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Following Doctor’s Orders on the Red Carpet

Following Doctor’s Orders on the Red Carpet

Speaking from the stage of the 75th Emmy Awards as he prepared to announce the winner for best supporting actor in a drama series, Pedro Pascal clarified for anyone wondering that an injury to his shoulder — not his arm — was what required him to have a sling. He also offered something in the way of an explanation for the injury.

“Kieran Culkin beat the” living daylights out of him, Mr. Pascal said, using a word that was bleeped for broadcast audiences.

For Mr. Pascal, who was nominated for three awards on Monday, including best actor in a drama series for “The Last of Us,” the injury probably could have come at a better time: In just the past two weeks, he has found himself staring down a sea of cameras on three red carpets. But at each appearance, Mr. Pascal has incorporated the sling into his overall look, turning medical equipment into a distinctive accessory.

His arm-sling fashion made its first red-carpet appearance on Jan. 7 at the Golden Globes, accompanying a black Bottega Veneta turtleneck with white embroidery and manicured fingernails that spelled “ouchy.” In custom Valentino at the Emmys on Monday, his right arm was supported by a sling embellished with a black fabric rose matching an identical one on the cuff of his left sleeve.

But it was his Critics Choice Awards outfit, a custom-made monochromatic ensemble by the luxury men’s wear brand Zegna, that may have represented the most ambitious integration of sling and suiting so far.

Alessandro Sartori, Zegna’s artistic director, had no interest in trying to obscure the injury.

“It’s much better that we create something around the sling than try to hide it,” Mr. Sartori said of the ensemble, whose layered, bandage-like straps may evoke a freshly wrapped mummy.

Mr. Sartori and his team at Zegna worked with Mr. Pascal and his personal stylist, Julie Ragolia, to create a look that was not just fashionable but also functional for the actor to wear. When they began devising a sling prototype, comfort was a top consideration.

“Once we decided to do it in leather, we were just trying to have the best posture to avoid any pain to his arm and his shoulder,” the designer said. “So actually, we did a few tests in the right positions and right angles with Pedro.”

The sling provided extra support with a band that wrapped around Mr. Pascal’s waist, keeping his arm gracefully tucked. He wore a matching long-sleeve, collarless button-up and loosefitting pants, all in a shade the brand called “monochromatic pearl gray.”

When designing the arm sling, Mr. Sartori consulted with Ms. Ragolia and conducted his own research to make sure the sling provided the actor full support on the red carpet and during the award show. He opted for leather instead of fabric in part because of the strength.

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“The key component goes to the material,” Mr. Sartori said, “because the leather is very smooth, but at the same time it’s very durable, very resilient.”

The final product was completed in two weeks, including design, production and a series of online fittings with Mr. Pascal via Zoom.

“We like a personalized look for each single talent,” Mr. Sartori said, “and that’s why we wanted to do this with Pedro. This was not just a look, but something that was comfortable and mostly safe.”

While Mr. Pascal’s elevated arm sling has been leaving an impression during the 2024 awards season, he is not the first to be photographed on the red carpet while on the mend. Matt LeBlanc sported a black leather sling by the Los Angeles luxury brand Chrome Hearts at the 1996 Emmy Awards after dislocating his shoulder while shooting a scene for “Friends.” He matched his arm sling with a black suit and customized Chrome Hearts sunglasses.

It’s unclear if Mr. Pascal’s sling will make an appearance at next month’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, at which he is nominated for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series. Arm sling or not, he is sure to keep his red-carpet fashion sense in full swing.


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