Tessa Thompson stunned in a bright, multicolored halter gown by Rosie Assoulin, Chris Sullivan represented in a dapper top hat, painted nails and purple bow tie while little Joe — Jeremy Maguire — from “Modern Family” — vamped in a purple cape Sunday on the Emmys Awards red carpet.
On one of fashion’s biggest glam nights, the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles kicked off with a chill in the air and its usual eclectic collection of color and cuts for all, including white tuxedoes and classic sparkly golds, whites and black.
Sullivan, who plays Toby on NBC’s “This is Us,” said he decided on his headgear Saturday after spotting the hat in a shop and thinking: “This is happening.” He also sported a cane with a fancy carved white tip at the handle. Fellow cast member Susan Kelechi Watson shimmered in an off-the-shoulder ombre beaded gown by Cristina Ottaviano.
Presenter Issa Rae went bold in sexy, revenge red, a goddess custom number from Vera Wang Collection. It had bare shoulders and asymmetrical sleeves, a single ruffle down the back. Her HBO series, “Insecure,” was snubbed by the Emmys. Yvonne Strahovski of “The Handmaid’s Tale” also went with red, her gown a plunger she wore with a gold choker and her hair back in a slick bun. So did Sarah Hyland in a Zac Posen lace leaf motif gown with a cutout at the front. Nicole Kidman also wore red, her silver tie-collar dress by Calvin Klein by Appointment in a grenadine shade made of silk gazar, with a pleated bodice, accessorized by more than $2 million worth of Harry Winston jewels.
Speaking of Calvin Klein by Appointment, 13-year-old nominee Millie Bobby Brown — among the youngest Emmy nominees ever — looked cute as a button in a princess silk crepe and tulle dress. She wore no jewelry because who needs to when you’re 13 and Millie Bobby Brown?
And hot from her front-row cheerleading at Christian Siriano’s New York Fashion Week runway show was Leslie Jones, wearing one of Siriano’s creations in black with an illusion neck, heavy embellishment and a high slit.
While the ladies in red took over the carpet, feathers had a moment — on Tracee Ellis Ross in belted, silver Chanel Haute Couture, for instance, along with the gown worn by Zoe Kravitz, a Dior Haute Couture with a black bodice and shades of soft yellow, pink and red below the waist, her hair cropped and a silver choker around her neck.
Yara Shahidi offered something different, a custom Prada gown with bronze tulle flutter sleeves and green sequin floral embroidery all over. It plunged at the front in a V and was accented by a gold Swarovski crystal belt.
Marc Jacobs dressed Anna Faris in magenta, a deep V-neck with floral embroidery. Padma Lakshmi threw kisses and showed off a cropped ‘do in a strapless number also in the purple family. And this isn’t your usual Ariel Winter, who went showgirl in double, daring slits on a backless, halter look of black and silver beads.
Presenter Rachel Bloom of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” purchased her lacy black Gucci gown, exclaiming: “I’m wearing Gucci. I never thought I’d wear Gucci.” Her plans for after the show? Perhaps put the dress up for sale.
“It’s hard to get places to lend me dresses because I’m not a size 0, but I can afford it so it’s OK,” she told E! Entertainment.
Viola Davis popped in bright orange, by Zac Posen. It was a burnt shade in satin crepe. So did Uzo Aduba in a Sally LaPointe gown, her hair down and natural.
“Viola Davis in color is like my favorite thing,” said Julee Wilson, fashion and beauty director for Essence. “
Erin Cunningham, fashion news director for Refinery29.com, was impressed by Thompson, among others.
“It felt really daring and really unexpected for a red carpet,” she said. “People normally play it safe.”
The two both loved Ross as well.
“That dress probably took I don’t know how many man hours,” Wilson said. “And the cornrows. Her hair was just amazing and obviously afrocentric, which is a point of pride. It was beautiful. It was very showgirl and her mom is the ultimate siren onstage. I’m pretty sure sequins and feathers and anything sparkly and glam are in her DNA.”
Naeem Kahn designed Laverne Cox’s body-hugging gray gown with little ruffles on her narrow straps. She wore Lorraine Schwartz chandelier statement earrings, her hair down and slicked back with matching gray eye shadow.
In the green family was Samantha Bee in an emerald, long-sleeve custom look with panels along the front and a plunging neckline by Rubin Singer. It was, well, roomy. Mandy Moore, the matriarch on “This is Us,” was well-tiered in a tulle ball gown from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2018 collection, alternating black and white below the waist.
Thompson, from “Westworld,” worked the swingy, narrow pleats on her look of red, blue and green. The high-waisted gown had two rows of straps at the back. She wore a green tourmaline ring in a cobra design by John Hardy Jewelry.