Unlike their more stuffy cousin, the Academy Awards, the Primetime Emmys is the award show where you know everybody’s name and you’re oh-so-glad they came into your home one more night before the season premieres begin to roll out. Since we all have a personal investment in these stars and the characters they play, watching the red carpet arrivals at Sunday night’s Emmys was like seeing your classmates out of uniform for the first time ever. Host Jane Lynch only made a cameo in her Sue Sylvester signature track suit, Snookie traded in her Merlotte’s t-shirt for a big girl dress, and Mad Men’s curviest secretary – wait scratch that, Christina Hendricks always wears curve-hugging clothes whether she’s in character or not – but you get the point. Unlike stars of the big screen who change characters and clothes on the reg, our trusted TV family never goes too far out of their character’s wardrobe so seeing them dressed up can easily confuse us into thinking they look amazing when they only look pretty good. Before I get into the stars that thought they could rely on our momentarily confused mentals to get them to the best dressed list, let’s talk about who did pull off great Emmy style.
One of the major trends to rule the night’s red carpet was scarlet-hued dresses that perfectly matched the carpet while standing out from it like diamonds in a coal mine. Lea Michele worked the red trend like a job in a stunning, backless Marchesa gown with capped sleeves with non-ruffle ruffles that were more like rosettes. Initially I wasn’t super impressed with this look; the front was pretty safe, but the second she turned around I fell in love. Another red carpet pro who worked the night’s bold color was Kate Winslet in her simple yet chic Elie Saab number. While Kate and Lea looked like the seasoned red carpet walkers that they are, relative newbie Nina Dorbev, of The Vampire Diaries, owned the red carpet in her curve hugging Donna Karan gown.
Another red carpet staple that made its presence known was the use of pale shimmering metallics in shades like pewter and muted gold. Julia Stiles looked amazing in a pale pewter-ish lace dress full of intricate tucks and twists – despite the sour puss face that she had on in about 90% of her red carpet photos (who knows, maybe her feet hurt). The queens of shimmering pale colors last night were Mad Men stars Christina Hendricks and Elizabeth Moss. Christina displayed her dangerous curves in a body-hugging, rose gold dress by Johanna Johnson (ten points for keeping her girls in place in this low cut number), while Elizabeth proved Christina wasn’t the show’s only curvy star in a form-fitted, nude and gold, sleeve-illusion Marchesa gown. While I was not a fan of the way either of the Mad Men ladies pulled their looks together – something was off with Christina’s hair and Elizabeth’s hair and lack of accessories was a little dry -their dresses were amazing.
While most of the night’s stars played it safe in statement-making red (I know, “playing it safe” in such a bold color feels like an oxymoron, but it is a red carpet staple) or opted for shimmering pale tones, a few ladies stepped out of the fold and opted for bright colors – or did their own thing entirely. My favorite look of the night was Sofia Vergara in a peachy coral, one-shoulder gown by Vera Wang that showed off all of her assets while keeping it classy. Honestly, if I had a reason to wear a formal dress, I would go for a gown like Sofia’s. Another star shining in full color was Glee’s Dianna Agron in a bright blue Roksanda Ilincic dress. While she didn’t do pale, bright, or red, Gwyneth Paltrow prove why she is red carpet royalty by starting her own trend in a black two piece lace number by Pucci. Oh, and did I mention it was just a little bit see-through and showed off a hint of abs? Well, there you go.
Following on the heels of fall fashion trends, another great color last night was deep purples ranging from plum to cabernet. Kelly Osbourne killed in her wine colored J Mendel gown, while host Jane Lynch looked lovely gliding down the red carpet in her deep purple gown. While the photo looks deceptively blue-ish, funny girl Melissa McCarthy also worked the deep purple trend (seriously, it was purple on TV) in a custom made gown that proves that not every star needs to be a size two to shine on the red carpet.
With the hits covered, let’s move on to the best part of award show fashion recaps: the misses. I love bold, bright colors and, as we already know, brights were big last night – but not steaming a satin dress that will be photographed is never a good look, Olivia Munn, and even if you’d steamed this dress within an inch of its life, it is just not flattering. All I have to say about the looks sported by Paz de la Huerta and Phoebe Price is one word: nutty. Without the look of a murderous pageant mom in her eye or that strange hair and make-up, Paz could have looked amazing in her pale pink dress; but alas, she is not all there. Phoebe sadly didn’t get the memo that this was the Emmys – not the Royal Wedding – and dusted off a fascinator that had nothing to do with her “I wore this to junior prom” dress. Although Kerry Washington followed the crowd in red, her lacy red dress left something to be desired – probably because the lower half looked like it had been sent through a shredder. Last but not least, Heidi Klum was close but didn’t earn a gold star in her pale hued gown that just didn’t work…at all.
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