emmys man repeller
Presenting: The Man Repeller Emmy Awards for Personal Style
09.20.19

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards are taking place this Sunday, September 22nd, which is an excellent excuse to start making winner predictions based on the nominees. To honor this auspicious and long-cherished tradition, Man Repeller assembled a formal committee of editors to, instead of making predictions, invent fictitious awards of our own, focused on what is sure to become known as the most hotly contested category: personal style.

After getting a required minimum of 8.5 hours sleep and eating a hearty breakfast with physician-approved protein/carb/fat ratios, the committee members gathered in a conference room to dig into which television characters deserved to be recognized for their sartorial accomplishments. For the sake of efficiency, we only took one break (to run wind sprints up and down the office corridors), and only consumed Soylent for the remainder of our meals.

At the end of the day, after much throat-clearing, back-clapping, head-nodding, and debating over the fine differences between terminology such as “jumpsuit” and “romper,” we reached our final prognosis. Scroll down for Man Repeller’s 2019 Emmys Personal Style Awards, and don’t be shy about adding any we may have overlooked in the comments.


The Outfit Heard Round the World Award

Winner: Fleabag, Fleabag

It’s a bold move to wear an immensely flattering and devilishly sexy black jumpsuit with a neckline that plunges down to your navel whilst dining with your father, your stepmother, and their priest, but it is perhaps an even bolder move to wear one that retails for $50 IRL, thus prompting a stampede of show watchers to descend upon it in droves. Props to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, a.k.a. Fleabag, for doing so with utmost grace. We’re very curious to know if sales for double-stick tape spiked in tandem with this phenomenon. 

The Bridget Jones Award for Devastatingly Memorable Heartbreak Attire

Winner: Lady Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

As ardent fans of Game of Thrones and Brienne of Tarth, we were RATTLED to see her character do a [SPOILER] complete 180 in temperament and have an absolute meltdown in the middle of the night when her lover, Jamie, decides to ditch her for his evil sister. The only redeeming factor was her magnificent housecoat, which looked resplendent even as she sobbed. We know firsthand that not every outfit holds up well during a full-body cry, so it was reassuring to witness this small win for Brienne. 

Most Consistently Inappropriate for the Occasion

Winner: Moira, Schitt’s Creek

Who but the queen of wigs, pajama vests, and errand gowns living in a rural podunk town could be deserving of such an award? Moira’s style, which consists mostly of monochrome cocktail and black-tie attire on the structural-beaded spectrum, plus a dash of inexplicable punk-rock, has gotten increasingly out of control over the course of the Schitt’s Creek series, becoming a form of scene-setting unto itself. There is little on television that inspires as much genuine joy as seeing Moira arrive at a Schitt’s Creek town hall meeting in a dark wig and floor-length red carpet look. The progression of her wardrobe over the series ought to go down in history as one of the most expertly executed in television.

Most Promising Newcomer (Genetically-Blessed) 

Winner: Blue Ivy Carter, Homecoming

Fashion may be about clothes, but style is about something else entirely. Those who have style can light up a room in an outfit that would go unnoticed on almost anyone else. Someone with style can stand out against a group of highly trained dancers at the top of their craft. Like Gwyneth, Tracee, and Zoe before her, only someone with true style can stand next to their mother—an icon, a goddess in her own time—and hold their own. Blue Ivy has proven that she is one such person, who has such style. We look forward to seeing what the dancer/chanteuse/creative director has in store for us in the  years to come. 

Preemptive Red Carpet Dominance Award

Winner: Billy Porter, Pose

We have no advance knowledge of what Billy Porter, nominated for his role as Pray Tell on Pose, will be wearing on the red carpet this Sunday, and we need no advance knowledge, because we know what Billy Porter has worn on every other red carpet leading up to this Sunday. That, everyone with eyes as big as their hearts will agree, is grounds for this award. Congratulations, Billy, stan you later. 

The Professor George Falconer Award for Excellence in Professorial Daddy-ness

Winner: Three-way tie between Abe Weissman, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; Professor Valery Legasov, Chernobyl; and Commander Joseph Lawrence, The Handmaid’s Tale

Due to the overwhelming talent in the field this season, this award is shared between three Daddies who did their utmost on screen to steal hearts. First, let’s acknowledge Tony Shalhoub as the indomitable (but ultimately domitable) Abraham “Abe” Weissman in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, whose hard-as-nails heart turned to butter this season. All eyes were on Shalhoub’s three-piece suits, tweed blazers, and infamously tight walking shorts he sported on vacation.

Secondly, we must address the overwhelming accomplishment in the genre from Jared Harris, star of the dramatic masterpiece Chernobyl. Even as widespread radioactivity created unparalleled levels of angst in Russia and Ukraine, Harris’s character, Professor Valery Legasov, did not spare us one single moment of coke bottle lenses, suspenders, loosened tie, dull Soviet suiting, and generally heroic behavior.

As for Bradley Whitford, what is there to say about him that hasn’t already been said by science? In the most recent season of The Handmaid’s Tale, he was a beacon in the dark of the darkest show, offering up some professorial style of the most reserved and constricted. Jury’s out on his moral code.

