Issa Rae Gushes Over Her Custom Sergio Hudson Dress at the Emmys: 'I Love Him as a Designer'

Issa Rae is nominated for her work in both Insecure and A Black Lady Sketch Show

Issa Rae is saying farewell to Insecure at her last Emmys for the show, and she's doing it in style.

The actress walked the carpet at the award show in a custom colorblock Sergio Hudson dress. The black and white look featured thin straps and a geometric cutout in front. The dress also included a black trim that fanned out into a train behind her.

"I love him as a designer; he's phenomenal," Rae tells PEOPLE and EW's Red Carpet Live preshow co-hosts Janine Rubenstein and Jeremy Parsons.

Rae wore her hair in a blunt bob with a very on-trend middle part, keeping her overall beauty look clean and simple.

74th Primetime Emmys - Arrivals

"The color, fit and style [of Rae's gown] immediately took me to a place of beauty and strength", says makeup artist Joanna Simkin, who was inspired to create "a powerful black diffused cat eye" to complement it.

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Simkin prepped her skin using an MVP in her kit, Lancer Skincare's $1,000 Legacy Youth Treatment. For her makeup, every item Simkin applied cost $15 - or less - and made a lasting impression. The heros included the brand's new vitamin C-infused C-Bright Putty Primer ($7), the $3 Bite-Size Eyeshadow palette Simkin used to create the cat eye (the pro prefers shadow to liner for a bold but not too harsh effect) and the TikTok viral Halo Glow Liquid Filter ($14) responsible for Rae's gleam. Using both brands, Simkin says, "enabled me to enhance her glow to its fullest."

Issa Rae
Courtesy Joanna Simkin

Rae, 37, was nominated at this year's Emmy Awards for lead actress in a comedy series for her role as Issa in Insecure. The show, which she also created, earned nominations for outstanding cinematography for a single-camera series (half-hour) and outstanding single-camera picture editing for a comedy series for its final batch of episodes. She's also nominated for A Black Lady Sketch Show.

Since it premiered in October 2016, Insecure has earned dozens of award nominations. The show has been nominated every year for at least one Emmy since 2018 and won one award in 2020 for outstanding single-camera picture editing for a comedy series.

Insecure aired its series finale in 2021, which Rae called a "journey of growth."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Issa Rae attends the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images)
Momodu Mansaray/Getty

"I mean, this is a journey of growth," Rae told Entertainment Tonight of her character's evolution. "So, if Issa's in the same place as she was in season 1, then we failed."

The final episode, titled "Everything Gonna Be, Okay?!," was written by Rae and directed by showrunner Prentice Penny. During its 40-minute-long run, Issa Dee (Rae) reflects on her life's journey as time leaps forward.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: 74th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: Issa Rae arrives to the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022. -- (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC via Getty Images)
Christopher Polk/NBC

Viewers get to see where Issa, Molly (Yvonne Orji), Tiffany (Amanda Seales), Kelli (Natasha Rothwell), Lawrence (Jay Ellis) and Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) all end up — but longtime fans of the series may not be happy with the end result.

"It's not like these characters' lives are ending," Penny told the outlet. "It's just that the audience and the writers aren't continuing with them on their journey. But they're going to still go on and live lives, theoretically."

That alone "really freed us up to not worry about the perfect ending," Penny added.

Issa Rae (L) and Louis Diame at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 23, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California
Leon Bennett/Getty

Insecure may have come to a close in 2021, but the actress and producer hasn't slowed down her work at all. Rae, who married longtime love Louis Diame in July 2021, joined the cast of Greta Gerwig's Barbie, expected to land in 2023. Barbie, which stars Margot Robbie as the ever-popular Mattel doll, will also feature Ryan Gosling as Barbie's dashing beau Ken, along with America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon and Will Ferrell.

She previously joined Nicole Kidman for Roar on Apple TV+ for an episode in early 2022. Her next project is slated to be Empress of Serenity alongside fellow 2022 Emmy nominee Bill Hader.

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The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards are being broadcast live on NBC from the Microsoft Theater in ‎Los Angeles.

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