Ever since she appeared at the Golden Globes via remote camera in a regal red gown by Thai Nguyen, because “we should have a fashion moment,” Laverne Cox has been a pioneer of the virtual red carpet. Here, she explains why she believes in the power of dressing up even in a pandemic — and why a statement gown can say be a lot more than just “glam.”

You recently hosted the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards, and even though it was pretaped, you wore not one but three outfits. Why?

I think it’s become de rigueur when you host award shows to change clothes a few times. I wore all Black designers. And I have to credit my stylist Christina Pacelli for coming up with that idea.

Why did you decide to make that statement with your clothes?

A lot of it is about access. It is about elevating talent. I think when we change the material conditions of Black people’s lives, we lift everyone up. I think about my own journey in fashion. For many years not so many people wanted to dress me. I’ve never been sample size. I’m a Black woman, and we know certain houses don’t tend to dress Black women.

But then the dresses were also just amazing. We wanted to do a lot of color and print because after the year that we had, we wanted to do something optimistic and hopeful and said that we are coming out of all of this into something new.

Some people may feel that after this traumatic year, getting dressed up seems inappropriate. How

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