Gabrielle Union Shows Her Range with Zuhair Murad Femme Gown and Capelet

Gabrielle Union
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Gabrielle Union in a Zuhair Murad gown.

The Emmys presenter’s stylist, Thomas Christos Kikis, weighs in on the striking all-black choice.

“Anytime [Gabrielle Union] and Dwayne [Wade] do a red carpet together, I try to play up her femininity and body, because he’s such an athlete and such the guy’s guy,” says stylist Thomas Christos Kikis. For the Emmys he had in mind the actress’ version of Hollywood classic. So while it’s not exactly princess-y, he admits it’s something different for her.

“When I saw that dress something about the capelet seemed different,” says Kikis. “We never really go that romantic. She’s always into Prada or Rodarte that’s a little more fashion-y.” The Zuhair Murad resort gown, which he had marked as a favorite when he saw the collections, was an early pick, and became one of just three dresses Union tried on before making her selection. “It’s a little more sequins than we normally go for,” he adds, which made it stand out in an exciting way.

The stylist admits to being very minimal with jewelry, but he was inspired by a recent trip to Greece — and Union by summer travels to Italy and Greece — to create a strong neckline with the help of some bling. “I felt like it needed some accent or some nod to the design. We were loving the gold, intricate, baroque feel that Italian jewelry nods to, and Greek Byzantine, so I was like, Let’s play up that really classic element of the dress.” The final pick by Buccellati plays off the scalloping and intricate embroidery and sequins on the dress.

Still, the piece de resistance of the look, according to Kikis, is the capelet, which is what caught his eye to start with. “She loved it,” he says, and when Union’s hairstylist Larry Sims saw it, he conceived her ‘do that mimicked the fanning effect of the cape.”

Her bold look stood out for all the right reasons. “She’s so unpredictable and she’s usually pretty open, which I think allows her to constantly change it up,” says Phillips of his client. “She’s really easy, fun and just loves the whole process.”