Kerry Washington in Marchesa at the 2013 Emmy Awards
Princess Kerry requests that you curtsy in her presence.
“Scandal” star Kerry Washington attends the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California in a Marchesa dress paired with an Edie Parker clutch, a Movado watch, and Fred Leighton jewelry.
Marchesa Spring 2014 Collection
The reason Kerry Washington is important, and the reason someone like Diahann Carroll practically genuflected before her last night, is because, like Carroll did in her heyday, Kerry tends to upend our culture’s expectations of how a beautiful woman of color is supposed to look. She does the full-on fashionista thing, which is huge in a lot of ways because that world is still largely cut off from women of color, as evidenced by their near total lack on the runways and magazine covers. This is in contrast to, say, Beyonce, who is more in line with the kind of women of color who tend to get celebrated for their beauty. Kerry’s style isn’t Beyonce’s “Look how gorgeous, sexy, and fierce I am.” It’s a more Vogue-approved “Look at the incredible taste I have, as well as the skill I have in wearing these garments. Look at how chic I am.”
We don’t want to over-analyze it. She’s just being who she is and following her own personal taste (as well as, presumably, the guidance of a style team). And this is not a way of saying that Kerry’s style is somehow better than Beyonce’s. It’s just that she’s walking smoothly and confidently into the welcoming arms of the fashion world, WERQing a Marchesa gown or Chanel dress or two along the way, and causing a minor sensation. We’re not talking about Iman or Naomi Campbell here. We’re talking about an African-American network TV star landing on the cover of Vogue and having the top designers in the world begging her to wear their wares. It’s notable.
As for the dress, you either love or hate this kind of extreme romanticism in the Marchesa style. We think it works like crazy for Kerry. The bodice looks a little over-worked (all that ribbon and the foofaraw at the bustline), but the skirt is gorgeous.