Emmys Red Carpet History with Zac Posen

Zac Posen breaks down his favorite Emmy Awards red carpet looks over the years. From Joan Crawford and Mary Tyler Moore, to Calista Flockhart and Sarah Jessica Parker, look back at the red carpet history of The Emmy Awards.

Video Transcript

ZAC POSEN: Hi, I'm Zac Posen. Going back in history and time.

I don't believe in trends. I think what's funny about fashion and about red carpet dressing is everything old becomes new again. You kind of see ideas come back, whether it's intentionally a retro look. Joan Crawford is part of the creation of Hollywood glamor. I'm sure she's wearing her own jewelry here, and I know she is wearing her own dress. With the gloves, and the jewelry bracelet around the gloves, which personally I love, and the ruffles.

Mary Tyler Moore was the woman who all young women were looking to on television. You know, she was her own woman. She was in the workplace. She still had this kind of American beauty and glamor to her. And here at the Emmys, she certainly dressed herself. I'm all for the incredible talent of all the stylists and teams that work out there to create a beauty look, but there's something also really exciting to seeing the authenticity of the performer dressing themselves in this time.

1999, and we have Calista Flockhart. This really captures a time period, but I also think it kind of looks right for today. I'd be excited if I saw this on today's Emmy Awards. I think it looks effortless. She's in like a white, probably Brooks Brothers, shirt tied, and a great canary yellow Sean John taffeta skirt with a drawstring. You know, it has a real casual, understated element. And then the glamor is all with that amazing Kevyn Aucoin face.

The early 2000s. Colors changed when we went from on TV, to in print, to then online. Because colors read differently on a digital screen. And so you have to be careful, and be aware that it's not about necessarily how something photographs, but it's how something photographs and gets transported into digital technology, and how those colors zing. So jewel tones, always work really well on a digital screen. I think that a dark color, a black, actually works better in a printed page sometimes than it will on a screen. Although on a screen you can actually see the depth and shading. Where when you print something, ink is really hard to control.

I don't think the ladies on Sex and the City really knew what was about to happen, and I think it was life changing for all of them. And I was lucky enough to dress them early in my career on the show, and then for iconic wedding scenes in the movie. I think Sarah Jessica really was responsible for bringing television, and glamor, and media together. You know, she really took fashion risks always. On the show, and then in to her real life in public appearances. I think this is fabulous.

For this upcoming Emmy Awards, we're definitely going to see a balance of things that are like highly textured, and things that are quite clean and architectural. The red carpet and the pre-show has become a media force in itself. And so you have to create these surprising moments. Part of the responsibility as a designer, as somebody who's on TV, is to take you away from that moment of reality, and bring fantasy to make people dream and have fun.