The depth behind the dress

Teal. Tacky. Truthful? Telling? Actress Victoria Rowell strutted outside of the Hollywood mold at the Emmys Sunday.

The actress was all smiles, dewy skin, pin straight, shiny, cocoa colored follicles, chandelier earrings and strappy chestnut sandals in photos from the event.

Widely known for her role, Drucilla Winters in the Young & the Restless, Rowell received accolades for her book “The Women Who Raised Me” more recently.

It is a New York Times Bestseller.
She also earned the African American Literary Award and two NAACP Image Award nominations in the literary category, and a statuette for Outstanding Literary Work/Debut Author.

With that level of accomplishment, one might expect her choices (fashion or otherwise) to be strategic, but my gut instinct as a loyal lover of red carpet hits, misses and trends was to light into Rowell.

I initially took the easy route and thought she needed to fire her stylist, stop the publicity stunt and relinquish the former collective kumbaya candidate, Barack Obama.

We’re post inauguration. Michelle is an international style icon.
Bloggers interpret their preadolescent daughter, Sasha’s peace t-shirts as indicative of a burgeoning political identity.

Rowell’s attire seemed ill timed, but she’s smarter than that.

The sista wore an Obama dress to the Emmys. It was the love child of haute and hot mess, an asymmetrical printed gown with an undefined bodice, pointy train and symbols along the bust line.
It was confusing and seemingly crazy on the red carpet.

Where was her safe strapless gown, or fitted off-the-shoulder dress? Shimmer? Glitz?

What about the designer? Shouldn’t she have worn something from a nearly dead designer with a foreign name?

The dress was somewhere between a bandana and a tablecloth and appeared inappropriate in a sea of more traditionally outfitted celebrities, personalities and wannabes.

Rowell told essence.com the reasoning her ensemble:
“The opportunity presented itself. Lights, camera, and no health care action? Setting the ruffles and caviar dreams aside is but a meager gesture to echo the Herculean efforts of a health care reform package long overdue and one which President Obama is introducing for all Americans. I spent 18 years in foster care, enduring inadequate health and dental care and unforgivably turned away more than once at a doctor’s office. Nationally, 25,000 foster youth annually emancipate from foster care without health coverage.”

With that in mind, she might have been the most smartly dressed fashionista in front of a camera. Health awareness supersedes haute any day.

Who better than a beautiful survivor to keep national priorities at the forefront during a highly televised event?