SAMIRA WILEY — As soon as I saw Wiley on the carpet I thought “Shut it down, people, we have a winner.” Everything about the “Handmaid’s Tale” actress’s high-neck, blush pink gown with just the right amount of peek-a-boo décolletage was worthy of the best-dressed title. The length of the gown gave Wiley the illusion of height, adding more power to her look. Speaking of power, her hair, which was combed back with a side shave, was an ideal contrast to the feminine shade of pink. Her “Handmaid’s” costar Elisabeth Moss opted for a similar soft color. Clearly neither actress would feel comfortable in red.
MILLIE BOBBY BROWN — The “Stranger Things” star could have arrived wrapped in a shower curtain and wearing a Halloween wig and hearts would still melt at the sight of her. Her costars made some downright bizarre choices for the red carpet, but Brown slipped out of the grungy “Stranger” hospital gown and into a Calvin Klein by Appointment high-fashion tutu cocktail dress. She was pulling off a full Portman in this look. If she wants to know how to dress for the Emmy Awards in six years, she can look to Kiernan Shipka, who wore the adult, sophisticated version.
JANE FONDA — In the “woman of a certain age” category, the looks ranged from Judith Light’s vampy, leggy black gown to Lily Tomlin’s basic, and basically disappointing, funeral-ready pantsuit. Then there was Jane Fonda wearing Brandon Maxwell. This is a controversial choice to go on the best-dressed list, but I loved that she showed no fear by wearing coral pink, a color not often seen on the runway, a sexy cut, and that hair. She had it all: bangs, a side pony made of someone else’s hair, and a plunging back adorned with a waterfall of emeralds.
SAMANTHA BEE — Let me tell you, folks, picking the worst Emmy look was the night’s biggest challenge. Debra Messing wore a brown disco table cloth cinched at the waist and Zoe Kravitz looked like a psychedelic ostrich. But the “Full Frontal” host’s emerald green gown lacked any jewel-tone sparkle. She arrived on the carpet looking like a human rectangle, which is not an easy thing to do. The gown was tarted up with some leg-of-mutton sleeves, which only made it worse. As did the chevron panels.
NICOLE KIDMAN — Nobody knows how to work a red carpet like Kidman. Her “Big Little Lies” costar Reese Witherspoon could learn a thing or two. Wear pants Reese! Kidman loves wearing red, and red loves her. In the past she’s taken the safe route in form-fitting gowns, but this year she played with both length, going above the ankle, and volume, opting for a fuller gown. The silver strap that circled her neck gave the dress another unexpected twist.
CLAIRE FOY — I was a bit confused by Foy’s evening jumpsuit with the over-the-shoulder full length cape and silver neck bow. I wanted to love it, mostly because I love Foy and the incredible work she does on “The Crown.” I also wanted to love it because the ensemble was channeling Liza Minnelli in Halston circa 1979. But on her big night, Foy should have gone for something more regal.
JESSICA LANGE and SUSAN SARANDON — The “Feud” co-stars went shoulder-to-shoulder on the carpet, and the winner of the fashion feud was Sarandon. She wore a scalloped neck, off-the-shoulder dress that bore more than a passing resemblance to the party gown that Bette Davis wore in “All About Eve.” Lange made a slightly less savvy choice in a heavy gown that bore a resemblance to a pair of thick velvet drapes.
CARRIE COON — It’s nice to see an actress who isn’t afraid to do something unique on the red carpet, but Coon should have been terrified of her gown. It looks like the ghost of a dress Raquel Welch would have worn to the 1974 Emmy Awards. Coon, whose work is enchanting on screen, deserves a stylist who knows how to treat a lady right.
Below are some more photos from the red carpet.