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Stylists Wayman and Micah on Taraji P. Henson’s “Elegant, Bold” Emmys Look in Versace (Exclusive)

Actors and actresses might approach red carpet dressing with all sorts of mindsets — nervous and unsure, risk-averse or highly opinionated, for example — but Wayman + Micah say Taraji P. Henson falls into a client category every stylist should love.

“We started working together last April when we started promoting The Color Purple, and it’s been an amazing partnership ever since,” says Wayman Bannerman, who alongside partner Micah McDonald also counts Niecy Nash-Betts, Colman Domingo and Da’Vine Joy Randolph among their starry client roster. “We have had such a blast being creative over the exciting and extensive press tour. [Taraji] has a great personal sense of style and loves to dress up, so we are always excited to show her new pieces, because she gets so excited.”

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Taraji P. Henson arriving at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, CA, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.
Taraji P. Henson hits the carpet at the Emmys, where she took the stage to present alongside Joan Collins for outstanding limited or anthology series.

McDonald describes Henson’s personal style as “confident, glamorous, lively and fresh,” he says. “She loves to play with silhouettes and color, which always gives us so much room to play and try new ideas.”

Henson embracing those elements indeed was evident in her look for the 75th Primetime Emmys, a plum-toned gown that was a custom design for the actress by Atelier Versace. “We wanted a look that would be elegant, bold and would accentuate her figure,” Bannerman explains. “The draping on the gown really emulates her femininity, and the color highlights her bold and vibrant personality.”

Inspired by details from Donatella Versace’s Spring 2024 collection, the gown perfectly fit the Color Purple star, thanks to the Italian label’s micro-draping of the gown’s silk chiffon, a painstaking hand technique that results in a beautifully sculpted bodice that leads to a flowing chiffon skirt with a high front slit. Donatella likewise approved of the gown on Henson, as the designer replied to the actress’ Instagram post with one word: “STU-NNING!”

Celebrity hairstylist Tym Wallace created a chic ponytail for Henson, which also highlighted the gown’s bodice detail. “Capturing the beauty of Black women was my inspiration for [Taraji’s] Emmys look,” Wallace explained on Instagram. “I referenced the ’90s supermodel to create a sleek, snatched ponytail.”

Henson’s look was finished with a variety of diamond earrings, bracelets and rings by L.A.-based Simon G. Jewelry, a silver mirrored Versace clutch and Alexandre Birman’s chrome-hued Clarita Double 85 Metallic Rame ankle-strap sandals.

All the ingredients ultimately came together, McDonald says, so Henson would feel “radiant, graceful and audacious.” For proof of that idea, look no further than her entrance on the Emmys silver carpet or the Peacock Theater stage, he adds: “You’ll definitely be able to tell how confident she feels once you see her walk with the flowing train!”

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