Monday, September 23, 2019

Fashion Review: Emmys 2019

Oh hello there! If it isn't obvious, I (like most people) have mostly decamped to documenting life via Instagram. But never fear — this old corner of the internet is still my favorite spot to pontificate on awards show fashion. No surer sign of colder weather on the horizon than the start of awards show season!

The Emmy's have risen in stature as more and more big stars are flocking to television to sink their teeth into juicy roles. As a result, the fashion has become MUCH more interesting and frankly unpredictable! It was blessedly colorful and adventurous this year. Let's dig in!


Jameela Jamil proclaimed her Monique Lhuillier gown "Jasmine AF" and gosh, this was just a pleasure to behold. That color paired with the bright orange lipstick and her beautiful skin was just luminous.

Catherine Zeta-Jones seems to be more of a date at these awards shows lately, but at least she makes the most of it! She looked like pure old Hollywood glamour in this hot pink number by Georges Hobeika and I appreciate how she seems completely unrelatable, as a good star should be.

The fit of this petal pink Zac Posen is just *chef's kiss* perfection on Sandra Oh. This is such a dreamy shade of pink, so modern and yet so old-world in its bodice, and I thought her makeup was wonderfully complementary.

Niecy Nash, ladies and gentleman, is here to sing the blues, steal your man and never, ever apologize. The curves! The slightly lavender sheen to the sparkle! The TURBAN! I'm dead, and Christian Siriano is too good.

Billy Porter waltzed in here serving disco zoot suit Musketeer realness by Michael Kors and what can I say? It works. Confidence can really sell a look, and I never stop delighting in his fervor for Fashion.

Regina King, ice queen of the (purple) carpet, looking regal in a strappy blue ruched number by Jason Wu. It's just the right balance of pretty and tough, and I love the modern swoop of her hair.

Patricia Clarkson, here to steal your soul in breathtaking garnet Christian Siriano. Just imagine resisting this woman's charms! She's going to ruin your life, and you won't even mind.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus dressed to set records with another Emmy win and even though it didn't come to pass ("Fleabag" is a juggernaut), she still looked fantastic in this gilded Oscar de la Renta. The floral dangly earrings were especially fun and glamorous!

I feel like it's just a matter of time until everyone is getting a platinum blunt bob like Michelle Williams here and Naomi Watts. It did look really fresh even though, without a personal hairstylist, it would likely look bad most days on mere mortals. I was a sucker for this tapestry-esque beaded Louis Vuitton gown that struck the right balance of classic and interesting. 

Rachel Brosnahan seems to avoid channeling the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in her fashion — reminding us and casting directors that she's not her character. Showing up in futuristic and modern sapphire Elie Saab sequins and a blonde high pony is one way to to do it! The leg posing though is...awkward.

For a classic black gown, red lip and blonde bob look, this Christian Dior on Naomi Watts manages to feel extremely modern, like Grace Kelly for the 21st century. I love the little strip of mesh on the bodice.

Annie Murphy seemed to channel her very best Alexis Rose in this perfectly balanced sparkly navy gown and beachy waves. It's just dressy enough and just casual enough. She's ready for the finest disco night at Cafe Tropical in Schitt's Creek.

I love the vibrancy of this hot, hot pink Jason Wu trimmed with ribbons on MJ Rodriguez. Her pose here is so graceful! She looks like a modern princess and the color just pops.

It's Zendaya's world right now and we're just living it, and she showed it by somehow pulling off Poison Ivy cosplay in custom Vera Wang. She's incredibly elegant and I love that she always surprises me. 

I mean, sure, OK, Gwyneth couldn't really walk in her vintage Valentino, but she is just a master class in awards show fashion. Never know what to expect, and she manages to almost always make it work. I like how this feels very 1960s Italy, yet futuristic, yet baroque all at the same time. 

I love a loud print, and this one, sort of a mix between a floral and an abstract leopard print, is particularly great on RuPaul.

I love love love when people tell their history through their fashion choices, and this kurta on Tan France is just lovely. He looks so handsome!

Battle of the Valentines

I imagine quite a few stylists are getting an earful the day after the Emmy's! On one hand, it's fun to see a trend pop up so strongly and on the other hand, you know every single one of these actresses heard their stylist say "You will be SO DARING wearing this color combo of pink and red, no one else would even TRY." So, unfortunately, we have to choose who wore the combo best. 

Mandy Moore looks like the stepmom who's about to ship you off to Swiss boarding school and you can't even be mad about it because you'll be too busy saving this picture to show your hair stylist. This Brandon Maxwell is such a bold and yet somehow easy glamour and I'm here for it.

Marisa Tomei continues to laugh in the face of the aging process and just be a smokeshow powerhouse. She's tied up like a pretty bow in this Ralph & Russo gown.

There's so much I like about Taraji P. Henson's valentine get-up by Vera Wang, but there's one distracting element I can't ignore: the lining/mini beneath. I wish they just found a different way to line this piece that wasn't quite so jarring. The cut and the ruching of the chiffon are lovely, though.

