Carl Clemons-Hopkins’s Emmys Look Was an Ode to Nonbinary Folks

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Last night’s Emmy Awards ceremony was a historic moment for Carl Clemons-Hopkins. The star became the first nonbinary performer to ever be nominated in one of the acting categories, for their supporting role as Marcus in Hacks. This came with a lot of weight. “I’m super grateful for it, but it’s somewhat daunting to me having been othered [for being nonbinary], and now I’m being celebrated for it,” says Clemons-Hopkins. “I’m hoping and praying that this will be something that encourages people—and the industry—[to realize] that actors are humans, and humans are more than two genders. How a human identifies has nothing to do with if they can play the part.”

To that end, Clemons-Hopkins used their red carpet look to celebrate and acknowledge fellow nonbinary folks. “A lot of the lies we’ve been told about gender binaries are really just about fashion,” says Clemons-Hopkins. “It goes back to ‘only girls wear dresses.’ Well, that’s not true.” To do so, the star worked with Christian Siriano on a custom look that paid tribute to the nonbinary pride flag, which features yellow, white, purple, and black. Siriano created an off-the-shoulder top, trousers, and dramatic waist sash that incorporated these hues. “I love that there is a subtle sense of drama to it,” says Clemons-Hopkins. “To me, it also evoked a different way of being sexy. I very seldom feel beautiful. I’m getting there, and this design definitely helped.”

Clemons-Hopkins says Siriano was the perfect designer with whom to work on this impactful moment. “I love that he is inventive, creative, and daring,” says the star. “For a while, he was the designer for people who other designers rejected. He dresses different body types and sizes. He’s helped expand the public consciousness of what fashion can be.” Jyotisha Bridges styled the striking look, which was finished off with a Love Lola Knits purse, Del Toro loafers, and David Yurman jewels.

As for what’s next for the rising actor? Soon they will be working on season two of Hacks. “I’m very excited to be back in the playground and reading those scripts,” says Clemons-Hopkins, who notes working on the project has been like no other. “[Season one] was a story I hadn’t seen before. It had an array of characters who were authentic, flawed, and beautiful, and not leaning on tropes.” Their more immediate plans post-Emmys, however, are a bit more relaxed. Today will be about two things: “Sleeping and ice cream.”

Below, a closer look at Clemons-Hopkins’s powerful Emmys look.

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