Red Carpet Rules

For all the books, magazines, and newspapers I devour, I’m really a t.v. junkie at heart. This mortifies my mother, who raised me on Reading Rainbow, and my father, who only watches cable (mine) when Notre Dame is playing. I got my fix watching the 59th annual Emmy Awards last night, which will keep me going until fall sweeps starts next week. For a list of winners, click here. For highlights of the red carpet, keep reading.

It may be September, and this may be the season of grays and jewel tones, but pastels ruled. My favorites included Vanessa Williams in a mint green strapless tulle gown, Debra Messing in Ralph Lauren pale pinky-beige with black piping, and Joely Fischer’s lemon yellow plunger. Julia-Louie Dreyfus, who would glow in a paper sack, wore a perfectly lush purple that managed to be warm and bright all at once. There was red, but it didn’t feel as of-the-moment. Black was safe, if not somber for such an amusing event (how can one be serious when Stephen Colbert is leaf-blowing the stage?).

Last week I walked my own red carpet at the Guthrie’s opening of Jane Eyre. Well, I sidestepped the carpet upon spotting the photographer, but lingered long enough to note how theater dressing has changed. There were big gowns with matching sashes, worn as neck chokers. Ugh. This sort of formal dressing, my husband declared, was so big in the nineties. But there was also denim and jackets, and that felt more current (and appropriate) for Big Blue and its urban setting. I’m most comfortable somewhere in the middle. The theater is an excuse to dress up, so I threw on a strapless standby but topped it with a little three-quarter sleeved coat for a bit of edge. I was just as comfortable in my seat as I was sipping a Grain Belt at Harry’s bar afterward.

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