So, the Emmys happened! I didn’t watch (there’s no point, plus since Cate Blanchett lost the Oscar to Gwyneth Paltrow there’s no justice etc.), but I hear that overall, things went well. Plus, Downton Abbey won some things! That’s great news! That damn show and what it does to my blood pressure is something we shall speak of another time. Or, if you follow my Tumblr, I have already spoken of it multiple times and we’re all set.
(From left: Elizabeth McGovern in a lovely dress, Joanne Froggatt in one of those dresses that you know makes you feel like a princess right until the photos roll in and you realize your costars are Amazons and you have made a mistake about proportions, and Michelle Dockery, who is wearing a really great dress to which someone has inexplicably added one of those cutouts the vampire queens always have in their armor so the hero can get the stake through it.)
Thank the ladies of Downton Abbey, who are demonstrating several of the red carpet trends this year: lots of red, textured neutrals (and black!), some purple, and one really awkward thing in every picture.
In fact, let’s get right to the incomplete but completely nerdy Red Carpet Rundown, shall we?
This is, for me, a short post. That means only ONE bajillion pictures.
The Crimson Petal Division
So many red dresses this year, and so many in the same silhouette! (True story: I heard magical tales in high school of stores that would take note of your name and your school when you bought a prom dress, so that no one else from your school would show up wearing Your Dress. I do not know how this worked, but I am sure it happened. I like to imagine a huge stylist-spy ring at work before every major awards show, running an op next year, desperate to avoid The Crimson Petal Incident.)
WINNER: Martha Plimpton
The color is rich and has depth, it’s a fantastic amount of sparkle, and makeup that still looks like she’s comfortable. This look is seriously aces.
RUNNER-UP: Alan Cumming, in a truly marvelous look that’s awesomely suited to him, about which I only wish he’d had the jacket shortened a little so we could get a longer line on those pants.
Now, ladies, form a chain!
Nina Dobrev: Mermaid!
Sofia Vergara: Mermaid with one shoulder!
Sarah Hyland: One-shoulder drapey!
Angela Kinsey: One-shoulder over-the-shoulder! (Also, do the people who lend her these dresses not let her hem things?)
Lea Micheel: Over-the-shoulder cowl! (A bold move, since from the front this dress was much less interesting, but I suspect that if anyone is willing to look at people ONLY over her shoulder all night, Lea Michele is that person.)
Not Participating By Virtue of Ladies, Please: Kate Winslet.
…And The White
WINNER: Aubrey Plaza
When you spend your TV career in cardigans and skinny jeans and you’ve just been announced as the live-action Daria and you make a bid to be taken seriously on the red carpet, this is how you do it. Down to the symmetrical manacle-bangles, this look is amazingly precise.
The rest of the neutrals this year, sadly, did not fare so well.
Elisabeth Moss, who, despite having seen many pictures of herself at past awards shows in pale neutrals, continues to choose pale neutrals. I imagine her stylist filling a huge warehouse with gorgeous jewel tones, and Elisabeth bypassing them all and drilling a hole in the wall to get to the boutique next door that sells pale neutrals.
Cat Deeley, who I love on So You Think You Can Dance, even if everyone else in the world seems to dislike her. (You know who also likes her? All the contestants. Just saying.) She has worn some wonderfully weird clothes on that show. This is not wonderfully weird, but it’s a nice idea!
Ellie Kemper thought so, too!
And Maria Bello!
Jennifer Carpenter, who wants to remind you that even if her ex cheated on her with no-talent Julia Stiles, she is still completely bangin’.
Julia Stiles, conceding that round.
Christina Hendricks, who vacillates wildly between fashion-forward and “Jesus Christ, can’t anyone in this town design a dress that fits around a rack?”
Taraji P. Henson, whose dress would look less weird if the scrolly gold detail was not so directly framing her pelvis.
Rashida Jones, going for “unexceptionable,” which I think is a legitimate choice for a supporting cast member to make on the red carpet, certainly far better than a desperate grab for attention.
In related news, here’s Paz de la Huerta.
Let’s pretend that one time I said, “Fit is everything.” Julianna Marguiles decided to glue paperweights to herself just to prove me wrong. Touche, my good wife. Touche.
..And the Black
Kelly Macdonald. This dress is a little strange on its own, but it has enough interest to stand out in the sea of black dresses, it fits her like a dream, and she is loving it.
RUNNER-UP: Lena Headey
It’s not the best dress ever. However, she’s wearing the shit out of this dress, which is worth at least three other people who are uncomfortable in what they have on.
Kristen Wiig. Love it, even though it looks slightly like she just emerged from the Wonka Factory after a close call.
Naya Rivera, with bodice detailing I almost like. Killer makeup, though.
Michelle Forbes, who got my letter about how she ruined TNG AND Homicide: Life on the Streets with her Bizarro-Acting, is very penitent, and decided to one a teeny shroud on her skirt for each time she’s disappointed me.
Maria Menounos, in a dress I’d be in raptures over if it was anyone but Maria Menounous.
Kaley Cuoco, who tends to be a bit of a mess, pulling it together nicely!
Evan Rachel Wood, looking great. Second-best beaded dress of the night.
Christine Baranski. You wish you looked this glam, ever.
Anna Torv and her amazing face, having forgotten Chanel’s old adage about not matching your huge honking earrings to your lipstick before you leave the house.
Gretchen Mol, doing well with the Supporting Cast Principle.
Thanks for the laugh, Gwyneth. I needed that.
…And The Various Other Petal-Related References
And now we roll back around to the other side of the color wheel!
WINNER: Amy Poehler
“Hi, can I get a t-shirt, only make it go to the floor and cover it amazing deep-blue sequins so I look interesting and badass at the same time? Great, thank you!”
RUNNER-UP: Cobie Smoulders
“So now that I’m in The Avengers, I should make a bid for something stunning. Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown? Jolly old town!”
Kelly Osbourne. Love the top half; the bottom of the skirt looks literally pasted on.
Claire Danes, whose acting, like this dress, is a total Monet.
Stealth Jennifer Westfeldt! You wear that canary yellow, my friend.
Dianna Agron, going for Old Hollywoodtown and landing at Cravat Station somehow.
She should take a lesson from MISS BLANKENSHIP, looking amazing.
(Not pictured, because I couldn’t find one I liked: Laura Linney in a mini, trying to be a nursery rhyme and looking good in the process, and Tina Fey, who needs to keep whoever this new stylist is, because she looks slightly less like a hostage now when she’s on the red carpet.)
Not bad, everyone, all things considered! We’ll reconvene at the next major awards ceremony, when the stylist spies have had a chance to do their work again. Alpha Team Go!