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Splashes of flash

A few mavericks stand out impressively amid a sea of bold reds, shimmery silvers and bare necks, while some lesser-known designers get their moment in the sun.

September 17, 2007|Monica Corcoran and Emili Vesilind | Times Staff Writers

APPARENTLY, the Emmy memo went out: No fussy, shellacked updos, bypass the bacon-hued faux tans, and be sure to don a variation of red or silver to blend in with almost every other attendee.

Clearly, not everyone got that memo, which, quite frankly, is a great relief. The Emmys have never been known for a risque red carpet, and this year was no different, with most of TV's finest choosing to stroll safely. With a host about as serrated as a butter knife, did anyone really expect otherwise?

For those who got the memo, "Heroes" actress Ali Larter scored in a simple, red, high-shine strapless Reem Acra column, while Heidi Klum channeled Grace Kelly in a structured wine-hued Christian Dior gown. Mary-Louise Parker, in a Dolce & Gabbana siren red satin corset dress that contrasted with her alabaster complexion, looked downright Raphaelite. Less thrilling picks included "Grey's Anatomy" actress Kate Walsh's brick-tone Pamela Dennis sheath that drooped around the bust and Felicity Huffman's too-revealing David Meister gown in murderous crimson.

Becki Newton of "Ugly Betty" was one of the evening's only real fashion mavericks, donning a silver mermaid-silhouette gown with delicious scalloped tiers. The effect bordered slightly on amphibious, but she pulled it off and added some high drama. "Desperate Housewives" star Marcia Cross also swanned in silver with a bold, platinum-and-white Halston-inspired gown by Georges Chakra. Eva Longoria, who opted to show off her knees, wore a silver sequined cocktail dress by Kaufman Franco that rendered her as shiny as a sexy hood ornament.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 31 words Type of Material: Correction
Emmy fashion: An article in Monday's Calendar section about Emmy night fashions said Portia de Rossi wore a vintage Azzaro gown by Vanessa Seward. The gown is from the current season.

The award show for the small screen is also fair game for lesser-known designers. "The Sopranos' " Edie Falco and Chandra Wilson of "Grey's Anatomy" probably furrowed the brows of fashionistas by wearing relatively unknown New York designer Randi Rahm. Vanessa Williams, a longtime, loyal fan of L.A. designer Kevan Hall, triumphed in a pastel green empire-waist dress festooned with frothy ostrich feathers. Vintage ruled too with Portia de Rossi in a deep-blue Azzaro by Vanessa Seward gown with an attached jeweled choker. Rebecca Romijn, meanwhile, affected a modern-day flapper in a drop-waist Guy Laroche gown with swingy, silver beading.

Most men exercised sartorial caution too. Is it that none of these guys know how to knot a bow tie? John Krasinski of "The Office" and "House's" Hugh Laurie stood out in classic tuxedos, while Kevin Dillon and Rainn Wilson looked more like nephews of Tony Soprano in shiny black shirts and wide ties. But it was Alec Baldwin, looking like a debonair, well-nourished James Bond in a white dinner jacket and bow tie, who deserved a nod for going old school. Oh, and kudos to victor Terry O'Quinn of "Lost" for courting ridicule with his flamingo-pink shirt.

Perhaps it was the eco-theme -- 95,000 plastic bottles were recycled to create the red carpet -- that spurred actresses to forgo hair spray. Long, tousled waves or straight manes with center parts dominated, and actresses such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kyra Sedgwick and Debra Messing styled accordingly. Unfortunately, a few from the dewier set like Katherine Heigl and Hayden Panettiere opted for dowdy, mother-of-the-bride buns. Alas, Charlie Sheen may have depleted some strata of the ozone layer with his mop of ceiling-high spikes.

If any more proof were needed that individuality didn't prevail, it was the preponderance of bare necks. Only Ellen Pompeo chose to adorn her clavicle with a massive gold statement piece. The decided lack of big, bold diamond necklaces made us pine for the days of "Dynasty" and "Dallas." Back then, small-screen stars didn't think so narrowly when they got dressed up. Then again, there weren't half as many critics keen on skewering their choices either.


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