The elaborate Cleopatra-like design has been 11 months in the making.

By Samantha Sutton
Sep 21, 2020 @ 5:22 pm
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Sequoia Emmanuelle

On occasion, we may throw on a dress or break out a pair of jeans to wear at home, but 2020 hasn't exactly been a year full of fancy fashion — until, of course, the Emmy Awards.

While some celebrities got comfy for the virtual awards show, there were a select few who used the night as an opportunity to pull out all the stops, including actress Laverne Cox, who wore a semi-sheer jumpsuit that's been in the works for nearly a year.

"We started working together on this look, I think, in October last year," Cox's stylist, Christina Pacelli, told InStyle over the phone. "Laverne saw the look and we were like, we absolutely want to do this. It’s incredibly intricate. It has an Egyptian feel, with embroidered hieroglyphics all over a jumpsuit. It’s a really amazing and cool detail — very edgy — and the brand created it custom to Laverne’s measurements."

Sequoia Emmanuelle

However, the Kim Kassas design wasn't actually meant for the Emmys at all. Originally, Cox was set to wear it to the Golden Globes way back in January, but the universe intervened.

"By some weird occurrence — and this does happen — they mailed the look from Israel and, after customs delays, it arrived to me the Monday after the Globes," said Pacelli. "Getting something stuck at customs is one of those worst-case things that happen in this job."

"Laverne ended up wearing an amazing, bright orange gown [by Michael Cinco] that was a totally killer look, so it worked out great," she continued. "But we have been really eager about wearing this look for the past 11 months, she’s been waiting to wear it, so here was finally an opportunity to do that."

Sequoia Emmanuelle

Since there wasn't a traditional red carpet, it's possible you missed all the gorgeous details when Cox stepped onto the stage at the Staples Center to present the award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series. Luckily, photographer Sequoia Emmanuelle was able to give InStyle a closer look.

"It’s a jumpsuit with an overlayed skirt, and the hand-beaded embroidery goes up and down the legs, arms, and back," Pacelli pointed out, adding that Cox also wore Misahara jewels that complemented the jumpsuit. "It’s a really, really strong look for coming out of quarantine. It feels like a fierce, fighting look in these weird times. It’s a stunning Emmys look. She would have worn this even if there was a red carpet."

Sequoia Emmanuelle

We couldn't agree more, and after a long journey, we're glad we finally got to see this stunning design. It was well worth the wait!