The public loves its Monday morning quarterbacking about a red-carpet hit, and, maybe more so, a miss. (Yes , Lena Dunham, we’ll be talking about those oversized flowers on your dress.)
There are plenty of hits to mention from Sunday’s Emmy Awards — Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a beautiful metallic-beaded column gown by Monique Lhuillier, Rose Byrne in an of-the-moment cropped-top Calvin Klein, Emilia Clarke in chalk-blue Donna Karan, Zooey Deschanel mastering her signature retro look in thoroughly modern J. Mendel.
Plus some sort-of-hits: Claire Danes in a great champagne-colored, delicately beaded gown by Armani Prive had a bit of a Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar-winner moment. Both actresses seemed to not quite fill out the dress.
But this display of fashion finery on Sunday night actually gave us other things to talk about.
“It was all over the place … and not what you expect,” said Hal Rubenstein, editor-at-large for InStyle magazine. “It went all the way from extreme simplicity, Julianna Margulies in Reed Krakoff and Allison Williams in Ralph Lauren, to uber beading on Heidi Klum in Versace and Connie Britton in Naeem Khan.”
Joe Zee, creative director at Elle, says the variety is largely because designers and stars are really collaborating now versus the days when celebrity stylists would pull 50 dresses — and fail to make up their minds until the last minute. “Unless Bjork gets nominated, we’re not going to have one of those crazy fashion moments again.”
Here are five things to talk about from the red carpet:
—COUTURE CLOUT. Kerry Washington wore the finale gown from Marchesa’s spring fashion show — held just earlier this month. To get that dress out to Los Angeles, fitted just right and have the whole coordinated look in such a short time shows that Washington is the fashion world It Girl.
Jessica Pare also scored a brand new gown for next season, hers a blue strapless Oscar de la Renta, and Julianne Hough had a sheer silver Jenny Packham, but neither had the same impact.
—NEW NAMES. The best surprises of the Emmys red carpet-turned-runway are the names you didn’t know: Thakoon dressing Taylor Schilling from “Orange is the New Black,” Zosia Mamet of “Girls” in Honor, and Aubrey Plaza of “Parks and Recreation” in Marios Schwab.
Kiernan Shipka of “Mad Men,” who wore Delpozo, certainly is on the industry radar thanks to her not-too-young, not-too-old style, said Joe Zee, creative director at Elle. “She’s the kind of girl who cares about the clothes, not just the girl who wears them,” he said.
—SHORTER LOCKS. Danes, January Jones and Kate Mara kept their crops closer than we’re used to seeing. Elisabeth Moss reminded E! that she cut her bob and dyed it blond before Miley Cyrus.
—SIMPLE JEWELRY. Connie Britton said the Cathy Waterman baubles she was wearing were worth more than she was, but even her gold bangle bracelets weren’t in your face. And she had one of the biggest jewelry statements of the night. There just wasn’t much bling.
It was replaced by Moss’ onyx, diamond and platinum bracelets by Neil Lane, Tina Fey’s Victorian gold-pendant earrings by Fred Leighton, and Amy Poehler’s rose-gold earrings with fire opals and rose-cut diamonds. They were one of-a-kind pieces by Irene Neuwirth, but they seemed meant as accessories, not headline-grabbers. Sofia Vergara’s 100 carats of Lorraine Schwartz rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds were worth $7 million, but who’d notice with that body-hugging red Vera Wang?
—BYE TO (MOST) BEARDS. Men, for the most part, look good all cleaned up in their black-tie tuxedos, the equivalent of Hollywood’s Sunday best. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” heartthrob, didn’t bother. His jacket was white — albeit Armani white — and it looked like he hasn’t shaved since the show went on its seasonal hiatus many months ago.
Follow Samantha Critchell and AP fashion coverage on Twitter at @AP_Fashion and @Sam_Critchell.