+ Award Shows

Emmy's Red Carpet 2012: The Oh-So-Ugly

With the airing of the Primetime Emmy Awards last night, awards season has officially begun.  But other than starting the countdown to the Golden Globes, there wasn’t much to celebrate.  The red carpet was a seemingly endless parade of bland dresses and hideous gowns.  But much like a fiery car crash, I couldn’t look away, and the result was the longest list of ugly gowns that I have ever compiled.

image c/o Getty Images

There were a number of mullet dresses on the Emmy carpet, but January Jones took it to the next level with this Zac Posen gown.  This is what I imagine Wednesday Adams’ wedding dress would look like, but even she would have had the good sense to wear less eyeliner.

image c/o Just Jared

Speaking of the Adams Family, Lena Headey came in Morticia Adams’ Mother of the Bride dress.  Never has a woman looked trashy and matronly at the same time until now, like a Frederick’s of Hollywood muumuu.  

And that lifeless gym ponytail only makes me more depressed.  What happened to the gorgeous tasteful woman who was at the top of my Best Dressed List last year?  

I nearly fainted when I saw this dress was Armani.  I don’t know how the same man who made Headey’s Queen of the Damned frock made the to.die.for hero dress that Anne Hathaway wore to the 2009 Oscar’s.  It just doesn’t seem possible.

image c/o Just Jared

“Those bleached out locks really bring out your features and warm up your skin tone, Elizabeth Moss” said no one ever.  

This dress must be from the Dolce & Gabbana Home Collection available at Kohl’s.  What other explanation could their be for a garish floral print with a high-low hemline and ruffles for miles?  Perhaps our friends at D&G were doing a subtle homage to Scarlett O’Hara and dressing Mad Men’s plucky heroine in drapery? 

image c/o Just Jared

Two dresses made by Italian design houses.  Two dresses made of upholstery fabric.  But only this dress, by Miuccia Prada, comes with a health warning that it may cause epileptic seizures in children or trigger migraines in adults. So bright, so busy.

And why not add the train? Three yards of eye-numbing fabric just was not enough.  

Beyond the print, there is one other think terribly wrong with Julianna Marguiles’ gown: the center seam running the entire length of her body.  Bisecting her body in that manner just makes her look wide and dumpy, two things she is not.   

image c/o Getty Images

Kristen Wiig is endlessly talented, just not at choosing red carpet attire.  Every awards show it’s the same thing, a nude ill-fitting dress that washes her out, and a pair of terrible and terribly boring shoes.  This year, she appears to have chosen her dress from the Miss Havisham nightgown collection.

image c/o Just Jared

Because I don’t have HBO, this dress and the clip of her eating cake while sitting on a toilet naked is my first introduction to Lena Dunham, so color me not impressed.  

While she’s really working the short, choppy bob, this Prada gown makes her look like a short, stout and scowling Little Teapot wrapped in a blue lace cozy.

image c/o Getty Images

Zut alors! Ariel traded Ursula her voice for real legs so that she could walk down the red carpet and find her prince charming.  Oh wait, it’s not Ariel, that mermaid could actually sing.  

No, it’s Julianne Hough famous for such box office smashes as the completely-unecessary-and-heartbreaking remake of Footloose, Burlesque and Rock of Ages.  You didn’t see those timeless cinema classics?  Don’t worry neither did anyone else.

Oh, and if I made a deal with a two-ton octopus to find my Prince Charming and the man waiting for me on land was Ryan Seacrest, I’d be eating octopus sashimi for dinner.


Before we get to my selection for worst dressed, let me say that the truly horrifying thing about last night’s red carpet, is that my Worst Dressed list could keep going.  

I could talk Ashley Judd’s prom dress, and the hairdo so tall that the FAA had to clear airspace over Hollywood & Highland.  Jena Malone’s black-from-a-bottle-of-Sharpie-fluid hair could have made the list.  As could Kelly Osbourne’s lavender dress and silver-and-lilac dye job.  And as much as I love Connie Britton, and I do, her Betty Rubble hair and unflattering sparkly frock proves that bad dresses really do happen to good people.  Better luck next time, Tami Taylor!

Tomorrow, the alleys of Los Angeles will be littered with the bodies of murdered stylists.  But even with this crop of ugly, no one was dressed worse than Portia de Rossi.

First off, let me say, that if this dress had been a gown, I probably would have loved it because I am a sucker for sheer and sequins.  But an ill-fitting jumper with pockets and a high waist pant?  Uh-uh.  

