I can’t stop wondering what I would have done if I was invited to the 2020 Emmys. Not in a practice-my-speech-in-the-shower kind of way (although that is also refined to perfection) rather in a would-I-have-been-a-Jen-Aniston-bathrobe style attendee, or more of a Regina-King-in-Schiaparelli type way. Because I love both. I love the IDGAF idea of dialling in to an internationally broadcast awards show in slippers and trackies but I’m equally swayed by the pure, gratuitous indulgence of frocking up in vintage couture in my own living room.
It’s not dissimilar to the trending Insta challenge from earlier this year where locked-down folk lamented their fashion starvation by dressing up in wedding dresses and the like all for simply taking out the bins. A desperate garbage night cosplay. It was a funny, slightly sad, Avant-Garde snapshot of our times. One we’ll likely struggle to explain to our children in years to come.
Seeing the world’s most recognisable faces from their living rooms was confronting. So many old couches! So many decorative vases! Quite a few questionable floor lamps! Turns out A-listers really are real people who also struggle to find perfectly complementary homewares which was both unsettling and comforting. The fourth wall smashed before our eyes.
And as I watched their ring-lit faces, I fretted over what my stylist and I would have decided on had I been nominated this year (in another life I have a lead role in Succession, FYI). At first, I thought no, I’d definitely Jameela it and be all no-bra and no-cares because, honestly, it’s a year to forget and Zoom is no place for ball gowns. But then I thought again (mostly after seeing Zendaya) and even though this year’s Emmys were a dial-in cluster, there is always the possibility that Dan Levy and I could become DM best friends at the virtual after party. That’s just not something you can manifest in an old T-shirt and stretch pants.
So, I guess, despite initial assumptions I’m actually more Tracee Ellis Ross in Alexandre Vautier than I realised. With a smile beaming brighter than the layers of metallic frills that cascaded her gown. I’m Zendaya giddy with elation in show-stopping Armani Prive. And I’m Annie Murphy from Schitt’s Creek, sleek in a Valentino suit while keeping it real with a pair of sneakers. Dressed for a momentous occasion while equally prepared for sitting cross-legged in an armchair.
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How fun to get dressed up! Can’t say I miss the frenetic energy of the red carpet or wearing high heels, but boy do I miss a pretty dress!! #blackish #emmys Dress: @alexandrevauthier Shoes: @jimmychoo Jewels: vintage @tiffanyandco Stylist: @karlawelchstylist Makeup: @muatraceylevy Hair: moi using @patternbeauty
Indulging in immaculate style on a night that celebrates your tailored trade is gospel. It’s not redundant or inappropriate, no matter the state of the world. It’s a fanciful, symbolic and deserving ode to the hard work laid in the months and years and decades prior. Of course, chilling in your smalls is more than fine but, dressing for success, even if there’s no limo, no red carpet and no expensive canapés, is still unapologetically worthy.
So this year, while post-event gossip and after party snaps might be non-existent, COVID has delivered us a frank window in to what really matters during the awards season – the craft of our favourite Hollywood creatives and the stories they deliver via our screens. And honestly, during all of this stay-at-home madness, where would we have been without them?