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Emmy's Red Carpet 2012: Better than Ambien

As you know, I have a thing for evening gowns.  Every awards season, my inner pageant girl gets extremely giddy at all the promise the red carpet has to offer.  So today, we set aside our regular programming for a sometimes-sweet, sometimes-snarky recap of last night’s Emmy Red Carpet.

There wasn’t a lot to get excited about on this year’s red carpet.  Frankly, if it weren’t for the truly hideous gowns, I would have fallen asleep before the ceremony even began.  Here is the list of dresses that were either close-but-no-cigar or a full on snooze-fest.  So much meh, so little time.

image c/o Just Jared

In any other year, Lucy Liu and her Robocop-Goes-to-the-Emmy’s frock would have ended up on the Worst Dressed List.  I love sequins, but even I have limits.  And paillette chain mail is where I have to draw the line.

That being said, the Versace dress does fit her perfectly.  No small feat when most of the actresses looked like their dresses weren’t even tailored.  And given that she looks smoking hot at 43, I decided to upgrade her to the middle of the pile. 

image c/o Getty Images

I’m sure Edie Falco’s high, sleek ponytail and curled bangs looked great until she hit the sweltering hot red carpet.  So I’m going to let the hair go.  

This off-the-rack Stella McCartney dress would be flattering with a better bra, especially given that the neckline shows off her toned arms.  But while I get what she was going for, the whole look just leaves me cold.  Hey, at least her stylist will still have a job tomorrow.

image c/o Just Jared

Last week, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were overloaded with the cries of thousands of young women heartbroken that Amy Poehler and Will Arnett were separating.  Because if two seemingly-normal Hollywood celebs can’t make it, who can?  Oh, right, not a good barometer for marital success.

Anyway, last night was Amy’s first solo red carpet walk so I was expecting pure awesomeness.  What I got was Stella McCartney does middle-America prom dress.  This black-sequined halter took bor-ing! to a whole new level and I loved the way the body-hugging fabric so clearly delineated where her Spanx ended and her slight muffin-top began.


image c/o Just Jared

Kat Dennings’ latest role is that of a smirking, Jewish-hipster Jessica Rabbit.  Her dress, held up with a combination of double stick tape and prayer, was made by J. Mendel.  And besides the cartoon-eye-popping cleavage, the rest of the dress is just meh.

image c/o Just Jared

I just want to take this moment to commend Zooey Deschanel for making the arduous climb from the pit of cartoony-twee costume dresses to the middle-of-the-pack.  So while this Reem Acra may not be epic, it is leaps and bounds ahead of last year’s Coal Miner’s Daughter ensemble.

image c/o Getty Images

Julie Bowen always seems to find her way into the runner-up category, and this neon-lime Monique Lhullier won’t help her snag the sash and tiara this year.  While the fit of the dress is flattering and the style is nice, the highlighter-brightness does nothing for her.  In fact, it makes her spray tan and blonde locks look overprocessed and a bit haggard.  Too bad.

This red carpet was a remedy for insomnia.  Melissa McCarthy’s dress looked like it was made from a black shroud, and Mindy Kaling’s gown looked like it was choking her.  The ladies from The Big Bang Theory hit a couple of line drives, but no home runs.  Christina Hendricks’ Rubenesque figure looked lovely in her gown, but the color washed her out.  And while there was nothing wrong with Julia Louis Dreyfuss’s gown, there wasn’t much to get excited about either.



  1. BN says:

    You just made my Monday! Thank you for your post-awards show wrap up! Can't wait for the best and worst lists

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  2. Virginia says:

    I agree with you on the dresses this year, Belle. There was nothing that made me sit up and say, “Wow!”

    My favorite was probably Melissa Rauch's emerald gown. It wasn't particularly daring, but it flattered her and was a very pretty cut and color (in my opinion).

    Love your red carpet commentary! ­čÖé

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  3. T says:

    There are many times when looking at women in evening dress for a special night -when they know they are going to be photographed-I always wonder…do they actually look at themselves in the mirror. Not with someone fondling all over them, pinning and complimenting them, but really take a moment of solitude, LOOK and decide if they think…they look fabulous. A gown should invoke a sense of elegance and royal presence. It should cause you to stand taller, chin up, elongate the silhouette from head to toe. Flat and unflattering…doesn't cover it. Belle, your observations are spot on and more eloquently ad “dressed” than my capabilities. Bravo!

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  4. GoGoGo says:

    My Monday totally needed some red carpet in it. Yay CSG.

    Mindy Kaling's does look a little unfortable, like she's being slowly, asymmetrically strangled. I thought Melissa McCarthy looked cute in her shroud.

    Mainly, they're just both adorable.


    September 24, 2012/Reply
  5. j says:

    I agree. the dresses were either beyond horrible or a snoozefest.
    One of the best dressed was Kiernan Shipka (who is adorable and fabulous in general). But it's pretty sad when a 12 year old can upstage everyone.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  6. Anna says:

    Can't believe you didn't mention Claire Danes's mustard yellow garbage bag! It's 2012, pregnant women are no longer limited to mumus. It photographed kind of meh on the red carpet but was horrendous on stage.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  7. Betts says:

    Melissa McCarthy always dresses as though she's trying to apologize for her body. She needs to work with a designer who knows how to dress plus size women.

    I know we always like to criticize the actresses for wearing this stuff, but we need to smack talk the designers and the stylists. They are the ones who are truly responsible for how bad their clients look.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  8. Aimee L says:

    Love your assessment of the Emmy's red carpet! I can't wait to see what Joan Rivers has to say about it…

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  9. Erica says:

    Amy Poehler's spanx were a serious issue for me – like they were a size too small and it gave her a muffin top where she probably didn't have one otherwise!

    Disagree on Julie Bowen – I thought she looked fresh and radiant.

    And Zooey was apparently dressed by Disney.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  10. E says:

    What the hell does Kat Dennings' religion and ethnicity have to do with her dress?

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  11. MidWestChic says:

    E – pretty sure Belle was referring to Kat's role on television… Two Broke Girls… maybe you've heard of it?

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  12. Sam says:

    Completely agree on Zooey Deschanel.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  13. Belle says:

    E-I was referring to her TV character and the cut of her dress.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  14. J says:

    I was totally slain for describing Zooey Deschanel as twee on a post about a year ago. Now it's okay, apparently.


    September 24, 2012/Reply
  15. A says:

    Amy Poehler's slight muffin top? Well she did just have a kid less than 3 months ago, so I think she looks pretty great considering that fact. True, it's not the most flattering or expertly styled dress, but for someone who posts as often as you do about body snark, I think that comment is a bit over the line.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  16. Jennifer says:

    Agree with all the Emmy posts except for Julie Bowen, Amy Poehler, and Claire Danes. I thought the dresses on Julie and Amy were great, but that Claire looked a nightmare in that shapeless dress.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  17. Belle says:

    A: I'm not body snarking, I'm saying the Spanx are creating a problem that otherwise would not exist. She'd probably look slimmer without the Spanx frankly. It's why I stopped wearing them.

    September 24, 2012/Reply