Lainey and Sarah and I write all our pieces separately, after a semi-haphazard rock-paper-scissors meeting to see who’s going to write what. So I don’t know what words they, or anyone else, is using to describe the looks last night at the Emmys – but I know the one word I suspect they won’t be using. 


Nothing was “glamorous” last night – and it was so goddamn exciting! 

I don’t know if it was sitting essentially in the round, out of a theatre, that did it, or whether it was hot and there was summer euphoria left over, or the fact that I missed most of the red carpet because of a sudden power outage, but I didn’t see anyone struggling to move because their shoes and dress were so impossible (Bowen Yang is the obvious exception, which makes it okay!). Nobody was being flocked by 18 stylists to make sure they were perfect. Or if they were, we didn’t see them… in general, everything just seemed looser. 

Nobody was talking about how much their Spanx hurt, peoples’ hair did what it did, they appeared to dance and move – it’s not that people didn’t look beautiful or sexy or completely at home in their own bodies and wardrobes, just that ‘glamour’, to me, has another thick layer of polish on top. Everyone’s dresses looked like they fit! Lipstick just happened when it did! 


And into it all walked Taraji P Henson.

Taraji P. Henson attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California

I loooooove this look. I love how easy the hair is, how understated the jewelry and makeup, the very clear implication that she just tossed this dress on from where it was lying on the floor, no big deal.

It’s refreshing! Nobody wanted to see those perfect celebrity humans being endlessly perfect, they don’t actually need to be that flawless to have our love! I am all for a return to the arrival styles of the late 90s and early 2000s, which tended a lot more towards cropped tees and a fine pair of boots if you happened to have them, but which did demand a generally more chill attitude and a big smile. 


Speaking of – check out Issa Rae! 

Issa Rae attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California

She looks great, like always, but this is undoubtedly a more chill look than some of her past styles. Again, you can see how maybe she found a particularly delightful summer dress, paired it with some formal shoes, and went …why the hell not? 

And honestly, WHY THE HELL NOT?  I – sing it with me – haven’t slept, so I may be a bit off-base, but at this point, the artists who work on red carpets can do anything. Anything! We all see the Met Gala, and the Lady Gaga archive, and if you can do those things, getting someone ready to look pretty normal for a pretty normal event must actually be a giant snooze. 


So why not shake things up? Apparently Issa’s makeup, eyeshadow in particular, was $3 – I assume because she loved it and not because she was trying to do some sort of drugstore makeup challenge… and then, of course, there was this: 

Issa Rae attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California

You know what’s great about a mouthpiece like this? You have to beam to pull it off. She’s just hanging out, smiling and walking without someone holding her up for balance. It’s all so relaxed…

Casual carpets. It’s a thing, let’s all get into it. Can’t this be our new normal?