After 2020’s virtual Emmys ceremony, television’s biggest stars were ready to dazzle and delight for the small screen’s most prestigious awards night after a tense year making dramas and comedies in a COVID-safe world.
Less than a week after the wild and wacky fashion parade that was the Met Gala in New York, the 73rd Emmy Awards red carpet at LA Live’s Event Deck embraced glamour, sequins and a few feathers amid a couple of outfits with a “please explain”.
With a seated audience of just 500 (down from the normal 4000-strong guest list), stars, celebrities and Hollywood royalty clapped, cheered, yelled out, and well, just had a jolly good time as gongs for The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit, Ted Lasso and Mare of Easttown were handed out under a tent in downtown Los Angeles.
TV host and comedian Nicole Byer kicked off the red carpet in a custom purple Christian Siriano gown.
She thanked all the women who came before her to break the couture barrier for plus-size women, and she went for it in a stunning strapless look with sheer layers that flowed to the ground.
In London, where the cast and crew of The Crown were gathered at an Emmy Netflix watch party due to COVID restrictions, Emma Corrin (who plays Princess Diana) made headlines, not for winning in any category, but for her bizarre look.
Wearing a custom Miu Miu gown with fingerless gloves and a Handmaid’s Tale-esque matching cap (aka headpiece), Corrin took to Instagram to at least try and explain what she and her stylist were thinking.
Referencing the Salem witch trials? Some fans were worried and confused, asking “Oh baby, what did they do to you?” to checking the date for Halloween.
“This actor does not abide by rules, royal or otherwise,” mused New York Magazine.
Ethereal pink, bright sequins and Hollywood royalty
Meanwhile, the evening’s host, Cedric the Entertainer, is a fashion fan and showed up to Los Angeles in a colour-blocked suit in hues of blue.
There were also looks of ethereal pink, bold plays in bright sequins and a bit of old-fashioned Hollywood glamour thanks to Catherine Zeta-Jones (and her husband Michael Douglas).
Actor Billy Porter chose winged chic black – with ear cuffs and wide-leg trousers – while O-T Fagbenle wore a traditional Nigerian look and Mj Rodriguez wore Versace Atelier in teal in an homage to Old Hollywood.
“I AM the fairy godmother. There is a theme going on,” Porter said of his recent turn in yet another reincarnation of the fairytale, Cinderella.
Known for his loudly coloured and patterned suits, RuPaul wore a black double-breasted jacket with a white swirl pattern on his pants.
RuPaul’s Drag Race was named Outstanding Competition program (beating shows like The Voice), with the host and producer breaking the record for the most Emmy wins (11) by a person of colour.
“Wow, thank you so much to the Academy and all of your gorgeous people here tonight,” RuPaul said in his acceptance speech.
Welsh actor Catherine Zeta-Jones was there to support Douglas’ nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series category as Sandy Kominsky in The Kominsky Method.
He didn’t win, but Zeta-Jones, 51, won a swag of new fans for her “earth-shatteringly gorgeous” look in a strapless burgundy gown styled with an elegant diamond necklace from Lorraine Schwartz.
Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays chess prodigy Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit, can do no wrong. Wearing a sleek white Christian Dior Haute Couture gown with a dramatic yellow shawl, has said she’s up for a second series of the hugely popular Netflix series. Maybe “based in Russia”.
Debbie Allen (Grey’s Anatomy) took out the Governor’s Award for lifetime achievements dating back to her dance routines on Fame.
“It’s been many years in the making, taking a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time, a lot of courage and creativity and faith to believe that I could keep going. And I have,” she said in her acceptance speech.
Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story, Impeachment: American Crime Story), in a voluminous Carolina Herrera taffeta gown, delivered two red carpet trends of 2021 – red, and puffy sleeves.
This was the other “please explain” moment.
Issa Rae, executive producer and co-star of A Black Lady Sketch Show (for which she’s nominated for two awards), wore a shiny grill across her bottom teeth. It’s an accessory.
Nominated for lead actress in a comedy series for HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, newly single Kaley Cuoco dazzled in a show-stopping neon yellow custom Vera Wang Haute dress with floral-embellished straps.
Her make-up artist Jamie Greenberg told People: “We didn’t want to compete with the dress. We wanted it to be ethereal and nude, but wet and luminous for some texture”.
Gillian Anderson was at the Soho House London red carpet, in a throwback two-piece tassle gown. Even though she won Best Supporting Actress in drama series The Crown, some couldn’t get past the “strange custom Chloe co-ordinates”.
Jason Sudeikis rocked in this blue velvet Tom Ford suit and black tie.
Coach Lasso would say “winning isn’t everything”, but this year’s Emmys saw him win on the carpet, and take home a swag of awards including Best Comedy series with Ted Lasso.