Last year, despite the fact that the Emmys were mostly virtual, there were a few — Tracee Ellis Ross, Zendaya, and Billy Porter — who created memorable fashion moments. This year, we had a lot more to look forward to since the Emmys returned to a full IRL set-up in Downtown Los Angeles and with it, all of the red carpet fashion. It was a great year for television so the 2021 Emmy awards had an exceptionally stylish red carpet, with the trailblazing cast of Pose and and the royal favorites from The Crown and Bridgerton. Once again, Anya Taylor-Joy stole the spotlight, red made a big appearance, and actors like Billy Porter (of course) and Bowen Yang proved that men’s red carpet looks don’t have to be boring.
Read on for the best, worst, and most glamorous looks of the night.
Best New Hollywood Glamour: Michaela Jaé Rodriguez
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez aka MJ Rodriguez made Emmys history as the first out trans woman to be nominated in the outstanding lead actress category for her role in the FX’s Pose. To celebrate the moment, she wore a breezy vintage Versace gown that combines old and new Hollywood.
Best Old Hollywood Glamour: Elizabeth Olsen
The third Olsen sister flexed her ultimate fashion connection: Mary-Kate and Ashley’s The Row.
Most Likely to Fly Away: Billy Porter
Billy Porter told E! that this look was originally supposed to have a long train, believe it or not. (But since it is Porter, after all, we wholeheartedly believe it.) Still, the actor landed on the red carpet with flair like a bedazzled raven in dramatic ruffled sleeves
Best Case for Purple: Nicole Byers
Purple can be a particularly polarizing color. But even if it’s not your cup of tea, you have to admit that Nicole Byers wears the shade gorgeously.
Most Spooky Pilgrim: Emma Corin
Emma Corrin’s look combined a bonnet, sharp black nails, and a slinky Miu Miu dress that’s in a material that’s almost like a second skin. A witch? A pilgrim? A chic skier? We unpacked it here.
Most True to Character: Josh O’Connor
O’Connor channeled a young and always dapper Prince Charles, whom he plays on Netflix’s The Crown, on the red carpet in a Loewe tailcoat tuxedo.
Best Reds: Tracee Ellis Ross, Sarah Paulson, Catherine O’Hara, and Mandy Moore
Red was a popular choice for the red carpet tonight, but each person made it their own: Tracee Ellis Ross gave disco diva, Sarah Paulson gave regal drama, Catherine O’Hara served sleek, and Mandy Moore went princess-y.
Best Shoes: Bowen Yang
A dude in black suit on the red carpet can get pretty redundant, but Bowen Yang spiced things up in silver platform boots by Syro, a queer and Asian-owned brand based in Brooklyn.
Most Beautifully Blinding Yellow: Michaela Coel
Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You creator, writer, co-director, and executive producer, made red carpet fashion feel modern in a highlighter yellow gown by Christopher John Rogers.
Most Likely to Wash Your Car: Cynthia Erivo
The train on this gown reminds me of something …
Simply the Best: Anya Taylor-Joy
Just when we thought that we’d have an Emmys red carpet without a breathtaking moment, Anya Taylor-Joy arrived in Christian Dior. Everyone say, “Thank you, Anya!”