Emmys Fashion: Highs Are High, Lows Are Low


Last night we celebrated television by watching television, and if what we saw was a preview of awards season fashion in general, a few things are clear: There will be jewel tones, red dresses, and not a ton of bling. Ultimately, the looks were as safe as network television itself. We don’t often say this, but thank god for Paz de la Huerta.

Let’s get right down to business: Christina Hendricks. Her breasts are no longer worth mentioning; they are like air or sky — always there, always around us. This dress, however, was fucking awesome. Forgive the inarticulation, but really. The gown is stunning and it looks perfect on her. Maybe playing the classic red carpet siren is a little safe for her, but I don’t care. it works. The shoe situation doesn’t look too comfortable, but I like the spare style of a d’Orsay with a semi-exposed leg.

We saw a lot of sparkly blush/neutral gowns last night, but another standout came courtesy of Elisabeth Moss; the effect of rhinestone vines wrapping around her arms was lovely. I don’t love the color of Heidi Klum’s Christian Siriano, but the shape is interesting. Interesting is good, because there wasn’t a ton of it last night. Speaking of things that are not interesting, here’s Gretchen Mol in a black dress.

The color of Diana Agron’s dress is gorgeous, but bright jewel tones and shiny fabrics don’t mix, unless you want to look like you’re going to prom with something you bought on sale at 5-7-9. Evan Rachel Wood’s got a fantastic silhouette, but I’m still deducting points for sticking with black (+1, however, for sparkles). Melissa McCarthy — one of the night’s winners! — wore a flattering eggplant frock that was maybe a shade too dark. The color downplays the the layering in the skirt, making the whole thing look too casual. In another color, that cut would’ve popped.

I don’t want to like what’s going here. It looks like Katie Holmes threw on a dress, forgot her jewelry, and pulled her hair up in a bun before running out the door. Yeah, I know that look. I see it in the mirror every single day. I don’t want to see it on the red carpet. Dress for me, celebrities! Dress and dance and entertain, dammit! That is your job!

But I do like it. The simple cut of the dress is so flattering and the color looks beautiful on her. I wish my crappy messy bun looked like her nice messy bun. And I spent all summer looking for a thin gold belt like that. There’s also the conspicuous absence of any jewelry (which was definitely a red carpet Thing last night), because her special intricate wedding/Scientology ring is all she needs. She looks beatific, probably because she spent 20 minutes getting ready and doesn’t need any of this Emmys bullshit.

I think we have Suri to thank for this.

Martha Plimpton’s come a long way since she was Stef in The Goonies. Love this ruby slipper dress! Glee‘s Jenna Ushkowitz’s gown looks like a folded napkin from an ‘8os place-setting, and the hair is way too severe. What happened to Tina Chang’s romantic waves? Rachael Taylor is on that new Charlie’s Angels reboot, and she does look she’s wearing the wings of seraphim, and that’s meant as a compliment. And again, note the absence of necklaces.

Let me start by saying that just because Gwyneth Paltrow is appearing on this website does not mean we are “snarking on her.” And if I don’t like her dress, that doesn’t mean I’m “picking on her.” We’re not talking about Gwyneth Paltrow in any context other than a woman who wore a bad dress to the Emmys last night. And it was bad. The beading could’ve been gorgeous had it appeared on anything but this. I do appreciate that Gwyneth tends to do whatever she wants on the red carpet — usually to good (or at least interesting) effect — but this did not work. Not one part of it. It’s not even worth nitpicking. Okay, well, one nitpick: I can’t remember the last time I liked the back of a dress less than I do this one.

Sofia Vergara. Pefection. She wins. From the fiery gown to the huge emerald earrings and cascading waves and megalashes. This is how you do a red carpet, folks. This is Hollywood.

I love Anna Faris’s dress — long live the interesting column. Anna Torv, meanwhile, has too much going on, even for a black dress — intense ruffles, purple sandals, cleavage square (which by itself is interesting and would look good with a simple LBD/cocktail dress). Ellie Kemper wins the award for Most Comfortable-Looking Sparkles.

Yowza! Jane Krakowski is so hot she had to be wrapped in aluminum foil. Michelle Forbes was an evil bitch on True Blood, but she looks like an amiable aristocrat in this inky ruffled gown. Julie Bowen slinks, plunges, wins.

The morning shows are all yapping about red dresses on the red carpet, and how it’s so “bold” and “strong” and you have to be “confident” to wear it — but is that really the case when everyone’s wearing it? No. Red was safe last night. None of these dresses were unattractive, but none was a standout. Top row (L-R): Angela Kinsey, Connie Britton, Kerry Washington, Kathy Griffon, Kate Winslet. Bottom (L-R): Nancy O’Dell, Giulana Ranci, Adrianne Palicki, Nina Dobrev, Sarah Hyland.

Power couples! Amy Poehler’s shimmery blue number is reminiscent of 1950s diner stools, and it’s up to you whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Emily Blunt looks stunning and gets to snuggle with John Krasinski, which makes us so jealous we have to just move on. Conan and wife Liza Powel are adorable.

I thought Kirsten Wiig’s gown was very nice, but then the phrase “poop ombre” popped into my head, and now I can’t stop thinking about that. Heather Morris’s dress has all the elements of a stunning gown, but the deep plunge and poofy ruffles don’t work together as well as I initially thought they did. Love the color. And here we have another outstanding instance of minimal jewelry, but if you’re going to go super-simple like Naya Rivera, get thee a statement accessory.

