Emmy Awards: A hot red carpet keeps its cool with stars like Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson, nominated for lead actress in a drama for "Empire," looked edgy but elegant in a black lace bustier gown by Alexander Wang

Taraji P. Henson, nominated for lead actress in a drama for “Empire,” looked edgy but elegant in a black lace bustier gown by Alexander Wang

(Jason Merritt/Getty Images (left and center), Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images (right) )
Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

Lady Gaga blended in, Heidi Klum stuck out (like Big Bird), and the evening’s must-have accessory was Jaimie Alexander’s personal, portable fan.

The hottest red carpet in Hollywood history caused fashion delirium Sunday night, at what Allison Janney, comparing the ceremony to a session of hot yoga, coined the “Bikram Emmys.”

And yet, there was still plenty of cool. Trends included canary yellow, no-sweat black, shoulder chains, off-shoulder silhouettes and sparkle galore. But more importantly, polished and individual looks ruled, and the night was arah-rah cheer for American designers.

Fashion industry fave Taraji P. Henson had her pick. But she gave a boost to streety New York designer Alexander Wang, who recently celebrated 10 years in business, by wearing his custom black lace bustier gown with bike chain shoulder straps — looking edgy but elegant.



Kerry Washington, usually in Prada at awards shows, also supported the home team, stepping out in a spangly embroidered lace and sequin gown with scalloped hem that was hot off the Marc Jacobs runway, as in last Thursday, when he showed his edgy Americana collection during New York Fashion Week. Tituss Burgess cast a vote for populist fashion, choosing a wool tuxedo by New York-based men’s fashion disrupter Bonobos. And Sofia Vergara went with a gown by the struggling-to-stay-relevant Irvine-based St. John label, which was set with 64,000 Swarovski crystals.

The category of arty chic included Ellie Kemper’s Naeem Khan rainbow sequined gown, Jane Krakowski’s Bibhu Mohapatra peplum gown with geometric bodice, and Uzo Aduba’s hand-painted pink silk faille crisscross style inspired by a Mark Rothko painting and designed by up-and-comer Jonathan Cohen.

In the bold color category, Sarah Hyland looked better than ever in a deep plum, off-shoulder Zac Posen gown, Laverne Cox rocked a teal body-con Calvin Klein with a cutout back and superb fit, and Taylor Schilling’s weightless, yellow, parachute silk Stella McCartney made her the coolest canary on the carpet.


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