Emmys Fashion Preview: The Stars, Designers and Political Pins

6:00 AM 9/17/2018

by Lindsay Weinberg and Booth Moore

The Hollywood Reporter anticipates big fashion moments from stars like Claire Foy, Viola Davis and Yara Shahidi on the red carpet.

Emmys 2018 Fashion Preview - Getty - H Split 2018
Mike Marsland/WireImage; Steve Granitz/WireImage

The Emmys aren't just television's biggest night; they're one of the biggest events at the intersection of fashion and Hollywood. On Monday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT time, TV's shining stars will step onto the red carpet wearing a host of designer gowns and tuxedos. 

The buzz for women is that there will be a return to vivid color, after last season's red carpet blackout to protest gender inequality and show solidarity with the Time's Up movement. The new political issue and rallying cry could be voting. At New York Fashion Week, designers and stylists were pinning black-and-white "I am a Voter" pins to their lapels and bags. The work of the Civic Culture Coalition, a group of media and entertainment companies, the pins are meant to encourage participation at the polls in November and beyond.  

Last year, standouts on the Emmys red carpet included Laura Dern in Proenza Schouler, Tessa Thompson in Rosie Assoulin and Nicole Kidman in Calvin Klein.  We hear this year that at least one star will be reviving an unworn look from last season's red carpet, and that American designers, who often shine at the domestic awards show, will once again be in the spotlight. But don't count out the potential for Virgil Abloh's fresh-off-the-runway Louis Vuitton menswear to make an appearance, or Kim Jones' fresh-of-the-runway Dior Homme menswear, either.

Here are 12 actors and actresses to keep an eye on. Styled by Ilaria Urbinati, though he wore Dior Homme for Rihanna's Diamond Ball this week, Donald Glover seems a lock for Gucci. He has sported a range of Gucci tuxedos and sweaters while promoting his music as Childish Gambino and his work on FX's Atlanta (he's nominated for his directing, writing and acting). TV's leading ladies, including Elisabeth Moss, Claire Foy and Issa Rae are also expected to go glam again.

Here's why we're excited to see these stars' style at the Emmys on Sept. 17. 

  • Elisabeth Moss

    Last year, The Handmaid's Tale star donned a custom A-line Prabal Gurung gown to the Emmys. She wore the same shade — light pink — to the Oscars in March, again with a cinched waist but with added embellishments (and 50 carats of gems). Lately, Moss has been wearing Vivienne Westwood and Carolina Herrera to her events.

    On deciding to wear Prabal Gurung for the 2017 Emmys, Moss' stylist Karla Welch told THR, "He reached out and said, 'I'd love to make her a dress.' She loves his clothes ... He's political, so I love everything he stands for," Welch added. "I love when he does a red carpet dress because it's a different side of him he does so well."

    Though it's unlikely she'll repeat the same pinkey hue a third time, expect to see the blonde star with an A-line or cinched waist again. She may even be making a political statement — last year, she wore a giant ACLU blue ribbon on her clutch. 

  • Claire Foy

    As the queen bids farewell to The Crown, Foy will take to the Emmys carpet for her second and final time as part of the Netflix drama's cast (Olivia Colman will replace her for season three). 

    In 2017, Foy didn't go with a regal gown but with a black jumpsuit and crystal rope shoulder detail from Oscar de la Renta. Her choice in designer will be a surprise for the 2018 Emmys, as her stylist Nicky Yates told THR, "Claire's style is constantly evolving." 

    Foy has worn a Gucci floral dress, a shimmery Dior gown and a white Rosetta Getty for red carpets (at the Venice Film Festival, she stunned in a pink and red Prada cape-like dress). “Claire loves a trouser,” Yates has said, so will the royal go for pants again? 

  • Viola Davis

    Davis loves color. 

    The How to Get Away with Murder powerhouse brightened the carpet in a cantaloupe Zac Posen gown with Harry Winston jewels at last year's Emmys. For the Oscars, she went Barbie in a neon pink Michael Kors gown that showed off her bombshell figure and curly hair. 

    Nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Scandal (Samira Wiley won at the Creative Arts Emmys), Davis will hopefully bring the same pop of color to the carpet this awards season.

  • Millie Bobby Brown

    The Stranger Things breakout will almost certainly be wearing Calvin Klein to the Emmys. She's joined the ad campaign #MyCalvins and sat front row at the CK show at New York Fashion Week on Wednesday. 

