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IN PICS | Best and worst dressed stars at the 2021 Emmy Awards

Here's which celebs' fashion choices turned heads for all the right — and wrong — reasons

20 September 2021 - 20:19 By Ricci-Lee Kalish
Actress Anya Taylor-Joy at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Actress Anya Taylor-Joy at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images

The Met Gala — an annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s (the Met's) Costume Institute in New York — is known as the “biggest night in fashion”.

The event, which took place last week, includes the red carpet of all red carpets and no other function can compete when it comes to A-listers showing off their sartorial prowess — or so we thought until Sunday night.

The red carpet at the 73rd Prime time Emmy Awards was possibly the best we’ve seen in years. The celebs’ looks trumped many of the avant-garde creations at this year’s Met Gala, and gave us a lesson in taste, classiness and styling.

Usually there are a lot more candidates for the “worst dressed” than the “best dressed” list, but this wasn’t the case at the 2021 Emmys.

Take a look for yourself:

BEST DRESSED

ANYA TAYLOR-JOY

Actress Anya Taylor-Joy’s arrival at the 2021 Emmys in Christian Dior Haute Couture was one of those big fashion moments we’re unlikely to forget any time soon.

The Queen’s Gambit star was able to co-opt one of history’s most celebrated red-carpet designs — a sleek, halter-necked dress with a “barely there” back — and give it an unexpected edge.

Anya Taylor-Joy in Christian Dior Haute Couture.
Anya Taylor-Joy in Christian Dior Haute Couture.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images
Note the necklaces 'built-in' to the back of Anya Taylor-Joy's Emmy Awards dress.
Note the necklaces 'built-in' to the back of Anya Taylor-Joy's Emmy Awards dress.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Her buttery gown was topped with a voluminous cape in a brighter shade of yellow, upping the drama and bringing old-world glamour into the millennial age.

The styling of her outfit was equally strong: a classic updo, dainty jewellery and a bold red lip to bring that extra bit of personality to her look. 

If we were rating it out of 10, it would have to be a solid 17.

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

The High Note star is known for bringing lots of personality and glamour to the red carpet, so we couldn’t help but be disappointed with the dress she wore to the Met Gala, which bordered on matronly.

Fortunately, she got her fashion mojo back in time for the Emmys.

Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2021 Met Gala.
Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2021 Met Gala.
Image: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images

There is something so wonderfully disco-esque about this one-shouldered red Valentino number. It’s sexy without being too sexy, classic without being boring, and fun without being tasteless.

The ‘70s vibes of the shimmery, draped design and the actress’s glorious afro led many to draw comparisons between her and her equally famous mom, singer Diana Ross.

When it came to styling, Ellis Ross once again proved that simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication, opting for a couple of statement jewels that allowed her dress to do most of the talking.

MICHAELA COEL

Michaela Coel made history as the first black woman to win an Outstanding Writing Emmy for I May Destroy You, the limited series in which she also stars.

She was also a winner on the red carpet where she turned heads in a Christopher John Rogers two-piece in a shade of neon yellow few others could pull off.

It's not often an outfit can be described as both sleek and larger than life but the combination of her fitted ankle-length skirt and flirty bandeau-style top, which was tied at the back in giant bow, was exactly that.

A closer look at the back of Michaela Coel's Christopher John Rogers two-piece.
A closer look at the back of Michaela Coel's Christopher John Rogers two-piece.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images
Michaela Coel at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Michaela Coel at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images

We weren't as impressed with her styling, however. While we love her shaved head and bold makeup, her matching shoes looked a little clunky and her choice of jewellery was a tad ageing.

Nitpicking aside though, Coel chose a memorable look for what turned out to be an unforgettable night.

WORST DRESSED

KATE WINSLET

They say “you can never go wrong with a black dress”, and this is true — unless you happen to be one of the biggest celebrities in the world and are up for one of the biggest prizes at the Emmys.

While Kate Winslet clinched the Outstanding Lead Actress statuette for her role in the limited series, Mare of Easttown, she’s unlikely to get any awards for this outfit.

There’s nothing particularly bad about this dress, but there’s also nothing particularly good about it either — it strays into realm of blandness and boredom. It’s the sort of dress you’d expect your friend’s mom to wear to wedding - not for a Hollywood superstar to wear to an awards show.

Kathryn Hahn at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Kathryn Hahn at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images
Kate Winslet at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Kate Winslet at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images

KATHERINE HAHN

Comedian Katherine Hahn’s Emmys outfit sadly had us laughing (nervously) at her and not with her.

We can get over that it’s a boring black strapless jumpsuit. We can even get over that it doesn’t fit her like a glove. But what we can’t get over is that large belt. The chunky accessory is giving us traumatic flashbacks from our teen years — please tell us this isn’t a warning sign that early 2000s fashion will be rearing its ugly head again?

Please would someone also give the WandaVision actress a comb. We’re all for “bed head” hair but this style just looks like pure laziness. A sharp and sleek ponytail with big dramatic earrings may have saved this look — or at least made it less problematic.

A hint of red lipstick would have helped matters too.

BILLY PORTER

We’ve often applauded the Cinderella star for making gender-bending sartorial statements on the red carpet in the past.

Billy Porter at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Billy Porter at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images

He’s a larger-than-life character and we love his passion for OTT fashion, but this is not fashion, it’s costumery. Worse still, it’s peacocking — and we loathe a peacock.

Especially one who is dressed in an outfit that looks like it came straight off the runway of a first-year fashion student's show.


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