It was a weird Emmys, no question – but, since there were more unexpected winners than eye-rolling ‘of course’ returns, it almost seemed like there was a little bit of room for things to shift – not for a new class, exactly, since the vast majority of ‘new’ faces we saw last night have been in the business forever – but to see them in new roles.
I am biased toward Natasha Lyonne and Russian Doll - easily the series I enjoyed most in the past year, because its voice was so incredibly strong and specific – so I was looking forward to seeing her anyway. Plus, I don’t think it’s a secret that I’ve been trying to adopt both the hair and blazer aesthetic of the show all summer, so consider my bias fully stated.
But when I first saw that shock of red hair on top of that long gold column, I had an almost visceral feeling of… recognition? She was clearly being exactly herself, and while I don’t know the specifics of her stylist’s relationships, I’m pretty sure she didn’t have to wear anything other than exactly what she wanted.
It is aggressively gold. It has a massive pussy bow that hangs halfway down her thigh, and her mismatched jewelery may have come from somewhere fancy, but I like to believe it was all dug up from various vintage shops beside large piles of slightly musty polyester.
She’s just so out of the norm of what we usually see here, and it’s exciting! It’s like she’s setting out her intention to become a dame – not like the Judi Dench kind, although maybe – but the kind of delightful eccentric you love telling stories about to your friends.
That didn’t used to be allowed, here on the red carpet. It’s preposterous to say now, but it used to be made very clear that if you didn’t adhere to the ‘rules’ – including campaigning and dressing the ‘right’ way, and etc – you couldn’t get in the door as a performer, much less a writer/creator/producer. I can’t believe I’m getting this emotional over the idea of a relatively privileged woman getting to wear a designer dress, but – the difference is exciting. The equivalent of the kids who skip the pep rallys and hang out under the stairs suddenly getting some of the keys to the kingdom.
She surrounds herself with fellow offbeats, too. Lyonne spent a lot of the night with Clea DuVall, her friend and costar in But I’m A Cheerleader, who was there with the cast of Veep. And of course, she spent a lot of time with Amy Poehler, her Russian Doll producing partner – whose gold outfit on the red carpet was… let’s say, less inspiring. What is it about the way she’s standing, wearing, it that makes her look so uncomfortable?
I didn’t see any shots of Lyonne with her ‘Sweet Birthday Bayybeeeee’ costar Greta Lee, which is too bad because her outfit is equally as atypical for the Emmys, and I would looove to have seen them together:
But who are we kidding. Even when she’s invited to the party, Natasha Lyonne is still in the corner with the cool kids – not coincidentally, in another dress I would kill for. Look how much more comfortable she and Amy look once they’re wearing what they would wear anyway…
I can’t. It’s too much. She’s so much cooler than the rest of this scene, and too cool for school on it’s own isn’t that attractive. But too cool for school in the Hollywood sense – meaning someone who’s ascended to a place where they can make what they want but don’t care too much about toeing the line? It’s a privileged position, to be sure – but it also has the potential to be very exciting.
I’ll be over here playing “Gotta Get Up” until Russian Doll Season 2 arrives to help me complete my transformation into my lifelong goal – to be a dame.