Friday 18 October 2019

Emmys 2019 fashion: The best of the red carpet rule-breakers

From colour combinations to trousers, stars were breaking all the fashion rules at the Emmys - and it certainly paid off, writes Meadhbh McGrath

Gwendoline Christie. Photo: Getty
Gwendoline Christie. Photo: Getty
Emilia Clarke. Photo: Getty
Mandy Moore. Photo: Getty
Ava DuVernay. Photo: Getty
Billy Porter. Photo: Getty
Kerry Washington. Photo: Getty
Greta Lee. Photo: Getty
Zoe Kazan. Photo: Getty

Meadhbh McGrath

The Emmys red carpet is a bit of an outlier in awards season. The Television Academy's big night falls between the reliable wackiness of the late-summer MTV awards and the often conservative glamour of the Oscar race in winter, and this year's Emmy attendees largely played it safe, with a few notable exceptions.

There were many beautiful, unfussy dresses, such as Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton or Patricia Arquette's crisp white floor-length gown. But as shows such as Game of Thrones and Pose push the boundaries of what modern television can do, so too do their stars on the red carpet. It can be as dramatic as Billy Porter, who made history as the first openly gay black man to win Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and stepped on stage in a winning outfit of pinstriped Michael Kors suit adorned with 130,000 crystals, peep-toe platform boots and a larger-than-life asymmetrical cowboy hat by Stephen Jones.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

Jodie Comer was among the stars on the Emmys purple carpet (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jodie Comer was among the stars on the Emmys purple carpet (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Dressed to kill: Nominee Jodie Comer attends the Emmys in Los Angeles (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge could win big at the Emmys for her sitcom Fleabag (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
US actress Leslie Bibb (R) and husband US actor Sam Rockwell arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Ike Barinholtz (R) and wife Erica Hanson arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Fiona Shaw attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Fiona Shaw attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
US actress and comedian Amy Sedaris arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Don Cheadle (R) and partner actress Bridgid Coulter arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Nina West arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Alan Ruck arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Canadian filmmakers Jean-Marc Vallee (L) and Aisling Chin-Yee arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Sam Richardson arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Michael Zegen arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Maya Rudolph arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Susan Kelechi Watson arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Angela Bassett arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Dutch actress Carice van Houten arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Busy Philipps arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Julia Garner arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actresses Michelle Williams (L) and Busy Philipps arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (R) and husband US actor Michael Douglas arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Kristen Bell arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Emilia Clarke arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Emilia Clarke arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Joey King attends IMDb LIVE After the Emmys Presented by CBS All Access on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
US actress Alex Borstein arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Rachel Brosnahan arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Rachel Brosnahan arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Naomi Watts arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Sophie Turner arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Chrissy Metz (R) arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Jodie Comer arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Mj Rodriguez arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US screenwriter Steven Canals arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Regina King arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Italian actress Emanuela Postacchini arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Kate McKinnon arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Laura Linney arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Canadian actress Annie Murphy arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Canadian actress Catherine O'Hara arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Canadian actress Sarah Levy arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Greta Lee arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Ted Danson (L) and wife US actress Mary Steenburgen arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Sian Clifford arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Rachel Brosnahan arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Zendaya arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
British actress Lena Headey arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Chris Sullivan (R) and wife Rachel arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Brendan Sexton III arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Jon Huertas and wife Nicole arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
US playwright Charlayne Woodard arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - US actor Michael Douglas (R) and partner US actress Chloe Bridges arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Chloe Bridges arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Jonathan Banks arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Justin Hartley arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actress Leslie Bibb arrives for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Randall Park (R) and wife US actress Jae Suh Park arrive for the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Ozark star and Emmy nominee combined a one-shoulder dress with black trousers (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Nathalie Emmanuel joined her Game Of Thrones co-stars at the Emmys (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Mandy Moore arrives at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Mj Rodriguez turned heads at the 71st Emmy Awards (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jameela Jamil defied what she described as ‘severe gastritis’ to attend the Emmys (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Emmy nominee Laverne Cox, the first trans performer to be nominated in an acting category, was among the stars on the purple carpet (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Sharon Osbourne wore an all-black ensemble at the 71st Emmy Awards (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Kelly Osbourne arrives at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel star Alex Borstein dedicated her Emmy Award win to her Holocaust survivor grandmother (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
When They See Us star Jharrel Jerome paid tribute to the “exonerated five” as he won his first Emmy Award (Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Actress Michelle Williams made an impassioned plea for gender pay equality as she accepted an award at the Emmys (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Michelle Williams used her Emmys acceptance speech to demand gender pay equality (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Emmy-winner Jodie Comer admitted she left her parents at home because she never expected her name to be called (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
A jubilant Phoebe Waller-Bridge holds an Emmy (Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, winner of the awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, outstanding comedy series, and outstanding writing for a comedy series for Fleabag (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
The cast and crew of Game of Thrones after picking up the best drama Emmy (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Peter Dinklage, winner of the awards for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series and outstanding drama series for Game of Thrones (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Elsewhere, stars took a more subtle yet still subversive approach to getting dressed. There was Kerry Washington in sequinned Alexandre Vauthier trousers and a crisp white button-down - a silhouette rarely seen on women at the Emmys - and Ava DuVernay, who brought the exonerated Central Park Five as her dates, looking totally at ease in a typically modest Reem Akra gown with long sleeves, mock turtleneck and (shockingly!) pockets.

For women, pockets have become political: men get to have large, practical pockets, while women, if they have any at all, have small, barely usable ones. Not anymore: see Russian Doll's Greta Lee, hands thrust in the pockets of her iridescent green Christopher John Rogers skirt, or Emilia Clarke, whose plunging Valentino gown came equipped with pockets, too.

Fashion rules seem particularly arbitrary and archaic in 2019 - namely, the old dictums on colour combinations that dismissed pink and red as a faux-pas for so many years. On Sunday night, it was the hottest palette on the purple carpet: Marisa Tomei, Taraji P Henson, Susan Kelechi Watson and Zoe Kazan all took on variations of the look, but it was Mandy Moore who truly mastered it in Brandon Maxwell's vivid hues.

The weather in Los Angeles was sweltering, yet Kendall Jenner didn't break a sweat in her figure-hugging Richard Quinn dress and latex poloneck. It was a surprising turn from the reality star, who tends to prefer conventionally sexy outfits.

Gwendoline Christie, meanwhile, brought a moment of fantasy to the red carpet in a richly embroidered Gucci gown, dressed like the second coming of Christ. It was gloriously over the top and unlike anything else on the night, reminding everyone that the Game of Thrones actress, who submitted herself for an Emmy after the network HBO decided not to, is determined to do things her own way.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in this section