Why Padma Lakshmi Re-Wore Her J. Mendel Gown to the 2018 Emmys

There's a very good reason why the dress Padma Lakshmi wore to the 2018 Emmy Awards might have looked familiar: You have seen it before, when she attended Vogue India's 2017 Women of the Year Awards in Mumbai last fall. Though it's always relatable and refreshing when celebs re-wear outfits, as Lakshmi explained to People ahead of Monday's star-studded event, there's an even more important message behind her choice to wear a piece she already owned to the Emmys.

"I'm excited to wear this beautiful J. Mendel dress again," the Top Chef host said. "I think in this day and age we should stop sending the message to young women and girls that we all have these endless closets of clothes we never wear more than once, especially on a red carpet." She added, "The hours that it takes, the artisans' labor, and the gorgeous fabrics all deserve to be worn again and treasured. It seems wasteful not to enjoy these dresses."

The gorgeous gown in question has a deeply plunging V-neck and a high slit up the left leg. The fiery red bodice features strips of fabric crisscrossing over one another and creating tiny cutouts across Lakshmi's torso, while the drapey skirt flows all the way to the floor. At the Vogue India event, Lakshmi completed the look with strappy black heels and slicked-back wet hair; at the Emmys, she wore similar shoes in metallic gold and had her hair styled in a bouncy, side-parted blowout.

Lakshmi went on to tell People that, as much as she enjoys primping for red carpet appearances, "there are more important ways to spend my time than to have hours of fittings for these big events." She continued, "What matters is the work that got us here to the Emmys. Instead of fretting so much over what to wear, I'd rather go to the park and throw a ball with [my daughter Krishna] or tinker in the kitchen with her, bonding over delicious food. I want to teach her that there is more to life."

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