is stunning but in this picture she looks pissed off. Love the dress she wore.

jckfmsincty on

She looked beautiful without having to be a showoff.

Lilly on

Beautiful lady; beautiful couple!

chris on

I thought she looked beautiful. And I’ve never really seen them interact before until that night, she really is one classy lady.

yaelbelle on

Class act.

46yearoldmom on

Although I don’t like her, her dress was very elegant, beautiful and classy! Well done!

Aliana on

She is completely right. That is also a really nice dress. And she’s gorgeous. And she’s married to Matthew.

Eve on

Right. She gave up her name, is playing second fiddle and submissive to a bible-thumping egomaniac. Very classy. ::sarcasm alert:: Wake UP, woman!!!

Morgan on

What a classy woman. Her dress is beautiful. Some of these other celebrity women should take note.

angel on

Love this couple. She’s definitely a class act.

Luwana sabean on

She is a very beautiful and classy woman. She said it best.

Tanya on

Camilla’s gown was one of my favorites at this year’s Oscars. She looked absolutely stunning – so elegant and classy. Though she was not trying to be, I felt she was definitely a standout.

momerrell on

And I found her dress to be one of the best. Good to know her thinking on the event. It’s about her husband… his day. .. she supported him and was a beauty by his side

Donna Hemenway on

Camila was stunning that evening.

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