Jayma Mays’ sugary upside-down cupcake baking cup wrapper dress just has too many layers. Love how Rachael Harris’s glasses match her gown! Christine Baranski deserves a salute for choosing crisp navy. And oh, look, no bling.

Lea Michele’s Marchesa was pretty great. Beautiful draping. But why drag it down with a pair of poorly fit shoes best suited for a black-tie puritan party?

Rashida Jones rocks soft, romantic tones, shows off her collar bones, then goes home and eats scones. Or something. Her lovely gown inspires poetry! Aubrey Plaza’s drapey, creamy halter is pretty, but the makeup seems questionable. Kelly McDonald’s lace-accented column is simply elegant. (Also, the no-necklace trend continues.)

Kiernan Shipka looks adorable — let’s enjoy her in age-appropriate fashions while we still can! I liked Minka Kelly’s lacy gown, but I like anything remotely connected to Friday Night Lights. And Alan Cumming went as Alan Cumming.

Jane Lynch kept it simple, but I like her bracelets. Taraji P. Henson wrapped herself in a brocade bedspread and then rolled around in a pile of glitter. But I really want to talk about Cobie Smulders. I like this dress, even if the shade is maybe too summery — the color is nonetheless gorgeous and and I’m a sucker for grecian-inspired gowns. However. I’ve not watched HIMYM in a few years, but did Colbie…get something done? She’s an actress, her appearance is part of her work, so I’m going to ask. Then again, I’ve not seen the show in awhile, so I could be hallucinating.

I will start by saying something nice: Julianna Margulies looks very nice in white. However. The mirrored appliqués are a bad idea, but the biggest problem is the shape of the bodice. You know how when you take a pet to get spayed or neutered and they put the big collar on them afterwards?

The ruching on Julia Stiles’s dress works until you get to her navel — it looks she’s got a lacy outtie. Carrie Ann Inaba could use a goddamn necklace. Jennifer Carpenter’s sparkly and floaty and sexy and oh, hello boobs.

At a glance Archie Panjabi’s dress isn’t anything spectacular — but this is a quality ruffle. Remember it.

Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt looks a little junior prom, and not in a good way. Also: no necklace. Glee’s Amber Riley: Love the fit and shape, but not the color. Megan Mullally’s colorful dress matches her colorful personality.

Ariel Winter and Vanessa Marano are young, and the blush gowns just make them look all the more baby-faced…and maybe not in the best way. Also, the black trim…no. But on a brighter note, Claire Danes wore one of my favorites of the evening — haute-Cosby geometrics in a beautiful blue.

Kelly Osbourne looks great. The dress and gray-tinted hair don’t age her, but remember when she was freaking out about Jack dancing with Christina Aguilera? That adds a few years. Shaun Robinson’s dress is spectacularly unspectacular, and Brooke Anderson is still wondering who shot J.R.

I didn’t know who Cara Buomo was before this, but her dress got my attention — which is kind of the point of the red carpet, so I suppose she succeeded in that respect. I didn’t love this dress, but I like the idea of wearing it; I’d play with that silver train like it’s a ribbon in a rhythmic gymnastics competition. Maybe I’d wrap it around myself like a cape. Hours of fun.

Cat Deeley’s frothy confection is sparkly and delicious like a nonpareil. The color of the gown The Office‘s Kate Flannery chose totally brings out her eyes (and killer figure). Finally, do we have Paula Abdul or Miss USA Barbie? You decide.

HELLO CLORIS! WAIT, WHAT’S THAT? YOU WANT A RIDE TO THE COUGAR PROM? I CAN’T HEAR YOU… Meanwhile, Gail Simmons: I couldn’t find a picture of her in this dress that was flattering, but I want to believe that’s because she was posing like a kid in a Glamour Shots studio. But Jessica Pare looked fun and seemed to be having a good time.

Elizabeth McGovern is intoxicating in claret. Jessica Brown Findlay, aka Lady Sybil Crawley, is an enchanting merlot with hint of black cherry, a lively nose and smooth finish. Brooke Burke is raspberry Kool-Aid, oh, yeah.

Loretta Devine looks, you guessed it, divine. Although if some tiny angels came along and pulled the neckline of her dress up so less cleavage would show, that would be cool. She’s one of the few ladies who wore a necklace! Louise Roe’s roe-colored gown is awkward and unflattering. Lara Spencer looks fabulous for someone who is being swallowed alive by a swirling dark Halloween cloud.

Bonnie Bentley, who let you out of the house like that? You look comfy (lose the belt), but this is not an East Hampton party, it’s the goddamn Emmys. Maria Bello, meanwhile, looks great — another sparkly neutral, but it’s pretty and sexy without being sex bomb. Kaley Cuoco looks cute, nothing more, nothing less.

Meanwhile, in Dude Town, you’ve got your standard-issue black tie on Wilmer Valderrama (he’s still around!), LL Cool J, and Michael B. Jordan.

Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith, same thing. But then there’s Joel McHale to liven things up a bit.

But of all the gents, here’s the liveliest of them all, Jon Hamm. He’ll give you what you want, even if his handler is clearly trying to move him along before everyone concludes that he’s wasted.

And then there’s this. Phoebe Price pulled out a fascinator, which wasn’t enough to distract from the fact that she was wearing a Fabrege egg. And stand up straight, jesus. Moving along: Green gowns can be lovely, but not Olivia Munn’s green gown (but I’m probably just jealous, right?). Finally, say what you will (and there certainly is a lot to say), but at least Paz de la Huerta stays true to herself. Even if maybe she shouldn’t.

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