I am VERY upset

So, I wasn’t a fan of  Victoria Rowell’s Emmy dress. But, when I found out she MADE  it HERSELF I was apoplectic!!


If that isn’t homesewn, I don’t know what is. My family wouldn’t let me wear a cotton dress to a summer wedding. Yet, this is what she wears to televisions biggest night?

I don’t care if it’s the president I voted for or not. That, is no Emmy attire. If you want to go ethnic (her fabric is Ghanaian), take a cue from Sandra Oh at the SAG awards a couple years ago


This, is ethnic done right.


  1. yeah, that dress is awful. love the message, but style/formality wise – uggg. It looks like she just tacked it around herself, where the selvedge was ended up being the top and hem. One of tjose lovely Donna Karen jersey patterns would have been SO MUCH better.

  2. Yah, the Rowell’s dress was pretty awful. The shape and style of dress is meant to show off a great figure (yup! Rowell has one) and great fabric. Uhh…I’m a fan of Obama, but the fabric does not match the event. Sandra Oh’s hanbok is very elegant, presumably made in silk, is very elegant. I’m sorry, this cotton woven fabric just doesn’t cut it as a formal dress. good grief…

  3. Well, I’ve seen less attractive dresses on the red carpet . . . but I don’t know that it’s quite the right place to be making such a blatantly political statement (even if it’s one I agree with). I’d love to get my hands on some of that fabric, though!!

  4. Honestly, it looks like she took a few yards (is that the white selvage we see???), wrapped it around herself and had someone pin it in the back. This fabric would make a spectacular historical quilt – using it for a red carpet dress is just odd and inappropriate.

  5. Nice pinning and draping job, I suppose, but couldn’t you have had the selvedges turned under. Very odd dress indeed. I’m also a big fan of the subject material…but just so weird for almost any event, let alone red carpet. Plus she has put herself up for ridicule. A real head scratcher.

  6. I saw this dress on the best and worst list and thought it was not appropriate and not just not right, and to know that she made it made me think she could not have sewn something else. I agree Hot mess!

  7. Bah! She’s gonna give sewists a bad name!!!! After we’ve worked so hard for modern legitimacy! Boo-urns.

    Why, oh why couldn’t it have turned out that Sandra Oh made her dress?

  8. Why are you so upset over what someone else was wearing? Don’t worry about it. It’s not a reflection on you. It was her own statement and she has to live with her decision, good or bad. It looks like it fits her ok.

  9. Um, I think she looks great. It’s fun, it’s funky, it’s not another boring silk or satin sheath. She’s slim and pretty and can carry it off, IMHO. I’m impressed that a girl who grew up in Maine has the style (and chutzpah) to wear this.

  10. I am usually cheering for the people who wear something different and daring to the awards shows (like Bjork’s swan dress), but this one lacks imagination, IMO. I don’t even have a problem with the fabric, but if one is going to use something like that, it needs to be put together in a more clever manner.

  11. I think she just wanted to be ‘controversial’ and was obviously successful. Gigi’s idea of using the fabric for a quilt is a good one, imo. Any idea where to find that fabric online?

      • Try searching ebay or Google Shops with the search terms “obama kanga” or searching online websites that sell kangas (an East African hipwrap or sarong). A friend of mine who did petroleum research in Kenya (20 years ago) gave me two kangas which I will have to take a closer look at. I remember seeing them for sale on Ebay or on various online sites immediately after the election. I have no doubt that they are still available for sale in Kenya, but I don’t know how many of them are still being exported.

        Rose in SV

      • cidell, you saw also the fabric at the festival you invited me to show at. the other designer had a model couple come out wearing matching outfits made from this fabric.

        By the way, traditionally, selvages are sometimes left in with wax print fabric as a way to show off the “quality” of your fabric because the manufacturer’s name is usually printed on the selvage. It’s a status thing =)

  12. I guess since I am no where near as skilled a sewer as any of you, my thoughts may not count for much but I have seen much worst on the red carpet made by very famous designers. God bless her and all of you. Dawn

    • Dawn, it’s by no means about skill. It’s the level of appropriateness for the event. She wanted a reaction and she totally got one!

  13. Wow, such venom. I am usually always inspired by your site and some of the others I see making comments. We don’t all have to share the same taste but does it really deserve so much hate. Everyone has to start somewhere I am glad she liked it and wore it proudly. Peace!

    • This is my OPINION. By nature that means it is my 1. personal view: the view somebody takes about an issue, especially when it is based solely on personal judgment

      Great she made her dress. I don’t think it was appropriate for the event. And, that is my opinion.

  14. Everything’s a little off. The timing, the occasion, the purpose. I do appreciate the freedom of speech, but trust me if y’all ever see my on the red carpet, I’ll be a straight out diva! My one chance to wear jewelry worth more than an house and killer heels! Oh, hell no…bump the political statement. Strictly fly-betty!

  15. I agree about the dress both being off and something of an eyesore. But in a way I can see where she is coming from. Those nominations party outfits are controlled by a whole army of stylists and I can if someone just want to say “Suck it Rachel Zoe” and do her own statement and not succumb to the red carpet pressure.

  16. I love the placement of the band around the bust. I love the band around the hem. I love the colors. The earrings go with the shoulders (if you see what I mean). It fits (it’s not just knotted around her) and looks like a simple straight-cut piece of fabric at the same time (no mean feat). It flatters her figure without making her look cheap (a lot of women on the red carpet could take a lesson there). I think the Obama image is both serious and humorous at the same time. It made me laugh but it’s cool at the same time. The more I look at it, the more I like it. The only iffy bit is the train, but it’s not a good shot of that so I will trust that it looks better from a different angle (and I never like trains anyway….).

  17. Red carpet events are always about making a statement. However, one should never strive for the statement, “What was she thinking?”

    Which is the thought that crossed my mind when I saw the dress.

    I totally agree with you, Cidell.

    And yes, Sandra Oh’s dress is FABULOUS!!

  18. Whoa! I adore Victoria and Sandra! I missed the Emmys and thanks for sharing those photos. Sandra looks very elegant. Victoria looks good in anything, but I think she was going for the-I-will-be-talked-about-after-this-event look.

  19. Wow. I think that gives people who sew a bad rep. It is not a dress to wear for the Emmys and it is the wrong kind of statement to make, IMHO. But I think Gigi’s idea of using the fabric for a quilt is fabulous.

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