Law Roach Shares How Zendaya’s Elegant Emmys Gown Came Together in a Week

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Zendaya made history at last night’s 2022 Emmys Awards. At 26, she became the first Black woman to win the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category twice—both times for her portrayal of Rue Bennett in the hit show Euphoria (she won her first in 2020). Before accepting her accolade on stage, the star hit the red carpet in a glamorous look that was fitting for a big winner: She worked with Law Roach to slip into a custom Valentino gown that channeled mid-century screen sirens. 

The elegant ensemble was new territory for both Zendaya and Roach, who typically favor high-drama ensembles in bold colors. “We took inspiration from Grace Kelly and Old Hollywood movies,” says Roach of the new fashion spirit. “Zendaya and I were also really inspired by Valentino’s fall 1987 collection. There was a red dress that Linda Evangelista wore in an editorial, and we took inspiration from the bodice of the dress—but we made it black and the skirt a lot bigger.” 

Photo: AB+DM

The voluminous, full-skirted silhouette is similar to what Zendaya wore for the virtual 2020 Emmys, when she won her first award in a polka-dotted Christopher John Rogers dress. But given this year’s was in-person, Roach wanted another style moment that commanded space. 

Creating such a theatrical design wasn’t without its hurdles, of course. Roach shares that Valentino actually made three dresses for Zendaya for the occasion, and while they were all “incredible,”  none of them felt quite right. Suddenly, the winning design came to him in a dream. “I woke up in the middle of the night and called Valentino, asking them to make this new dress,” Roach says. “It was the last dress we tried on, and I have to give a huge thanks to that team. Those women work so hard, and everything is done by hand.” The dress came together in about a week.

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