"Abbott Elementary's" Janine Teagues is no stranger to sideways comments about her clothes. Quinta Brunson — a writer as well as a star of the show — has written those very jokes about her TV character. But on Monday, Brunson was on the receiving end of the sartorial punchlines after wearing what appeared to be a wrinkled gown to the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Her stylist Jessica Paster came to her defense after hearing the commentary surrounding Brunson's tea-length Dior gown, responding to keyboard critics who were hung up on the unfinished look of the Emmy winner's subdued, rosy pink look. Some followers of the popular Check the Tag Instagram account said Brunson's dress needed to be ironed or "all the way wrinkled," perhaps even crumpled with more intention. Others were surprised Brunson was allowed out and said she deserved better. Another called the wrinkly Dior blasphemous.
"Whoever did [this] to her HATES HER 😭 justice for Quinta!" wrote one Instagram user, to which Paster replied, "I adore her sooo much!!! 😍"
"I’m sorry but this is a huge miss," another user wrote. "Love her and her stylist but rumpled fabric on the red carpet will never read anything other than a mess."
And that's when Paster cleared the air. Rumpled fabric it was not.
"guys guys guys… it’s crushed satin… I knew you were gonna say something!!" Paster wrote in the replies. "It’s beautiful silhouette [sic] on her and fabric… and the color is gorgeous on her"
Additionally, the French fashion house described the fabric as "crushed silk satin" in a statement to The Times.
Read more: The best fashion from the Emmys red carpet
Paster anticipated the fashion faux-pas firestorm that the haute couture garment might generate, especially when the texture was magnified by the bright lights that hit Brunson on the red carpet and during Monday's broadcast, during which she took the stage twice. The look was clearly visible when Brunson collected her second Emmy Award— this time as lead actress in a comedy series — and later appeared as a presenter alongside 92-year-old TV legend Marla Gibbs.
"Look at this fabric. It is supposed to be crinkled. That is the beauty of this dress," Paster said in Brunson's GRWM video for Vogue that was published Tuesday.
"You know some people — the haters — are gonna say, 'Oh my God, why didn't she steam?' We've steamed. This is the beauty of the fabric, as well as the draping. ... Christian Dior does it beautifully. That is an art. The inside is absolutely beautiful," Paster added, noting that Brunson's one-of-a-kind gown had three corsets inside.
Meanwhile, two-time Emmy winner Brunson was feeling pretty in pink.
"I really love it," the 34-year-old "Abbott Elementary" creator told Laverne Cox during E!'s live red-carpet broadcast. "I don't know. I like to go old-school glam sometimes. And when I saw this, it just made me feel very ’50s. Very just — ‘All right, classy. Supposed to be here — gonna be here for a while.'"
In her Vogue video, Brunson said she started to get ready several hours before the show and that she and her hair and makeup stylists were trying to achieve a signature look that was simultaneously effortless and timeless. She also took comfort in Monday being her second time at the Emmys after taking home her first statuette in 2022, for writing on "Abbott Elementary." (It should be noted that, not unlike her textured gown, TV host Jimmy Kimmel's poorly received sight gag subverted Brunson's historic win at the time.)
"There's a beauty in the relaxation of being like, 'OK, I'm here again,'" Brunson told Vogue. The unique Dior Haute Couture piece, she said, was also an expression of her artistic side.
"I think I always look good in kind of the Old Hollywood feel. And I loved Eartha Kitt. I love Judith Jamison. I love Betty Boop — like, I know that's a cartoon: big eyes, big-a— head — and I always felt very inspired by [them]. And then, honestly, I was more inspired when we landed on this Dior dress. It just has that classic feel to me, but it's very modern at the same time, which is what I like to bring to the table. I think I like to bring that to the table through my art."
When she first saw the dress, Brunson said she didn't immediately think, "Oh, that one." She was drawn to the pretty color, but when she put it on, it felt right.
Upon heading out the door, Brunson added: "I feel classy and classic, and second Emmys around, and I feel like a little princess."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.