Mandy's "This is Us" co-star Susan Kelechi Watson ALSO somehow ended up on the Valentine's bandwagon and damn, that just really sucks because her beribboned, poofy-sleeved version by Badgley Mischka doesn't pack the same punch.

And sadly,  Full Frontal writer Kristen Bartlett's rendition fell flat; pink to red ombre never fails to make me think of menstruation and the flowers look like they could be crumpled pieces of paper's just not great. Sorry to this woman.

Best Worst

Sainted Gwendoline Christie, she of the self-nomination campaign, had the guts to done Gucci's robes, spawning hundreds of tweets comparing her ensemble to that of Jesus. On the one hand — um what? And on the other hand, you love to see it.

Kendall Jenner brought a little American Horror Story rubber suit vibe to her fit-for-90210 prom dress look by Richard Quinn and while I don't hate it, it does feel like it's trying a little hard to "shock." It just feels a little forced, but at least it's not boring?

On ANYONE else, this paneled zippered bustier Louis Vuitton dress would be the absolute worst. And yet on Indya Moore, of "Pose," it feels kinda right, doesn't it? A little bit early 90's Madonna vibes, which is appropriate given the Madonna theme of the second season of "Pose."

The cast of Dynasty is jealous of the volume on these sleeves! Dascha Polanco looks elegant in this Christian Siriano, but it is...a lot. For some reason the sash feels slapdash to me, like a hasty addition. I'm truly on the fence about whether this is a good look or not!

Call me crazy, but James Van Der Beek is pulling off a salmon velvet blazer with a burgundy bow tie and tan suede shoes. I think he has a gigantic carnation on his lapel. A carnation, people. And yet — it's kinda working????

Heidi Gardner is giving me sexy Virgin Suicides in this gown that, on its own, is quite pretty. But the styling is extremely twee — little pearls in her hair, huge pink bedazzled cross earrings, a pink acrylic lunchbox-style purse — and it adds up to being a little much. But it would slay as a prom outfit on Euphoria.


Few people possess the strength of character and confidence of Angela Bassett and most of us likely couldn't pull off an architectural Antonio Grimaldi cape and pantsuit combo quite like she. This was a great choice for her role as presenter; it's just interesting enough without being "I'm a winner!!!" glamorous. Also, can we get an Emmy for her bone structure? Damn.

I was THRILLED for Jodie Comer to win for her role as Villanelle in Killing Eve, and she looked classic in her simple, yet sexy white Tom Ford. The real winner here was her make-up, which was bronzy perfection.

Ava DuVernay loves a beaded, sleeved gown and this butter yellow one by Reem Acra is especially great. And it has pockets, obviously! There's a small part of me that would like to see her get a little more adventurous, but she's consistent and always looks good and comfortable.

I was so happy for Phoebe Waller-Bridge to get the recognition she deserved for "Fleabag" and she looked lovely, but we have seen some variation of this Monique Lhuillier gown at every awards show for at least 20 years. It's a classic standby, but not memorable at this point.

Catherine O'Hara now just cosplays as Moira Rose at awards show and I hope it never, ever ends. She looks so cool, sexy and comfortable in this Greta Constantine color-blocked wonder. I want them to let her host. 

Quite a few people wore 80's-perfect gold slinky numbers, but Natasha Lyonne was most successful in my book. This Gucci is so her, and the fit is great and her makeup was great. It just seems like something she would have already had in her closet, bought secondhand.

I was so, so, so excited for Julia Garner's work in Ozark to be recognized. Every time we've watched, we end up marveling over how tremendous she is in everything she does. Even though I doubt she expected to win, I'm glad she wore an interesting Cong Tri gown in an unexpected shade of purple that feels really adventurous. I was not 100% sold on her all-copper beauty look, but for an ingenue who's pretty new to the game, this was a good showing.

Christian Siriano is so masterful at dressing women of all sizes and making them look confident and badass. Nicole Byer looks sexy and bold in this yellow gown with a little capelet thing going on. The fit is great and you can tell she feels great.

Black pants and a white shirt have never looked less ho-hum than with Kerry Washington telling us a whole story in this pose. It's sexy and fun and not completely inappropriate; it might be one of my favorite looks on her because it feels modern and sexy without being cuckoo.

This is the chicest I've ever seen Maisie Williams! I love the simple, yet interesting elegance of her LBD by JW Anderson and her hair/makeup worked perfectly. She looks like she's stepping out of a 1950's Dior ad.

Listen, I know it's probably not normal to be as attracted to Doug Stamper (right...the actor's name is Michael Kelly...gonna get that memorized someday) as I am, but I actually said "DAMN" when I saw this pic. Perfectly cut suit in the perfect shade of midnight blue. I'm here for it.


Oh man, this Fendi on Amy Adams is sleepy. It reminds me of a dressing gown the lady of the house would wear while in mourning in a Dickens adaptation. It's not the worst, but it's maybe one of the more forgettable ensembles she's worn.

