72nd Emmy Awards: In pandemic fashion

The 72nd Emmy Awards was a novel affair with no red carpet in sight and host Jimmy Kimmel speaking to an empty Los Angeles theatre.

Taking place as a virtual ceremony for the first time in awards show history, it had stars dial in remotely, with the occasional in-person appearance by an award presenter.

The Emmys 2020 fashion parade was a mixed bag of luxury loungewear, full-length gowns and political T-shirts referencing the Black Lives Matter movement.

With the 140 or so celebrities calling in from various locations, it was a little hard to fully appreciate the outfits via live telecast.

But Kimmel, who addressed the need for an awards show during the pandemic, said it best: “It’s fun – and right now we need fun.”

The Straits Times rounds up some of the best and most memorable looks of the awards.


Marking her return to the Emmys with her first nomination after 11 years for The Morning Show, Hollywood darling Jennifer Aniston left viewers excited with her multiple outfit changes.

The first, a classic Jen look – a sleeveless vintage Dior black dress with statement diamonds – in person at the ceremony; and later, a floaty pink kimono she changed into when she got comfortable back home.


Clinching the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, Watchmen’s Regina King made a powerful statement – not just with her fuchsia pantsuit, but the T-shirt she paired it with, which depicted Ms Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot in a botched police raid.


The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’s Alex Borstein shed her tough, grubby Susie Myerson shell for an alluring ensemble – a lacy black slip and pink robe.


Before turning up to present the nominees for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross made waves on her own red carpet at home – in a plunging chartreuse gold number from Alexandre Vauthier, Jimmy Choo heels and vintage Tiffany jewellery.


Taking home the Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program for RuPaul’s Drag Race, the inimitable RuPaul Charles was calm but colourful in an arresting blazer.


A marvellous ensemble from The Marvelous Mrs Maisel cast – from Mrs Maisel herself.

Points to Rachel Brosnahan and her husband Jason Ralph for matching hers and his custom Christy Rilling pyjamas, with the pattern echoed on their dogs’ bow ties.

Embellished pumps from Roger Vivier completed her casual-luxury look.


We imagine Dan Levy is patting himself on the back right now for his choice of a breezy Thom Browne kilt – which must have made getting up multiple times in the night to receive the string of Emmys for Schitt’s Creek much more comfortable.

It was also a tribute to his character David Rose, who wore a similar get-up in the show’s finale.


We are still a little torn about Zendaya’s boldly structured Christopher John Rogers dress, but perhaps the mark of a commendable fashion statement is dividing audiences. The Euphoria star kept the rest of her outfit simple and elegant with Bulgari jewellery.

The 24-year-old later opted for a more conventional glittering custom Armani Prive gown, accepting her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – making her the youngest person and second black actress to win in this category. Viola Davis won in 2015 for How To Get Away With Murder.

5 memorable moments

The Emmy Awards this year were unprecedented in its presentation. The annual television awards show went largely virtual due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with nominees dialling in from home.



While most guests participated in the ceremony over the Internet, some stars still managed to share the stage in person with host Jimmy Kimmel.

Jennifer Aniston was the evening’s opening presenter. She and Kimmel sanitised a results envelope before setting it on fire in a trash can, in a funny bit intended to demonstrate the show’s high hygiene standards.

But the trash can continued to burn after they thought they had put the fire out.

A visibly shocked Aniston swiftly picked up the fire extinguisher and quickly put out the flames. And she did it all in heels and a vintage black Dior dress.



American singer H.E.R. performed a passionate rendition of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U for the In Memoriam segment of the show, honouring the stars and people behind the scenes who died this year.

Kimmel opened the segment with a tribute to the United States Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday.

With no audience in sight, the 23-year-old’s song struck a sombre chord, paying tribute to stars such as Regis Philbin, Naya Rivera, Diana Rigg and Chadwick Boseman.

A video of Boseman speaking, layered over the mythical plains of Wakanda – the fictional African nation featured in the actor’s most significant work, Black Panther (2018) – was shown. He died last month at the age of 43 of colon cancer.


Aniston may not have picked up trophies for her performance in The Morning Show, but at least she had her Friends with her.

The star returned home after presenting the first award of the night and later showed up on video with Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox, her co-stars in the iconic comedy Friends (1994 to 2004).

Actor Jason Bateman showed up in the background as well. This was probably the most light-hearted moment of the show.


The most viral moment of the night happened off-screen.

Ramy Youssef – creator and star of the series Ramy – lost for both directing and lead actor to comedy Schitt’s Creek.

The 29-year-old then uploaded a short video of a presenter in a hazmat suit-and-tuxedo outfit waving goodbye to him and leaving with an Emmy trophy, captioning it: “When you lose the Emmy.”

The clip had more than 90,000 likes in four hours.


With the United States presidential election looming, many stars made known their political beliefs with words and choice of clothing.

African-American stars such as Regina King and Uzo Aduba, who both picked up acting wins, wore T-shirts bearing police shooting victim Breonna Taylor’s name and image.

Outstanding Drama Series Succession’s creator Jesse Armstrong delivered a series of “un-thank-yous” to world leaders such as US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for their inept handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Actor Mark Ruffalo, who won for his performance in the limited series I Know This Much Is True, emphasised the importance of voting in the upcoming election.

Jan Lee

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