Some dresses we can all agree on. They’re fine to good, maybe even better than good, but that’s it, no strong feelings either way. Example from last night: Riley Keough. Nobody’s having an argument over Riley Keough in Chanel and no one’s wig is missing over it either. 


Other dresses, however, bring forth debate. Certain people will find them baffling, offensive, downright ugly, as opposed to the defenders who will argue that they’re unusual, un-boring, refreshingly disruptive. 

This is a post about those kinds of dresses – four of them at the Emmys last night, starting with Ali Wong who, along with Steven Yeun, made history last night: the first Asian actors to win in a lead acting role. Both were visibly emotional about their achievement, profoundly aware of what the moment means to the community and, fairly or unfairly, the responsibility that comes with it. I say this because Beef was not without controversy which we don’t talk much about anymore. 


That doesn’t mean my intention is to restart that conversation. My point is that Ali, Steven, and Lee Sung Jin were criticised within the community for how they handled that situation. And while that doesn’t take away from the hard work and creativity that they poured into their show and what they have earned as a result, there should be space for recognition and celebration; and also the expectation that from this experience, they will move forward with an even more accountable form of leadership. 


Next, and before we get into Ali’s look, a note on her relationship with Bill Hader because this has been the hardest of hard launches. It wasn’t news that they were dating, but they’d yet to step out together officially. And now it’s award season and they’re seated together at all the shows and congratulation-kissing on camera, and he’s sitting there watching her get up on stage to receive award after award and now, after watching this for the third time in just over a week, to me this is giving Travis Kelce, right?! He’s looking at her like he can’t believe he got this lucky. 

Here they are leaving the afterparty – and my Photo Assumption read on this shot below is that, well, Bill has it bad for Ali.

Ali Wong and Bill Hader
Ali Wong and Bill Hader wait for their car outside Ristorante Per L'Ora in Los Angeles

Now to the fashion business. Her dress is custom Louis Vuitton and when I first saw her step onto the carpet, I actually liked it – the bright blue floral pattern beading really popped and definitely a more elevated look for the Emmys compared to what she wore to Critics Choice. But what’s great on the bottom is ruined by the top. To me the silver is a copout. As if they were worried that taking the blue floral all the way up would be too much. And if you’re afraid of your own design, you’ve lost me. Also, what is the point of that sheer panel? It serves zero purpose because that sh-t is not holding up anything, and it also looks janky. 


Next, Robin Thede. The corset, to me, doesn’t look right around the bust. It’s such a nothingburger of a colour – not white, not grey, not blush, not beige… not anything. And now that I’ve seen what she wore to the afterparty, I’m even more confused. Like how was this not the first option? 

Robin Thede attends HBO's 2024 Post-Emmy Reception
Robin Thede attends HBO's 2024 Post-Emmy Reception at San Vicente Bungalows on January 15, 2024 in West Hollywood, California

Then, Kirsten Dunst in Chanel. I get it, we love Kiki and Jesse Plemons. Do we really love this dress? I don’t. I’m mad at this dress. Mad because Kiki has given us so many great moments, in Rodarte especially, so to see her in the most lazy Chanel, a dress that looks to me like the ones you see at business conferences where people walk around sleepily with lanyards around their neck holding onto a binder they’ll never look at again waiting for five o’clock to come around so they can hit the bar. Why am I looking at this on Kiki D at the Emmys? 


Sarah and Duana’s theory is that she just pulled it out of her closet. Duana’s imagines that “these two rolled up 90 minutes before the show, decided maybe they’d only have time for one of them to shower, then decided to cram in together, one thing led to another, and she didn’t feel like getting into a more difficult dress than this”. And then Sarah added that she would also believe they had an edible in the car on the way over and I’d believe that too but that doesn’t make me hate the look any less. It makes me like HER more, but not the dress. 

Now to the legacy of Rihanna and pregnancy fashion. From the front, Suki Waterhouse is a vision. I LOVE where the bow is placed, right underneath her baby bump, nature’s greatest gift. I wish, however, that the material was more luxurious on top, especially around the chest area. Because if she’s not standing up straight, there’s not enough weight to the fabric to keep the silhouette in shape. Like in this shot, it looks like a gaping tank top and therefore a little sloppy. This was the key to Rihanna’s pregnancy style excellence: as revealing as the outfits were, and they were revealing, they were never sloppy, and this is what’s happening from certain angles with Suki. Still, I love the effort. 

Suki Waterhouse at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Peacock Theater on January 15, 2024 in Los Angeles, California

And finally, perhaps the most polarising look of them all… 


Aubrey Plaza in the dress that was probably the most memed of them all. 

Aubrey Plaza at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards
Aubrey Plaza at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Peacock Theater on January 15, 2024 in Los Angeles, California

As funny as that is, I will defend it with my life. First of all, it’s Loewe and Jonathan Anderson. His whole thing is weirdness, that’s what they call him – the King of Weird. So if you’re going to Loewe for your look, it’s never going to be palatable to the MiniVan Majority. Furthermore, Loewe and Jonathan Anderson are never going to send out a look on someone who wants to be palatable to the MiniVan Majority. When has Aubrey Plaza ever sought out the approval of the MiniVan Majority. She’s the perfect candidate for Loewe. She has the personality of an awkward pause. By Hollywood people-pleaser standards, Aubrey is unusual, she gives offbeat and uncomfortable. This dress was made for her. This dress could only be worn by her. It is the most precise example of a celebrity best suited for her dress. 

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