Normally, I'm all in on an art-inspired gown but I inexplicably just couldn't get excited about Carice van Houten's Ronald van der Kemp. It definitely stood out! It definitely is interesting! But it's also just kind of fine.

Emilia Clarke's earrings were TO DIE FOR, and if she wanted to wear a simple dress just to show off the earrings, I cannot blame her. But this Valentino dress looks vaguely like a sexy waiter's apron. Just very ho-hum and almost under-designed.

Oh man, this black Narcisco Rodriguez gown on Kate McKinnon is so unremarkable. Love her, she deserves better styling. As a look, this feels phoned-in.

Kudos to Kristen Bell for trying something a little kooky, but this Dior is really just okay in my book. I like the multicolor stripes, but as is often the case, it has the effect of overwhelming her tiny little frame.

I wish this picture showed Laverne Cox's statement-making Edie Parker clutch, one side bearing the trans flag and the other showing the pride flag, because that was such a good merging of style and substance. This Monsoori dress is good, but we've seen so many variations on this theme in the past few years and I just didn't feel this was one of the most successful. The sculptural element on the sleeve (it almost looks like a crumpled top hat) felt like a bit much and the color combo of black and a gray-lavender just didn't light any fires for me.

Vogue put this Chanel gown on Margaret Qualley in its best-dressed list and I'm sorry, but I'm yawning. This looks like a David's Bridal dress and I'm expecting more from an It Girl whose mom is Andie MacDowell. This just felt too safe and too boring. It might have been fun for her to really channel more of a Fosse vibe since she was nominated for her performance as Ann Reinking in "Fosse/Verdon."

Robin Wright, warrior princess. Robin Wright wore a Grecian white gown with a tassel belt that I just feel like I've seen her wear before. It's classy and she looks good, but it also felt very deeply meh.

Even Sarah Sutherland, of VEEP, looks like she doesn't completely love her two-piece ensemble. It's edgy and interesting, to be sure, but her slightly goth-girl styling and sour face aren't selling it.

Why do I feel like I see Sophie Turner in a lot of rumpled oyster gray and nude satin ensembles? This Louis Vuitton is serviceable. Extremely boring, at least in this shade. The fit is good, so there's that.

Worst Dressed

The Fashion with a capital F folks all love this Gucci gown on Zoe Kazan, but it truly looks like a last-minute choir robe concoction. I honestly think I'd be more into it in a different color combo; this is like an edgy New York version of "blush and bashful" from Steel Magnolias.

This is one of those looks that you can almost, almost, almost convince yourself is really good and then you take a step back and realize it's a couture interpretation of Nickelodeon slime. This Christopher John Rogers look truly captures the gooey movement of slime, and the tough hue of neon green. I give Greta Lee points for boldness, and perhaps a Kid's Choice Award. 

I love Janet Mock and I love that she's rocking this bright orange Valentino, but the ruffle looks like a growth that may be attacking her throat. Once I pictured her getting tangled up in home insulation, I couldn't unsee it. This dress looks like a very fancy couture Cheeto.

What if Big Bird starred in Cabaret? This is the question Ralph Lauren has attempted to answer for Kathryn Newton, who was all business on top and Jennifer Lopez on the bottom. This is such a strange choice for an up and comer who needs/wants to get noticed.

Melanie Liburd, of This Is Us, somehow managed to capture both a bride and groom in one Azzi & Osta ensemble, like she's telling the world she's her own soulmate, like Lizzo sang. It's not the worst worst, but it's pretty far from the best best.

Oh man, I saw so many good internet jokes about Jeremy Strong's ensemble, including this one saying it was a great outfit to wear if you need to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and then go to the Emmy's. This absolutely looks like he's planning to buy up land to put in a railroad from Salt Lake City to Mexico. All that's missing is the top hat.

Sarah Goldberg bears a more than striking resemblance to Naomi Watts, but unfortunately she has not yet caught up to her doppelganger's sense of style. This gown is just very frumpy and prematurely ages her 30 years. It could maybe have been saved with good styling, like an adventurous set of earrings or a bold lip, but it's just overly safe and thus overly boring.

My girl Amy has such a baffling sense of style. She's a perpetual dweller on my worst-dressed list and I just have no idea why. This Greta Constantine gold jumpsuit feels like a slouchy bad fit, and the black scarf makes her look like an off-duty lounge singer. My husband said "Oof" when she appeared on screen so loudly that I had to shush him so I didn't miss her jokes.

This is Allana Harkin, a Full Frontal producer, and she's wearing a formal beaded short suit trimmed in ostrich feathers as though she had to "make it work" from an old Dress Barn blazer, summer shorts and a trip to Michael's on the way. On top of all that, it's not a particularly great cut; it's all very boxy and strange. God bless the writers who don't have the same access to styling resources and really do have to make it work!

1 comment:

Virtual Staging said...

Thanks for sharing!