How Regina King Brought Virtual Reality Couture to the Emmys

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Instead of assembling in the Microsoft Theater, guests for the 2020 Emmy Awards will be beamed in from around the globe. The shift away from tradition opens the door for radical reinterpretations of the red carpet, and for Regina King, that meant bold experimentation. King and her stylists, Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald decided to lean into the new format. Instead of relying on a selfie, the trio enlisted photographer and illustrator James Anthony to create a memorable, web-only experience. “It’s a celebration,” shared Bannerman on the phone from Los Angeles. “We’ve created this whole party for her at the Emmys because even though it’s virtual, we’re going to treat it like a normal ceremony and have a great time.”

The 12-second clip is short, sweet, and fashion-filled. With King decked out in a sapphire look from Schiaparelli’s spring/summer 2020 couture show and two sketched Black dancers joining her in an impromptu shimmy, it’s a fun way to honor the evening. Shot in front of a green screen with a mini-red carpet for King to dance on, the clip highlights Schiaparelli artistic director Daniel Roseberry’s intricate design. With its outsize blue collar and sculpted side pouf, the dress would have been challenging to sit through 3-hours worth of awards show in, but it was perfect for a little VR fun. The unique format also allowed Bannerman and McDonald to push the fashion envelope. “We wanted to create a mood. They’re all in gowns, but as this is virtual reality, you have the opportunity to go exaggerated,” says McDonald. “She’s in a couture look that is elevated from the things usually seen on the red carpet.” The duo were drawn to Roseberry on a personal level: his recent commitment to tithing—the practice of setting aside a tenth of one’s earnings for charity—impressed them both. “Daniel’s take on activism so moved us,” says McDonald. “He took it into his own hands by donating to progressive Black churches and causes, and that’s something Wayman and I are truly appreciative of.”

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