photography by Annie Hickey
When I thought about going to school in Los Angeles, this is what I pictured — going to red carpet events, constantly being surrounded by celebrities, and feeling like a star myself. While LA is quite a cool city to be in, the closest I got to this expectation in my first year of college was listening to my friend talk about her class with Miranda Cosgrove. This Sunday, however, I got a little taste of what I thought my four years out West would be like — I got to go to the Emmy Awards by absolute chance and it was magical (and I got to cross something off my bucket list). My tickets were for the upper, upper balcony, and I was told I would not be able to walk the red carpet, and this was all okay. Once my friend Annie and I arrived, however, we realized the only way into the building was by walking the red carpet. We people watched, walked in with the moms (Teri Polo and Sherri Saum) from The Fosters, watched as two people helped one woman carry the train of her dress from the red carpet into the theater, and said hi to America Ferrera. We had clear views of the little boxed in areas where the celebrities get interviewed for shows like E! News and Extra. It was wild. It was nothing that I expected but at the same time everything I expected it to be. There were two huge Emmy statues outside the venue that had very intense lines behind for a photo op, and there were absolutely delicious pretzels at the concession stand.
As I found out I would be attending a black tie affair two days before hand, I had the most intense clothing crisis I think I’ve ever had. The only longish dress I had with me at school was my white graduation gown, which could pass as a wedding dress before it could pass as a red carpet look. So I whisked myself to H&M and went on the hunt for something from their Conscious Collection that would be appropriate for the Emmys. Frustratingly enough, their Conscious Collection was not well marked, so you only knew that the item was part of the collection if you looked at the tag (which is green and which is also normally hidden inside the clothes). In my short time constraint I settled on a normal H&M jumpsuit, which I still felt good about buying because H&M is one of the few fast fashion companies that even acknowledges sustainability, the environment, and the issues in the fashion industry today. While I would have loved to have been dressed completely sustainably on the red carpet, for my college kid budget and time frame it was not a possibility. Next time, maybe…
As for the award show? It was incredible. The speeches made this year were phenomenal — they were about much more than just thanking the people that helped get them to that spot. Out of all of the speeches, however, Sarah Paulson’s was my absolute favorite. She took the woman she played as her date, even had her Emmy engraved with “Marcia Clark” instead of her own name. There were also an incredible number of women, many of whom were the only women nominated in their categories, who won. It was an incredibly exciting atmosphere to be in.
Lots of other things happened behind the scenes at the Emmys that were equally as exciting as what you saw on TV. Our pre-show performance was a rendition of “Uptown Funk” performed by the kids of Stranger Things; they are incredible singers and dancers, in addition to being amazing kid actors. Right before we return to being live on the air at the end of commercial breaks, a voice comes on, counts down the seconds left until we’re back on air, and says “applause please” when the cameras go back on. It’s hilarious. They played football on the big screens during commercial breaks. Even the people in the upper levels of the theater got PB&Js made by Jimmy Kimmel’s mom — juice boxes, apples, cookies, mints and a handwritten note included. There was free mascara and lipstick in the women’s bathrooms; I took some, of course. It was insanely hot on the red carpet; I give the interviewers and celebrities and assistants and organizers SUCH props for being out in that heat for so long and still managing to look their red carpet best. The soft pretzels at the concession stand are incredible.
And I can’t talk about an award show without talking about the fashion — Sarah Paulson in Prada HANDS DOWN was my vote for best dressed – she literally glistened from her seat, it was absolutely incredible. Emilia Clarke‘s Versace gown looked like liquid gold (or pearl? or whatever color her dress was – it looked liquid). Kerry Washington’s custom Brandon Maxwell looked beautiful, and accentuated her baby bump in a classy yet stylish way. Kristin Bell absolutely stunned in a plunging gown by one of my favorite designers, Zuhair Murad. Mandy Moore’s bright, ruffled Prabal Gurung gown was beautiful on the red carpet and on stage — it truly made her stand out. Nina Garcia’s dress is one I would have killed to wear – an embroidered tulle Valentino gown. Also, the Stranger Things kids looked SO dapper.
And my favorite quote of the night: “Please tell me you’re seeing this too” – Rami Malek