The Emmy awards red carpet challenged the traditional ideals of Hollywood beauty on Sunday with diversity in race, body shape, and sexual identity reinventing television’s biggest runway.
That variety infused the fashion, making this year’s red carpet one of the more eclectic in recent memory.
Looks ranged from gowns in vibrant primary colours to more bohemian looks in glistening metallic hues, chosen from among the world’s most famous designers and lesser-known talent.
The tuxedo also found a creative outlet for several men and women.
“The diversity is amazing,” said Joyann King — the executive editor of Harper’s Bazaar.com. “I love to see all the skin colours and shapes and sizes. It feels like we’ve come so far from the blond Barbie.”
This season’s carpet, King said, was “more variety, a range of ages in the woman walking the carpet, and a range of body shapes. It really feels like a celebration”.
That meant Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox poured into a liquid silver gown, Lily Tomlin sported a classic black suit, and Priyanka Chopra wore a form-fitting white gown embossed with silver.
The California sun emerged just before the red carpet opened for television’s top honours, making the metallics sparkle and the looks in vibrant emerald, daffodil and scarlet pop.
“This felt magical, fairy-like,” said Zoe Kravitz (Big Little Lies) of her Dior gown decorated with rainbow-coloured ribbons, while Tessa Thompson opted for a multi-coloured pleated halter dress by New York designer Rosie Assoulin.
Donald Glover wore a purple tuxedo, while Anthony Anderson (black-ish) sported an Armani white tuxedo jacket. His co-star Tracee Ellis Ross opted for silver sequins and a feather hem from Chanel.
“The feathers were dipped, the crystals were sewn,” said the nominee, extolling the work involved in the couture gown.
Crimson was the choice for a bevvy of actresses, including Nicole Kidman, Heidi Klum, and Edie Falco, as well as Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale), and presenter Issa Rae in a one-shoulder Vera Wang.
Comedian Samantha Bee wore emerald satin and Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) sported a bright, sunny yellow gown by designer Elizabeth Kennedy.
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) wore a vampy white strapless gown from Los Angeles designer Mark Zunino, cooling herself with a little fan attached to an iPhone, as Felicity Huffman from American Crime entertained photographers, flipping around the long train on her blue lace dress.
Metallic silver was the choice for a host of stars, including the actresses Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) and Anna Chlumsky (Veep).
“I wanted something in the precious metal, could-be-mined-from-the-earth vein,” exclaimed Chlumsky of her Sachin & Babi gown.
Of course, elegant black is always a red carpet classic and was Emmy’s choice of Susan Sarandon and Judith Light.
“I‘m playing dress-up,” said presenter Rachel Bloom, who purchased her black Gucci lace dress herself. “I can re-sell it!”