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Posted at 09:20 AM ET, 09/24/2012

The Emmys 2012 red carpet: The 10 best, 10 worst and 5 so-so looks


Jessica Pare: Enough zou bisou for the Emmys? | More Emmy Red Carpet Photos (Mario Anzuoni - Reuters)

On this year’s Emmy Awards red carpet, some very attractive television stars sported some highly unfortunate up ’dos, crimson again proved to be a popular color and a nation marveled at Kat Dennings’s ability to dominate our cleavage attention even though Sofia Vergara and Christina Hendricks were present and are the official ambassadors for celebrity decolletage.

Yes, it was quite a night. Despite the confusing swirl of sparkles, extremely high leg slits and E! mani-cams, I still managed to narrow down the fashions to a list of the 10 best, 10 worst and five almost-good looks of the night. Here’s the rundown.

The 10 Best

Tina Fey


(Katy Winn - AP)

In this rich, burgundy Vivienne Westwood gown, Fey looked effortless elegant. She even pulled off the swept-up bouffant look, which, as you’ll see below, not everyone was able to manage.

­ 

Julianna Margulies


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

One could successfully argue that Julianna Margulies’s Giambattista Valli dress was a bit more voluminous in the skirt than it should have been. But the gorgeous brocade fabric — which popped in HD and, from a distance, called to mind a Monet painting — was so stunning that it more than made up for any issues of excess poof.

 

Kat Dennings


(Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images)

It’s too easy to make a joke that ties together Dennings’s, uh, assets and the title of her CBS sitcom, “2 Broke Girls.” Maybe Dennings could have used a bit more coverage on top, but I thought she looked great overall in a J. Mendel that made her upper half look like an especially curvy valentine.

 

Kiernan Shipka


(Matt Sayles - MATT SAYLES/INVISION/AP)

On this night, there would be no go-go boots for our Sally Draper, just adorableness on every level, from her flouncy, tea-length skirt to her darling silver handbag.

 

Jessica Pare


(Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images)

Some accused the “Mad Men” star of being too “boring.” I thought she kept it simple in the best, most glamorous possible way.

 

Edie Falco


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

Like Pare, the “Nurse Jackie” nominee stuck to black and white and made it sexy.

 

Amy Poehler


(Jordan Strauss - JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP)

In addition to semi-stealing Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Emmy win, Poehler also amped up the sexy factor by pouring herself into black, shimmery Stella McCartney.

 

Ginnifer Goodwin


(Mario Anzuoni - Reuters)

One Celebritology reader compared the “Once Upon a Time” star’s dress design to algae. If that’s accurate, I think it’s the prettiest, most fashion-forward algae I have seen since Ariel made it look so good in “The Little Mermaid.”

 

Padma Lakshmi


(Frazer Harrison - GETTY IMAGES)

Last year, the “Top Chef” hostess tried too hard to look like an Emmy statuette. This year, in a coral Monique Lhulllier, she struck just the right notes in a way that seemed effortless.

 

Sarah Paulson


(Frederick M. Brown - Getty Images)

The medium from “American Horror Story,” as well as the political consultant from “Game Change,” looked lovely in a delicate teal Reem Acra gown.

The 5 Almost Good Looks

Connie Britton


(Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images)

Dress? Great. The hair? Makes Mrs. Coach look like Mrs. C. from “Happy Days.” A bummer, because otherwise she looked fab as always.

 

Heidi Klum


(Matt Sayles - Invision/AP)

Everyone on E! was gushing about how great the soon-to-be-former Mrs. Seal looked. The girly sea foam dress was pretty, but the exceedingly high double leg slits seemed like a desperate cry for thigh attention.

 

Sofia Vergara


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

It’s not possible for Vergara to look bad. And she doesn’t at all in this Zuhair Murad mermaidlike number. But something about this choice wasn’t as classy as Vergara’s past chic but equally form-fitting awards show ensembles. Maybe my standard for her is too high?

 

Christina Hendricks


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

Same goes for “Mad Men’s” Joan. She looked fine, but I thought she could have done better somehow. All that beige was just kinda . . . beige.

 

January Jones


(Katy Winn - AP)

I actually liked Jones’s edgy black gown enough to put it on the best list. Her severe bun and heavy eye makeup made her miss it by that much.

 

The 10 Worst

Glenn Close


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

This is where things get unfortunate. It’s as if the crisscross design of Jones’s dress got sloppy drunk and decided to trash the “Damages” star’s ensemble, then, fortunately, passed out once it got to her knees.

 

Nicole Kidman


(Jordan Strauss - Invision/AP)

Here’s another dress that made a lot of people’s best lists but that I just didn’t care for that much. It certainly fits Kidman nicely, but the beading looks like a mosaic craft project that someone forgot to complete.

­ 

Lena Dunham


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

I so wanted to like Lena Dunham’s dress. And I tried to like it. But it just overwhelmed her. It’s like her head is bobbing atop an ocean of lace flowers.

 

Zosia Mamet


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

Dunham’s “Girls” co-star did not fare much better.

 

Ashley Judd


(Robyn Beck - AFP/Getty Images)

I would like to issue a Hairstylist Police arrest warrant for whoever did this to Judd. It was a crime, and it should not go unpunished.

 

Michelle Dockery


(Matt Sayles - Invision/AP)

The lovely Lady Mary of “Downton Abbey” got stuck with a gown that sagged and bagged in various places and looked wrinkled. Didn’t her publicist have a steam iron or something? Or couldn’t Anna Bates have fixed it?

 

Elisabeth Moss


(Matt Sayles - Invision/AP)

She stars in a show about the ’60s, but Moss showed up in a dress that was a little too ’80s for the occasion.

 

Zooey Deschanel


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

I think this dress bugged me because it’s so aggressively trying to make us embrace Deschanel’s quirky, froufrou, tulle-cupcake-“New Girl” image. I did like the TVs painted on her thumbnails, though. They were cool.

 

Lucy Liu


(Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)

Thanks to the good people at Versace, Liu was able to wear a metal disco ball to the Emmys.

 

Phoebe Price


(Robyn Beck - AFP/Getty Images)

She’s technically an actress and model, but she’s most famous, for lack of a more apt word, for showing up at events looking like a train wreck. At the Emmys, she maintained her well-earned reputation.

More Emmy Coverage:

Decoding Emmy red carpet fashion

E! revolutionizes red carpet coverage with mani-cam

‘Mandy Patinkin: Holla’ and more Emmy quotes

Red carpet arrivals

2012 Emmy winners

Emmy trivia: Things to know while watching

By  |  09:20 AM ET, 09/24/2012

Tags:  Emmy Awards

 
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