Say one thing for the 2018 Emmy Awards: Celebrities tried to break out of the boring fashion rut that has so dominated the red carpet for the past couple of seasons. Bright colors were de rigueur. Styles were surprising. The cut of every garment was not more or less the same as every other garment. This was all good news. The bad? Well, there were a lot more “misses” on the carpet at this year’s Emmys. Accessories that looked just a bit off. Colors that almost landed. Shapes that verged on the clownish. Still, we’ll take it. Thank you, Emmy stylists, for trying something different. There was beauty in (nearly) every attempt.


Kristen Bell.
Kristen Bell.Jordan Strauss/Invision via AP

Kristen Bell didn’t score an Emmy nomination for her superb work on NBC’s “The Good Place,” though her costar Ted Danson did. But Bell’s simple and chic white column gown (so perfectly fitted, she could have been sewn into it) deserved an Emmy all its own. Her slicked back hair and diamond-drop earrings were just heavenly as well. Our only gripe: On a night when the carpet was so full of experimentation, the look was just a teeny bit staid.

Issa Rae.
Issa Rae.Invision for the Television Academy

Issa Rae has nothing to be insecure about. The writer-actress-producer, nominated for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her HBO show “Insecure,” is the toast of TV, and frequently kills it with her edgy-elegant red carpet style. But Monday night at the Emmys was . . . tough. Her Vera Wang skirted jumpsuit, encrusted with 3,000 crystals, was feminine and delicate, but the hue — a powder blue reminiscent of rented tuxes circa 1973 — didn’t quite work.

Sandra Oh.
Sandra Oh.VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

There’s no question: Sandra Oh’s velvet gown was going to leave fashion watchers divided.

The bodice — with its plunging neckline and jeweled cap sleeves and waist — was divine, as were the “Killing Eve” star’s beautifully tousled curls. But the long slit skirt had issues: Strange folds that seemed desperately in need of smoothing. And the shoes, platform sandals in the same matchy fabric, took the look from fashion to costume.


On “Game of Thrones,” Brienne of Tarth never worries about something so mundane as

fashion. She’s a warrior, and as long as she’s got her armor on and her sword in hand, she’s all good. Actress Gwendoline Christie didn’t opt for that look on the Emmy’s gold carpet — though, alas, maybe she should have. Christie donned a silky ochre gown, cinched with a tasseled gold cord and trimmed with strange pointy sleeves only Merlin could love.

While the gown was not one of the night’s best, her platinum bob looked badass.

Tina Fey.
Tina Fey.Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tina Fey’s gown typified Monday’s red carpet — pretty in many ways, but not every way. Or even (sorry, Tina) most ways. Yes, the neckline was lovely, the black lace trim so flattering and just a little bit sexy. Even the odd iridescent fabric was sort of cool and unique. But then . . . THEN . . . the belt. Really? A leather belt with a big oval buckle of the sort I happily wore in 1992 with oversize thrift-shop 501’s? But why? Why, Tina, why?

Hayley Kaufman can be reached at hkaufman@globe.com.