The Groundhog’s Day Award for Best Repeat Outfit

Winner: Maxine, Russian Doll

Throughout the entire first season of Russian Doll, Nadia’s best friend Maxine wears the exact same outfit: an aqua-blue top with long, sheer billowing sleeves, what appears to be a crochet metallic halter layered over it, teal spandex patterned pants, a pair of orange leather slides, several necklaces including a long gold chain and a black choker, and perhaps most memorably, squiggly blue eyeliner sketched artfully across her eyelids. It positively never gets old, unlike even the sweetest birthday baby.

The Wooden Spoon: The Stanley Tucci Sauce Man Award

Winner: Randall Pearson, This Is Us

As Nora so aptly put it, “a Sauce Man is a person of any gender who gives off the aura of feeding you marinara on a wooden spoon, gently blowing on the sauce to make sure it is not too hot, seeking both your approval and admiration in their slow simmering labor.” Who embodies this (life)style with more tender charisma than Sterling K. Brown’s Randall of This Is Us, in his cashmere sweaters, camel overcoats, overzealous Thanksgivings, and deep admiration for his wife, Beth? It should be noted that Randall is flawed and occasionally strays from his sauce man ways, but the style with which he behaves himself otherwise makes him worthy of this award.

Award for the Most Intimidating—Borderline Murderous—Use of Menswear

Winner: Villanelle, Killing Eve

Villanelle, everyone favorite assassin (sorry, Barry Block), always looks good. Even covered in blood, even escaping a hospital in a young boy’s pajamas, even dressed as a cartoon pig—but she looks especially good when she’s following Eve’s husband, Niko, all the way to Oxford, just so she can brag about the fact his wife stabbed her while they were in bed together. This is a big moment for Villanelle, as she comes face to face with the man who’s life she’s been trying to subtly ruin from a distance, and she dresses for the occasion. Ready to have a “man to man” with Niko, while not-so-subtly trying to fit in with the Oxford aesthetic, she dressed in a vintage sweater and button-down shirt, patterned tie, leather belt, and pair of camel Raey trousers that are comparable to no trousers I’ve seen before. The sweater is precisely pinned around her shoulders, barely shifting when Niko pushes her against a wall, as though she’d placed an extra safety pin somewhere in the fold for added security. For a scene that features the lines “You look like someone stuck a mustache on some fudge” and “Smell you later!” it’s almost surprising that this outfit is this memorable.

Most Accidentally On-Trend Outfit

Winner: Selina Meyer, Veep

Presidential candidate Selina Meyer is known for her spiffy sheath dresses and artfully tailored pant suits, which is why it was both notable and amusing to see her decked out in very on-the-nose Western garb (a peplum denim jacket with a turquoise-accented silver statement belt) in an attempt to win over a donor in Colorado. Given the fashion industry’s recent foray into hallmarks of Western fashion such as cowboy boots and prairie dresses, Selina deserves credit for her accidental and very off-brand trendiness. 

Outstanding Performance by an Undergarment

Winner: The thong from Pen15

How old were you when “The Thong Song” came out? If you are of average Man Repeller reading age, you were probably in middle or high school. Therefore, you likely had the same visceral reaction watching the thong episode of Pen15, during which we were all snapped—like a cheap strap of polyester and spandex—back to a time when you became aware of such a garment. Desired to wear one. To look damn good in one. To feel the hot, hot heat of stealing one belonging to a bitchy frenemy. Truly in awe of this incredible meditation on nostalgia, jealousy, and sexual awakening from such a flimsy piece of fabric.

The Fran Lebowitz Lifetime of Sartorial Consistency Award for Distinguished Sameness in One’s Wardrobe Across a Notable Span of Time 

Winner: Guy Fieri, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives 

Guy Ramsay Fieri needs no introduction. At this point the mere mention of his name conjures up images of what… a flowing bowling shirt bedecked with flames? Sunglasses balanced delicately on the back of his head? A jovial face set off by a head of metallic spikes? His look is singular, recognizable, and consistent. Guy Fieri makes his own rules yes, but he sticks to them with a discipline few could master. 

Best Reminder You Can Love Someone’s Outfits While Hating Their Decisions

Winner: Shiv Roy, Succession 

As Edith Young so thoughtfully put it in her recently published ode to the style of Succession: “Shiv Roy is television’s heroine of the office-appropriate capsule wardrobe.” Away from the office, Shiv layers like a seasoned professional by mixing autumnal tones and textures, occasionally adding a baseball cap as the cherry on top. When she’s in the office, wide-legged pants, tailored blazers, and just-interesting-enough blouses are key. Shiv’s moral compass may be questionable, but her fall-dressing skills cannot be underestimated. 

The RuPaul Andre Charles Award for Achievement in ELEGANZA

Winner: Yvie Oddly

Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race delivered metric tons of eleganza, but the clear fashion queen reigning triumphant from the season was Yvie Oddly. The bizarro season 11 winner, who says she’s inspired constantly by the “weird” in fashion and the likes of Alexander McQueen, was obviously the fashion queen du saison. Oddly served us looks from from full Jelly Fringe Couture (an actual giant jellyfish look, but fashion) to a Met Gala-worthy gown look that, upon closer inspection, she made replete with three fingers, three breasts, and three eyes. Certainly an oddball, but always eleganza.

WHAT DID WE MISS?

Photos via Everett Collection.

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