On the red carpet, no one takes a risk quite like Taraji P. Henson. Most of the time, the risk works out beautifully, but the Empire star’s first red carpet outfit features all of our least favorite trends from the early aughts. We’re taking a look through Henson’s red carpet history to see how far her style has come since her big break.
Though she had been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since the early 1990s, it took a long time for Taraji P. Henson to reach the heights she has today. It wasn’t until she starred opposite Tyrese Gibson in Baby Boy, which was released in 2001, that Henson truly began receiving the acclaim she so rightly deserved.
Since then, each film or television project Henson has taken on has catapulted her career higher and higher, which proves the old adage “slow and steady wins the race” still holds water.
Taraji P. Henson’s Fashion Up And Downs
As her career developed, so did Henson’s red carpet fashions. While attending the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2017, Henson wore one of the most beautiful gowns we’ve ever seen. This Reem Acra-designed gown with its sheer top and gorgeous embellishments, including the jaunty little bows at Henson’s throat and navel, are breathtaking. Henson’s confidence is clear to see, because who wouldn’t feel like a million bucks in such a beautiful dress?
Not Our Favorite Red Carpet Moment
A few years earlier, in 2014, Henson turned heads in this Kayat print dress. It was certainly a risk, though we’re not sure if it was pulled off as successfully as would be hoped. We can’t deny that Henson looks amazing in red, but the fabric bunches uncomfortably at her hips, a flaw that is only accentuated by the deep, plunging neckline.
Regal In Gold
Now, this is a look we can get behind. Henson looks dazzling, yet classic, in this gold column dress from Kaufman Franco. It clings to her figure in all the best ways before pooling elegantly around her feet. A high ponytail and bouffant complete the sleek effect.
Joan Of Arc Would Like A Word
We dive once again into dicey territory with Henson’s next ensemble, which she wore to the 44th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2008. We can’t find the designer responsible for this dress, but we have to say it’s not Henson’s strongest look on the red carpet. The metallic scales on the bodice make an interesting contrast to the gauzy, white fabric, but there’s just something missing. Henson looks gorgeous, of course, but even her natural magnetism isn’t enough to make up for the “wow” factor that this dress lacked.
Glowing And Gorgeous
Henson is once again at the top of her game in this colorful, floral-print, strapless dress. It’s just out of frame, but the gown hugs Henson’s figure and flares out near her calves with a fun little flip. The only accessory Henson wears is a single, yet massive, diamond on a simple silver chain. Between her glowing skin, gorgeous smile, and truly enviable hair, it’s no wonder this is one of our favorite of Henson’s red carpet looks. This brings us to what’s arguably Henson’s weakest red carpet outfit.
A Different Era Of Fashion
Times change, and so do styles and expectations. It wasn’t unusual for celebrities to dress casually on the red carpet back in the early ‘00s, so we won’t knock Henson for doing so as well. But what we can definitively say is that we don’t think we’ve ever seen a more ‘00s outfit than this.
From the colored sunglasses and over-the-top hair accessory to the bedazzled, dark mauve bell bottoms, you can date this photo from a single glance. The cropped graphic tee is just the cherry on top. Henson has come a long way since this photo was taken in 2001, that’s for sure.
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