This bottle of champagne may be empty, but not even a good Roederer buzz can make this outfit look good.  And don’t even get me started on that white clutch and the pointy toe shoes.  This ensemble might need to be elevated to Worst Emmy Look of All Time.

So whose Emmy look gave you the shivers in a bad way?



  1. Ms. B says:

    Laughing so hard at the truth of these comments that my eyes are watering the begonia's. “the alleys of Los Angeles will be littered with the bodies of murdered stylists.” and justifiably so…and they got paid for helping these awesome women look absolutely awful! A capital crime indeed.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  2. Hannah says:

    I didn't like Emily Van Camp's dress. I thought it looked kinda matronly (sheer high neck what?), and the ta-tas could have used more support. I didn't like it at all, and don't see what people like about that dress. Even the color was nothing to write home about.

    And I second your Portia comments. I was surprised to see her dressed like that. I thought only Ellen wore the pants LOL

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  3. S says:

    Although I hated her dress, I actually kind of like Elizabeth Moss as a blonde.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  4. Marielle says:

    The only one I disagree with is Kelly Osbourne. Yes the combination of the color of her dress and her hair was a bit jarring but, I thought the dress was beautiful and showcased her body very well.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  5. XF says:

    I keep rooting for Kirsten Wiig to surprise everyone and show up in some amazing couture, but no. Balenciaga does nothing for her and yet she just cant quit them.

    Belle, what did you think of Padma Lakshi and Tina Fey? I loved both.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  6. anon says:

    Really like this. It is hilarious.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  7. Cat says:

    I don't disagree on many of these (Amy Poehler is my biggest disappointment – the combination of deep V and halter can easily look too unstructured on even the slimmest of women), but the tone on this post jumped from pleasantly critical into straight-up mean. No need to try to emulate the “my one liner is better than yours” Rivers and crew, Belle!

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  8. E says:

    Zootalore? Did you mean zut alors? Maybe you should try leaving the United States at least once before pretending you're even remotely cultured. This blog seems to get worse every time I read it.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  9. MidWestChic says:

    E – Come on down off of your high horse. JSYK, being cultured isn't just about leaving the US and traveling, its about having an understanding about the different cultures and practices in the world. You don't have to travel to do that. If you don't like Belle's blog, then don't read it. Actually, don't read it because the rest of us can do without your snarky, rude, and also seemingly uncultured comments.

    Belle – I seriously hope that awards season gets better from here… I mean, it can't get much worse, right?

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  10. Belle says:

    E-Also, I didn't know how to spell it, so I googled it and that is the response that came up. At 2:00AM, I didn't think to question it.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  11. giggling gourmand says:

    I'm going to have to agree with E on this one. If you're going to blog about how it's inexcusable not to Google quotes for correct attribution I don't see why you can't do the same for foreign spelling. I'm not saying we don't all make mistakes, but when you take a high handed approach to other people's mistakes you should expect to be called out harshly on your own.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  12. Belle says:

    GG: Like I said, I Googled it. I didn't think to question the Google results since that was the spelling that came up. I take responsibility for my mistake, and I'll change it.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  13. Lauren says:

    Well goodness, I'll try to leave a kind comment! I agree with Marielle that Kelly Osburne's dress looked great on her figure, despite her silly hair color! Julianna Marguiles is SO lovely, but she just never seems to make good red carpet decisions.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  14. Mags says:

    I have to disagree re: January Jones.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  15. Leigh says:

    Mags, I agree with you. I think her dress was gorgeous, but the makeup and hair were way too harsh.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  16. A says:

    So, wait, are pointy toe shoes out? I agree Portia looks whack but let me know if I need to stop wearing my pointy-toe work shoes. Thanks for following the style rules so I can read your Cliffs Notes version!!

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  17. R says:

    I actually really like January Jones dress, just not her styling.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  18. L says:

    It isn't obvious how to spell “zut alors.” It is obvious that wasn't Shakespeare. Come on. We all came here to be entertained on work breaks, and we are, and I can tell you I wasn't up at 2 am trying to write a post that will improve someone else's workday. Sheesh.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  19. Amelia says:

    Brava, Belle.
    to the other comments, I live for the review of fashion awards show! it's snark – an art form – and it is d*mn funny.

    September 24, 2012/Reply
  20. smith90 says:

    Watching the telecast – I LOVED Julianna Marguiles' dress. Seeing it in pictures – I don't like it as much. It reads much more upholstery fabric-ish in pictures. But I still think she looked beautiful, and full marks for choosing a print!

    September 25, 2012/Reply