If Sunday night's Emmys red carpet is any indication of what's in store for this year's award season, then it's clear the days of uber-stylization are over.
"Who are you wearing?" Does it really matter? Apparently, not so much. The red-carpet hosts barely asked. And when they asked Debra Messing to name the designer behind her interesting metallic gown, she wasn't 100 percent sure. (The designer was, in fact, Romona Keveza.)
The result? Quite the authentic red carpet. And after so many years of actresses making the rounds in ethereal ball gowns and fishtails, the sartorial uniqueness was very welcomed and duly noted.
The best example of the fashion variety was seen in the stars of HBO's hit Big Little Lies, nominated for 16 — count them, 16 — Emmy awards. Zoe Kravitz wore a color-blocked Dior, Reese Witherspoon a clearly 1980s-inspired double-breasted Stella McCartney coat dress (general consensus is that she overdid it on the bronzer). Nicole Kidman was pretty, perfect, and plain in blood-red Calvin Klein by Appointment. Laura Dern opted for an age-appropriate lace drop waist, and Shailene Woodley crushed it in a green velvet halter (though some might say it's too early in the season for that fabric).
My eyes danced over the fashion in ways they hadn't in recent years. And that made this red carpet fun to look at. How much did we love Donald Glover's purple suit? That whole look was absolutely perfect.
The night was about escapism. And what better way to escape than through fashion?
Actress Rachel Bloom, who bought her own Gucci gown, reminded us that while we might be escaping, the actresses were working.
Tracee Ellis Ross, who's my friend in my head, took escapism too seriously, though: In her Chanel couture, she looked more Mrs. Claus then Emmy fab.
Now on to some of my favorite details of the night.
Regina King amazed in a backless Galia Lahav completely covered in metallic winter florals. But what made her happy, she said, is that she didn't have to spend the day watching what she ate. Plus, it had pockets!
Elisabeth Moss' dusty pink strapless tea-length Prabal Gurung dress featured pockets, too. Moss — along with several actors, such as Padma Lakshmi and Anthony Anderson (who cut quite the sharp look in his white dinner jacket) — opted to make political statements by affixing blue ribbons to their red-carpet looks. It was a shout-out to the ACLU.
Sheer gowns with gauzy floral overlays created a hipster red-carpet feel, and they were a nice touch. Ellie Kemper's Jenny Packham was filmy and petaled, Lea Michele a little more demure in her plum Elie Saab version. Gabrielle Union, meanwhile, opted for fierce. Her hair — smooth, slick and exploding in a crazy Afro — added to the drama.
Like Union, Leslie Jones, opted for black, too. And not only did she look good in her Christian Siriano, she appeared confident. It's amazing what a year of being hazed on social media can do to your red-carpet swag.
Yvonne Strahovski's red Julien Macdonald took a back seat to her announcement that she had married fellow actor Tim Loden. (Congrats!)
There was just one word for 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown's white, tea-length Calvin Klein: extraordinary.
Tessa Thompson channeled her inner chakras in rainbow-pleated Rosie Assoulin. Yara Shahidi, star of Blackish, is a great example of how to make nude work.
And Issa Rae, in her custom Vera Wang, was the definition of fabulous. Rae, recently named one of the faces of Cover Girl, nailed the sentiment of the night.
"After all," she said, "if an awkward black girl can be a Cover Girl, then anyone can."