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Regina King on Red Carpet Fashion: ‘I Just Try to Wear What I Feel Comfortable In’

After scoring two Emmys and a third nomination for her work on “American Crime,” Regina King naturally gravitated toward Netflix crime drama “Seven Seconds.” “The scripts that feel like they … could double as information for an anthropology class always pique my interest,” says King, who played a woman mourning her murdered son in the series. And while the real-life mother, actress and director’s wardrobe is far less subdued, practicality is key. “I don’t remember a day where I didn’t own a pair of Vans or Chucks,” says the longtime sneakers fan. “I just try to wear what I feel comfortable in.”

King’s stylist was so sure she’d snag an Emmy nod for “American Crime” she began planning well before the announcement. “She had been following the designer Krikor [Jabotian] for quite some time and had already envisioned me in a particular dress,” says King. “All she gave me was, ‘I want you to look like you’re floating.’” The pearl-adorned number succeeded, as several people expressed this exact sentiment. The year of her first victory remains King’s favorite — and was the only year her grandmother got to see. “We found out [she] had an aneurysm in her heart two days before,” says King, who rushed to Cincinnati to be with her. “She told me to go back so she could watch me win.”

When King received a second nod for season 2 of the ABC anthology series — this time for playing elitist mother Terri LaCroix, a total departure from the devout Muslim character she’d portrayed in the first season — she had a specific fashion objective. “It was to be totally different from the previous year but to still have a classic vibe,” recalls King, who decided with new stylist Stacy L. Beverly that she would go colorful. “When Stacy showed me that dress, I really didn’t need to try on anything else,” says King of the red Elizabeth Kennedy frock in which she claimed her second supporting actress trophy. “It really had that Old School Hollywood, ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ glam to it.”

The Galia Lahav dress King wore on the evening of her third consecutive year as an Emmy contender was not her first choice (“I originally had a dress made but it wasn’t ready in time,” says King), but it proved to be a winning choice. “This dress felt flirty and didn’t require a lot of alterations.” Looking back, King remembers how much her feet hurt in her heels, though: “I had to wear a low heel for the second year because I was on the mend from an ankle injury that still causes me pain.” As for the next time she’s planning an awards outfit? “I would probably start with the shoes,” decides King, whose favorite footwear of the moment is Nike VaporMax sneakers.

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