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Christina Applegate 'Still Gives So Much' amid MS, Says Her Hairstylist: Emmys Appearance Was 'Iconic' (Exclusive)

‘Showing up for her on that night was important to me,’ says hair pro Adir Abergel of the actress, who has been open about navigating the red carpet with her MS diagnosis

<p>John Shearer/Getty </p> Christina Applegate, dressed for the Emmys on Jan. 15.

John Shearer/Getty

Christina Applegate, dressed for the Emmys on Jan. 15.

Christina Applegate delivered one of the most poignant moments at the 2023 Emmy Awards, and she did so in stunning style.

The 52-year-old star, who was nominated for lead actress in a comedy series for her role in Dead to Me, wore a custom cranberry velvet design by Christian Siriano, along with the cane that she carries due to her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, which can affect balance.

Taking the stage to a standing ovation, she declared, “Oh my God, you're totally shaming me with disability by standing up. It's fine . . . Body not by Ozempic!" If her mood seemed buoyant, that's because ahead of the ceremony she had a blast getting ready with a full support squad, including Sirano, hairstylist Adir Abgergel, makeup artist Simone Siegl and stylist Lindsay Flores.

“Getting ready for big events can be overwhelming. I focused on being present and enjoyed every moment together,” Abergel, who prepped the star at her home as well as backstage at the Emmys, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We were having fun! Christina and I have been friends for a long time and she is someone that I love deeply.” He adds, “Showing up for her on that night was very important to me.”

Inspired by Applegate’s velvet ensemble, Abergel gave the star a “sleek and shiny Veronica Lake- inspired hair moment” with a deep side part and a high-shine blowout using his own celeb-loved Virtue line , including the Volumizing Primer, Texturizing Spray and Healing Oil.

But it wasn’t all work for the stylist and his client. “We were chilling, laughing and watching Real Housewives of New York,” he says. “It was like catching up with my best friend.”

Related: Christina Applegate Makes a Brave Return to the Emmys (in Velvet!) Amid MS Diagnosis: 'Body Not by Ozempic'

Like many people, Abergel says he is in awe of the actress, whose appearance at the Emmys he calls “iconic: I just think about the immense contributions she has given us throughout the years, and how she still gives so much! Her career, her work ethics inspire me deeply.”

Designer Christian Siriano shared his love for the star on Instagram, writing, "This incredible woman #christinaapplegate tonight in Siriano silk velvet for the #emmys. Let me tell you MS is a nasty disease and this beauty is so strong and just inspiring. Tonight she is nominated and so deserves this. Love you! Styled by @iamlindsayflores Photo @johnshearer." In another post, Siriano wrote, "Oh Christina you are divine and I will dress you any day of the week! What a woman. #christinaapplegate #emmys"

Applegate was diagnosed with MS in August 2021, while she was filming Dead to Me's third and final season.

Her last red carpet appearance was at the 2023 SAG Awards in February.

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The star was joined by her favorite plus-one, teen daughter Sadie Grace LeNoble, and the duo wore coordinating mother-daughter ensembles: Applegate in a floor-length velvet tuxedo dress with oversize lapels, and LeNoble in a classic black double-breasted suit. Both mom and daughter twinned in Dr. Martens shoes.

<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty</p> Christina Applegate and daughter Sadie Grace LeNoble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in February 2023.

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

Christina Applegate and daughter Sadie Grace LeNoble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in February 2023.

Applegate accessorized her elegant look with a cane that was accessorized with stickers that included the letters "F U MS."

LeNoble also joined Applegate at the Emmys, once again wearing a chic black suit and once again matching her mom's footwear with her own pair of Dr. Martens.

<p>John Shearer/Getty</p> Christina Applegate and daughter Sadie ahead of the Emmys on Jan. 15.

John Shearer/Getty

Christina Applegate and daughter Sadie ahead of the Emmys on Jan. 15.

In an interview with Vanity Fair last may, the Married with Children alum shared that she has no plans to return to the screen, noting that her physical capabilities have become more limiting.

Related: Christina Applegate Says Taking a Shower Is 'Frightening' with MS: 'Certain Things I Took for Granted'

"I'm probably not going to work on-camera again," Applegate said while gushing over the experience of working with Linda Cardellini on Netflix's Dead to Me, which debuted its third and final season in November 2022.

"Ping-pong is so much more fun when the other person is just as good as you are," she noted. "I'm so glad that I went out with someone who is by far the greatest actress I've ever worked with in my entire life, if not the greatest human I've ever known."

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