    Last year, designer Raf Simmons turned Brown into a snow princess with a sleeveless tulle gown. For the black-out Golden Globes, the designer dressed her in a double-silk, backless minidress with a ruffled bodice.

  • Issa Rae

    Rae chose classic Hollywood colors for the Emmys and Golden Globes: red and black. She wore a one-shoulder red gown last year, but it was her Globes ensemble that sparkled: a shimmery black V-necked dress with a high slit — and she worked that leg pop. Stylist Jason Rembert got the dream look from Prabal Gurung, and the 150-carat diamond and emerald necklace by Lorraine Schwartz made the outfit. 

    Rae is nominated for her acting in Insecure, for which she's also credited as a producer and writer.

  • Donald Glover

    Get ready for Gucci on Glover. 

    The musician, writer, director and actor is also very stylish, sporting orange, white, powder blue, purple and black suits on the carpet. 

    “We approach styling from the perspective of how a musician might approach different albums: go in phases and go with moods that you're in. So this has been the ‘70s album," his stylist Urbinati told THR

    In 2017, when he won for acting and directing in Atlanta (nominated for both this year), Glover wore Gucci to the Emmys and Ermenegildo Zegna to the 2018 Grammys. He frequently wears Gucci — at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, at the Met Gala, at Cannes — so it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Italian brand dress him for this year's award show.

    "We're big fans of Gucci, and they're big ?fans of Donald," Urbinati said. "There's a ?good creative effort there, so I like working with them as much as I can."

  • Penelope Cruz

    For her Emmy debut, Cruz will likely display gems from her Swarovski sustainable line, which was released in July (her favorite piece being a ring with lab-created rubies). 

    The actress wore the jewelry at Cannes for her premiere of Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben) along with a black, vintage Chanel dress. This summer, Cruz became a brand ambassador for the French house as she and stylist Cristina Ehrlich attended fashion week together. Perhaps they picked out her Emmys look on the trip. 



  • Rachel Brosnahan

    What marvelous thing will the marvelous Mrs. Maisel wear? 

    The Amazon series has her donning all kinds of 1950s-inspired vintage looks, from pillbox hats to colorful A-line dresses. She was previously nominated in 2015 for House of Cards, but this will be the first peek at Brosnahan's Maisel-era Emmys style. She could pay homage to her late aunt by wearing Kate Spade, or Brosnahan has previously sported Calvin Klein, Gabriela Hearst, Alexandra Wang and ADEAM, among others. To the Golden Globes, she wore Vionnet with Manolo Blahnik shoes and Colette jewelry. 



  • Tracee Ellis Ross

    The Black-ish actress, nominated a third time for the role, embraced Chanel vintage at the 2017 show. The silver embroidered Chanel Couture with feather trim was paired with "freakin' amazing Roger Vivier shoes," stylist Welch said.

    Ross wore Balmain to the Oscars, Ralph and Russo to the SAG Awards and Marc Jacobs to the Golden Globes in 2018. 


  • John Legend

    Newly-crowned EGOT winner John Legend will go for another Emmy Award after scoring a Creative Arts Emmy this week for Jesus Christ Superstar. For his Emmy win, Legend wore a black Ermenegildo Zegna suit styled by Dave Thomas, though he recently rocked a navy velvet Boss suit and pink Alexandra McQueen suit, so he's not afraid of color. 

  • Sarah Paulson

    Paulson channeled the high-fashion focus of her film Ocean's 8 for its premiere, standing out for a neon green Prada fringe gown. Another textured look, her 2017 Emmys outfit was a silver sequined number from Carolina Herrera. She complimented the puffed-sleeved dress with silver pointed toe pumps and a shiny clutch. 

    We can't wait to see what Paulson (American Horror Story) will put on. 

  • Yara Shahidi

    Custom Prada brought Shahidi to life on the red carpet. The young star donned a nude gown with green sequin vines for a fairy garden look at the 2017 Emmys. She went more sleek at the SAG awards in a black jumpsuit with a long train.

    For her THR cover shoot this summer, Shahidi wore a Carolina Herrera shirt; a Thom Browne jacket, shirt and skirt; and a Rosie Assoulin dress and boots, with styling by Jason Bolden. Though not nominated herself, Shahidi will see if Black-ish nabs Outstanding Comedy Series.