The Feminist Inspiration Behind Elisabeth Moss' Emmy Outfit

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Elisabeth Moss brought home a much-deserved Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama last night. The Handmaid's Tale star is no stranger to playing complex women on decidedly feminist shows, such as Top of the Lake. So it's no surprise that Moss' Emmy look was inspired by feminism.
Moss enlisted designer Prabal Gurung to create her dress for the big night, and he happens to love Moss' work just as much as we do.
"I've been a fan of his for a long time, and I was really excited to have a custom moment with him," Moss told Vogue. "Not only do we have a very similar fashion sensibility, we have a similar life sensibility, so it felt like I wasn't just collaborating with a designer, but collaborating with a friend."
"I was so captivated by Elisabeth’s performance and knew I wanted to dress her for the Emmys," Gurung told the outlet. "We emailed [stylist] Karla [Welch] a while before the nominations even came out to tell her we wanted to do so. Luckily, as Karla is such a great friend and brand supporter, she had the same idea."
Fashion plays a key role in The Handmaid's Tale and, because the dystopian novel hits eerily close to home these days, women's rights activists have donned red cloaks and white bonnets as they protest legislation that would limit reproductive rights. Gurung opted to use a feminine design to drive home the point that embracing femininity can be empowering when it's done on a woman's own terms.
"The women of the show are stripped away of everything — their rights, ownership over their bodies, their femininity," Gurung told Vogue. "We wanted to create a world and a moment that is the opposite — to show the strength and power of Elisabeth as an actress and as a person through a hyper-feminine look, to show that embracing femininity is a tool for empowerment, as well."
Although viewers couldn't see the message on Moss' shoes, it was another jab at the patriarchy. Welch shared a close-up of the sole of one heel. "You'll have to guess what the other shoe says.... our note to the patriarchy #teamresistance," she captioned the photo, in an apparent reference to the widespread activism against Trump's anti-women rhetoric and policies.

You'll have to guess what the other shoe says.... our note to the patriarchy #teamresistance

A post shared by Karla Welch (@karlawelchstylist) on

The elegant, understated dress fit Moss' fashion aesthetic perfectly. She, along with other Emmy attendees and nominees, accessorized the look with a blue ribbon to support the ACLU. It was the perfect final touch for an outfit that was meant to symbolize the importance of standing up for the oppressed and marginalized members of society.

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