TV monitors are smaller than movie screens, but Emmy guests appeared ready to go bigger. The red carpet outside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles saw actors attempting dozens of ways to stand out, walk tall and step up their public personas. Here, in another installment of Clothing Arguments, we anticipate your most probing Emmy fashion questions and answer them.
Which TV actor will dress, aspirationally, as if auditioning for the Oscars?
Lea Michele, swanning backless (and back and forth) in red-carpet-matching Marchesa, with roselike florets protruding from her shoulders. “Super-comfy,” the “Glee” warbler chirped, as if threatening never to take it off.
Which movie actor will dress like she’s slumming it, and distinctly not at the Oscars?
Laura Linney of “The Big C” will be on awards shows for the rest of her life — Emmy, Oscar, Tony, maybe even a Clio, if she wants. On this night, apparently, she let her legs be the star.
Will Jane Lynch opt for pants a la Ellen or a dress a la Portia?
A dress! Except it was a la Jane, cabernet-colored and strapless, and revealing there’s an alabaster alphawoman underneath the track suit. The “Glee” goddess wore David Meister, in her first of four outfits for the night.
Which actor’s dress will go wild with the bedazzling?
Julianna Margulies was much too much adorned with tumor-sized crystals. “The Good Wife” actress bore them proudly on an armorlike bodice by Armani Prive, which encircled her like the protective cones worn by injured canines.
Which male actor will look most uncomfortable?
“Community’s” Joel McHale, lanky and cinched in a tuxedo, has the right beanpole body for his Michael Bastian dinner jacket, except his height made for a glaring amount of white yardage.
Which outfit will deserve an engineering award for structural ingenuity?
“Mad Men” vixen Christina Hendricks, encased by Johanna Johnson in shimmery embroidery, was a test of seam strength. Had her tously red coif been platinum, the whole effect would have been very “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”
Who will wear the season’s vibrant colors best?
Cobie Smulders of “How I Met Your Mother” practially levitated in a neon-blue gown whose hue was an epic challenge to the megapixels in the nation’s high-def sets.
Which reality-show star will upstage the actors?
“Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi, enshrouded in gold Armani Prive and embellished with her own jewelry line pieces, the dress fabric melding with her skin tone and adding an inviting sheen.
Which televised shlub will clean up best?
Expecting the “Game of Thrones” stars to win most improved, right? Nope, it was Aubrey Plaza, the passive aggressor on “Parks and Recreation,” who went from listless slacker to limitless slayer — in one outfit, she showed nothing-she-can’t-do potential.
Which “Modern Family” star will look most mod?
Julie Bowen stood ready to dazzle, taking a leap and a plunge, as in neckline. Her gown was sparkly and yet classy, in keeping with her Baltimore blue-blood heritage.
Which behind-the-camera personality will appear camera-ready?
Lou Eyrich, the costume designer for “Glee,” showed up with exquisite trompe-l’oeil curls on her bald pate, hand-drawn by her show’s makeup team.