Less Bling, More Ho-Hum for Emmys

Television viewers anticipating an Oscar-worthy red carpet fashion and jewelry spectacle at September’s Emmy Awards walked away with heavy hearts. Rather than gems and glamour, many starlets adopted a who-cares attitude better suited to a summer soirée than an awards ceremony with international appeal. One wondered if all the stylists were still cavorting on the beach as their clients dressed for the event.

Those looking for any emerging trends in celebrity fashion found little inspiration. The linear earrings and important bracelets that wowed the crowd at the Academy Awards eight months earlier provoked little more than a yawn from consumers already bored by this trend thanks to overexposure by the celebrity-obsessed media.

A few forward-thinkers, however, did try new styles. Notable was Kristen Davis of Sex and the City fame, who embraced the idea of layering jewelry for a more-is-more approach that defied the skinny-earring/big-bracelet/bare-necked security blanket to which other stars clung. Multi-strand necklaces were another surprise hit that dotted the red carpet.

A few celebrities chose colorful baubles for the Emmys—not surprising, as the Emmys and the Golden Globes are known for such less-formal choices than the Oscars. Emmy winners Alison Janney and Mary Louise Parker were among those who, for a fresh change, chose yellow gold for their red carpet moments.

Waning interest? The overall lack of fashion inspiration at the Emmys gives fresh life to rumors that the celebrity-fashion connection may (finally) be fraying. Though jewelers are in hot pursuit of celebrity placements, some of the bigger-named fashion designers are showing a waning interest in freebie-demanding starlets.

At the September collections in New York, Paris, and Milan, Nicole Kidman was one of the few A-list celebrities to make an appearance, and even that was only at the runway show for Chanel—hardly a ringing endorsement, given that Kidman, the new Chanel spokesmodel, is on the designer’s payroll. Aside from Kidman, celebrity watchers saw few with more star power than the over-played Olsen twins or pop-princess-turned-reality-TV-diva Jessica Simpson.

Add to the Fashion Week celebrity drought the September issue of Vogue—which, for the first time in recent memory, focused on models rather than celebrities—and it’s no wonder that fashion executives everywhere are wondering if the future will be one where fashion hinges on creative ideas and inspiration, rather than celebrity.