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Exclusive: 'Styling Hollywood'’s Jason Bolden Breaks Down His Clients' 2019 Emmy Looks

The fashion pro shares his inspo for Janet Mock, Taraji P. Henson and Ava DuVernay's outfits.
By James Love · September 22, 2019

Jason Bolden, the acclaimed stylist, who swapped his usual behind-the-scenes role to jump in front of the camera for Netflix’s Styling Hollywood, worked his magic yet again at this year’s Emmys. Bolden and his husband/ business partner, Adair Curtis recently sat down with ESSENCE at Fashion House New York to shed light on their work-life balance.

For the 2019 Emmys Bolden dressed some of the most iconic women in television, including dressed Janet Mock, the first black transgender producer to receive a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series and presenter Taraji P. Henson. Bolden also dressed Ava DuVernay, who racked up six nominations for her Netflix miniseries, ‘When They See Us.

We caught up with Bolden, who shared insight on the inspiration for his clients’ head-turning looks.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Janet Mock attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

ESSENCE: What were you looking to accomplish with Janet Mock look for this legendary night?

Bolden: I wanted Janet’s Valentino Couture dress to come across not just as a beautiful dress but as a piece of art. There’s something so effortless about it being a simple slip dress with the fabric wrapped around it so intricately.

Taraji P. Henson

ESSENCE: Taraji P. Henson’s been a longtime client of yours who has turned out countless red standout looks at awards shows. How did you keep things fresh for this year’s Emmys?

Bolden: I wanted Taraji to feel confident, beautiful, and sexy. We worked with Vera Wang on this custom design to use the bold colors in the dress to show off Taraji’s best features.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Ava DuVernay attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

ESSENCE: Ava DuVernay always looks timeless. Her look tonight was simply breathtaking. How did you create this regal fashion moment?

Bolden: With Ava’s custom Reem Acra gown, we took her classic shape and added a beautiful hand-beaded tulle overlay to the metallic gold base of the dress to make her feel regal.