The 2016 Emmy red carpet was a rainbow of primary colors: first-time winner Sarah Paulson glistened in an embroidered emerald Prada dress; Priyanka Chopra took to twirling in her red one-shouldered Jason Wu gown; and Taraji P. Henson caught eyes in an electric-yellow Vera Wang number. Other leading ladies, from Tracee Ellis Ross to Keri Russell, kept it classic in white, and a pregnant Kerry Washington had a moment in a black Brandon Maxwell dress with cutouts, another of the night’s themes. How will some of this year’s riskier styles impact red carpet choices? Here, top celebrity stylists weigh in on which runway trends will translate into epic Emmy photo ops.
“This glittery trend has been on the runways from Oscar de la Renta to Chanel,” says Micaela Erlanger, who dresses Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany, Michelle Dockery, and “Five Came Back’s” narrator nominee Meryl Streep. “Last year I think we saw a lot of white and red on the carpet. This year we’ll see more print and sparkle.” Nicky Yates, who styles “The Crown’s” lead actress nominee Claire Foy and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” star Rose Byrne, says the sequins featured on fall runways by Saint Laurent, Christopher Kane, Gucci and Erdem will inspire looks, as well. “It’s old-school glamour and glitz but done in a fresh, playful way,” says Yates. “I love the way sparkling details make a dress shimmer under the lights on the red carpet. It can look magical.”
Unusual Colors and Textures
Erin Walsh, who works with red carpet showstoppers Kerry Washington, Sarah Jessica Parker, and “Westworld’s” supporting actress nominee Thandie Newton, is looking forward to seeing some interesting materials and hues. “I think you might see more odd colors and textures,” says Walsh. “Think chartreuse and citron, and mustard and olive, and then maybe velvets and sequins mixed in.” Tara Swennen, who has styled “Modern Family’s” Julie Bowen for many Emmy ceremonies, also anticipates a less-conventional color palette. “We’ll see darker colors this fall: blacks, navys, deep reds,” she says. “Bright hues will definitely show up but in more modern sleek ways, rather than soft and romantic [ones].” EmbroideryColor will be employed in a different manner, according to Kemal Harris, who works with previous winner and this year’s supporting actress nominee for “SNL,” Kate McKinnon, as well as five-time dramatic actress nominee Robin Wright and “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” guest actress contender Alexis Bledel. “Last year we saw a lot of bold primary colors on the carpet: canary yellow, Kelly green, cobalt blue, true red,” Harris recalls. “This year I predict we’ll see color in the form of embroidery and appliques.”
“I’m enjoying the long-sleeve trend that was shown on the fall runways by designers such as Altuzarra and Valentino,” says Harris, who’s a nominee herself this year for her costume design work with Wright on “House of Cards.” In addition to selecting Claire Underwood’s demure long-sleeved ensembles, Harris recently put clients Bledel, Jennifer Morrison, and Zosia Mamet in chic arm-covering outfits. Also veering toward more coverage than years past, Karla Welch styled “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” lead actress nominee Elisabeth Moss in looks with sleeves of various lengths over the past few months.
The princess dress has had its day. “I would expect to see less grand, full-skirt options and more experimental silhouettes and styles,” says Walsh, whose client Thandie Newton worked a one-sleeved Monse gown with thigh-high slit at the Met Gala. “I love seeing the experimentation out there with fashion risks.” Swennen is likewise in favor of moving away from voluminous ball gowns. “You will see very form-flattering bodycon shapes, easy columns and fishtail gowns,” she says.
This year’s Cannes Film Festival proved to be the perfect forum for fringe, bringing the drama to looks worn by Jessica Chastain, Uma Thurman and limited series actress nominee Nicole Kidman. “I really liked the fringe trend, but this can be a bit harder to pull off on the red carpet,” notes Harris. “Marchesa and Christian Siriano both showed some really fun pieces.” Katie Holmes and Kidman, who’ve recently gone for floor-length Marchesa fringe ensembles, clearly concur.