You know how we’re told that dresses are passed around at awards show seasons the same way songs are? Like the dress - or song – meant for person A winds up with person B or C If A rejects it?

Who is selling the prom dresses? Those wee tiny bodice with MASSIVE BALLROOM SKIRT dresses, that remind me of every movie in the 80s where the rich kids were the worst?

The prime example here of course, is Tracee Ellis Ross. I’ve always seen her as kind of a sleek, spare dresser, so maybe she was like ‘noooope, I’m going flouncy pink’.  But there’s flouncy, ruffly, pink, AND taffeta. I commend her for going all in, but I wonder what frame of mind you have to be in to choose that?

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s is almost as 80s and twice as dramatic. That giant purple skirt! I know it’s Oscar De la Renta, and presumably in the same sort of family and Elisabeth Moss’s, but Moss’s looks more current. I totally get the idea of a vintage throwback thing, but – from where? From what trend or experience? Why now? Is it just because it’s fun to swish? There’s nothing wrong with that answer, I’m just wondering. Is that why?

Then there’s Gina Rodriguez. So clever and saucy and forthright, so much fun on Jane The Virgin, and I liked seeing her all May-December with John Stamos too. But the dress was oddly one part little-girl and one part Bombshell. It would have been fine if it were just at a party, but nobody looks good once there’s a lavalier mic pinned to the small semicircle that’s shielding your breast from the world, in a dress that is half Michelle Obama inauguration and half flower-child.

Then, of course, there was Regina King’s dress. For that matter, there was Regina King.

Regina King’s dress was sort of a moulded ballerina thing, and it’s an interesting choice, because it really only works best – you really only see that it’s tea length, not floor - when you’re standing up on a stage, which King points out she was in no way thinking she would be. 

She was obviously stunned, and the dress kind of wound up working. When Taraji grabs Regina in that big, actually-real-life-friends hug, and the skirt starts dinging like a bell, well – who wouldn’t want one?

It’s kind of the same way I felt after her speech, actually.

Wishing she had ‘one of those little papers like the comedy people had.’
Thanking her mother and grandmother, all the way to people who moved schedules so that she could do her jobs. And her son, whom everyone else thought was her date. She was so charming and warm and great. After all that, who wouldn’t want some Regina King, in a bell-shaped dress so she could swing back and forth with happiness? Who doesn’t wonder why they don’t watch her more? Who isn’t deciding to watch American Crime this weekend, purely to get a little Regina King in their life?