Monday, September 23, 2013

The 2013 Emmy Awards Red Carpet Review

The word that immediately comes to mind as I think over the fashions I saw at the Emmy Awards last night is “divided.” Many of the gowns had a part that I loved but a part that I hated; or I loved it but my husband hated it; or the online reviews are split between loving and hating a gown; or I simply was torn between loving and hating a particular gown, for whatever reason. Here are some examples of the worst offenders (or are they the best? I’m still not sure).


Good Style, Bad Color


There were a number of gowns that had lovely cuts and silhouettes, but the color just did not work on the wearer. Anna Faris wore a vivid yellow gown that was a gorgeous color, but it clashed with her skin tone, making her look both sallow and pale, especially in combination with her platinum hair. I loved the full skirt, the not-too-high slit, the beautifully wrapped bodice, and the adorable lizard brooch at the back, but the color completely ruined the effect. At the opposite end of the spectrum was January Jones in a beige dress that vanished into her skin. I loved the pleated lace skirt with the solid panel at the hem and the severely structured yet flattering bodice, but the overall look was too washed out.

Top vs. Bottom


A number of gowns seemed to be suffering from identity crises, with tops and bottoms that seemed to belong to different dresses. Michele Dockery was a prime example: her red halter with giant loops at the back would have been lovely with a different color and cut of skirt, and her burgundy skirt with flat pleats in front and fuller pleats in back had interesting details like an asymmetrical hem and faux bustle construction, but it just didn’t work with the top. Likewise, Kate Mara’s white column skirt with a high slit was lovely and flattering (I even liked the pockets. Really!), but it was not in the same style as her bohemian crocheted top. It actually might have worked without the side-boobage, but as it was, it was too much of a mish-mash of slouchy and structured.



A few others had tops and bottoms that went together, but one part or the other just didn’t flatter the wearer. Amy Poehler’s trumpet skirt was a lovely silhouette for her, and I adored the charming Chinese dragons at the hips, with their tiny red tongues and fluffy feather details, but the top had oddly scooped cap sleeves and a matronly gathered collar that called for a more revealing skirt to balance it. Claire Danes, on the other hand, also had a lovely and flattering full skirt on her lace gown, but her top was a bit too revealing, appearing to be sliding down her body and successfully disguising any voluptuousness she may have. (In the interest of fairness, the open back was gorgeous even though it was also very revealing.)

One Little Detail




And then there were the gowns that would have been fabulous if the designer had left out one small detail. In the case of Kaley Cuoco, the sheer panel across her ribcage made her look very short-waisted and stumpy, whereas if the swath of color had continued evenly down her torso this would have been one of my favorite looks of the night. Julianne Hough nearly pulled off her very daring gown, and also would have been a knockout if she had opted for a short skirt under her transparent gown rather than what appears to be a pair of granny panties. Heidi Klum made a rare misstep with just a bit too much heavy-looking fabric at the neck, making her look top-heavy and disproportionate. And I could have forgiven poor Zosia Mamet’s stylist for leaving her beautiful watercolor gown hemmed to the wrong length if it hadn’t been ruined by the addition of a bizarre white bib and black pleather…what? Breastplate? Boob swath? Mini-kini? I don’t know what to call it, but I hope I never see one again. Ever.

Split Decision




There were a few gowns that those watching with me (in other words, my husband) and I disagreed on, and several that the online reviewers also disagreed on. Julie Bowen’s gown was a lovely color against her sun-kissed skin and hair, and the draping of the bodice and the fullness at the hem created a lovely silhouette, but to some eyes it looked very bottom-heavy and unwieldy. I adored Connie Britton’s teal velvet with metallic gold embroidery, but my husband thought the bodice looked unsupported and in danger of sliding out of place. Julia Louis-Dreyfus wore a shiny silver column that looked like thousands of sparkly mirrors at some angles but like bad 1960s crochet in others, and she could really have used a pop of color in a piece of jewelry or a handbag or some lip color to avoid looking washed out. And Christina Hendricks, whose figure I envy (although a figure that voluptuous has to be a nightmare to dress), looked both curvy and contained in her black dress, but somehow managed to also look a bit matronly and overly covered up. I’m still torn on whether I love or hate all four of these looks.

Clear Winners








There were quite a few gowns that hit it right on the money, though. My favorites of the night included both of the Deschanel sisters, who were charmingly color-coordinated yet each in her own unique style. More subdued Emily wore her hair in a classic updo with an elegant one-shouldered grey-blue lace column; bubblier Zooey wore her hair in soft waves with a simple ice-blue satin sheath with a deep keyhole and a high slit. Tiny Fey chose a simple trumpet-style wide-necked halter in striking cobalt that highlighted her gorgeous figure. Sarah Hyland’s deep emerald gown was covered with a layer of transparent black lace, which also served to fill in the plummeting neckline and add a hint of sweet demureness, and was gathered beautifully into a wide black satin belt. Alison Hannigan and my perennial favorite Carrie Underwood both wore deep purple gowns with similarly draped sweetheart necklines and even wore their hair in similarly sideswept loose waves, but Hannigan’s shiny satin gown was tightly fitted to the thigh then flared into a mermaid style, where Underwood’s skirt was a more traditional ballgown, wrapping its fullness into a black belt. And Sofia Vergara’s vivid red, tightly fitted to the knee, mock peplum, lace-covered gown was the most stunning look of the night, eliciting the words, “Va-va-va-voom!!!” from this reviewer.


Clear Losers


Of course, no red carpet critique would be complete without listing a few losers. By far, the two worst looks of the evening go to Robin Wright and Lena Dunham, who – sadly – are both actresses that I love, but who make frequent fashion missteps. Wright hides her lovely figure in a dull, black, high-necked, cap-sleeved column that, combined with her pale makeup and slightly sad expression, make her look like she’s on her way home from a rather formal funeral. And Lena Dunham, please fire your stylist for putting your lovely self in this awful gown. The fabric looks like a couch that’s been in a church basement since 1973, and the flat fullness of the skirt front adds 80 pounds to her figure. I actually love the cut of the bodice, especially the back with the open panel below the tie and the lovely framing of her tattoo (I’m not a big tattoo fan, but if you have them, make your clothes work with them, not against them). But the overall look is just unforgiveable. 

Fortunately, the winners far exceed the losers, and even the losers aren't as bad as they've been some years. At least this year no one was wearing this:


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