Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier. Photo courtesy of Getty Images
I paid a lot of attention to the red carpet last night. It was an emotional journey–one that I live-tweeted my way through (are you following @BlackBook!?) and, in the process, became really flustered by how many women wore red gowns. The Emmys being a bigger event than the humble VMAs, there were a lot of looks to take in, and a lot of reactions to process.
If you didn’t watch, feel free to trust my sartorial judgment, and if you did, feel free to tweet me and tell me how wrong or right I am! Cool? Here goes!
The Winner: Lizzy Caplan
That Donna Karan Atelier dress was a starmaker. Caplan’s long been on the rise, but a look like this one is iconic, and she wore it with perfect grace.
Reds on the Red Carpet: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
I got in a bit of a tizzy when I realized just how under-utilized half the rainbow was on this year’s red carpet, but Julia looked flawless in Carolina Herrera. Some people are lucky enough to work wonders in the simplest of garments and this was a lovely example of that. The crowd was practically a sea of red, but Uzo Aduba also looked radiant in Christian Siriano’s design in the bright hue.
The Object of the Male Gaze: Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara both embraces and laughs at her own overt sexuality and is pretty lovable in the process. Her strapless, curve hugging Roberto Cavalli was gorgeous in spite of her declaration that she couldn’t bring boyfriend Joe Mangienello because he is too hot.
The Can-do-no-wrong-in-my-book: Lena Dunham
Was it a dress? Was it a top and a skirt? (It was the latter and it was by Giambattista Valli). Who knows but I love Lena Dunham so much that I will let her wear whatever she damn pleases. Though proportionally speaking the Peter Pan collar pink blouse was too much fabric in conjunction with that ombré-d wedding cake of a skirt, I loved seeing Lena explore new color palettes to complement her new bleach-blonde ‘do. I think she would have stunned in a strapless top with all that skirt going on, but like I said, in this case, my fandom supersedes my critical ability and I will be the first to admit it! Theoretically speaking, Sarah Hyland’s was probably the better of the cake-invoking skirts, but Lena’s comes out on top for its loud personality.
The Minimalist Bride: Kristen Wiig
This dress would make a very pretty wedding gown (it’s Vera Wang after all), but oh well, white is a nice color, it’s August, and many celebs choose longer lengths for the red carpet. It fit her well, but in a casual way, and in some pictures she almost looked like an edgy Jen Aniston. Very chic.
Sleekest: Robin Wright
Ralph Lauren suit, androgynous hair– the whole thing was so simultaneously effortless and polished. Absolutely love.
Best Departure: Julie Bowen
The Modern Family star usually sticks to solid colors that accentuate her killer body. They look good and that’s cool. But last night’s ‘70s-inspired Peter Som gown was the definition of a pattern done right. It’s not easy, so major kudos to Bowen for owning it.
The Secret Beach Goddess: Amy Poehler
It’s easy to forget that Amy Poehler is kind of a bombshell underneath the barrage of suits Leslie Knope wears on Parks and Recreation. But then the Emmys (or the Globes) come around and there’s Amy with The OC-worthy beach waves in a silver Theia gown.
Bland but Beautiful: Taylor Schilling
Taylor Schilling, that’s Piper to anyone with a Netflix account, wore a beaded nude Zuhair Maurad gown that hit in all the right places. Props, too, to the gorgeous racerback.
Undecided: Kiernan Shipka
Kiernan Shipka is a red carpet favorite, and objectively speaking, this Antonio Berardi dress (put on hold by Rachel Zoe’s styling team minutes after it hit style.com) is a stunner. Still, Shipka is still just 14 and I thought a little more color and youthfulness would have been lovely on the young starlet.
The Makeover: Gwen Stefani
OK, so it wasn’t quite a makeover, but I don’t think I was alone when it took me a moment to recognize Gwen Stefani tonight. Clad in metallic Versace and pin straight blonde hair, Stefani looked sleek and semi-futuristic.
The Try-Again-Next-Year Crew
Debra Messing: Honestly, if I had that red hair I would put on an emerald colored gown and never take it off. Sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with perfection. This black sheer thing was shapeless and did nothing for Messing who is a beaut!
Sarah Paulson: #Sorrynotsorry that this is the stuff of nightmares. It looks, quite frankly, like Paulson had an accident in a tulle factory, or got caught in a swarm of ladybugs.
Laura Prepon: She could have looked so good, and yet, she looked like she got stuck in the prom department at a Midwest department store. Sigh.