Emmy Fashion: Red Hot Red Carpet

Every awards show, the talking heads always discuss how wearing red isn't a wise choice in the red carpet because it tends to blend in too much.

Obviously, the stars don't listen much to that drivel, and it's not true, because red was the color of choice for the 2011 Emmy Awards -- and many of the looks made you forget what color the carpet even was. Celebs that made red sizzle included Lea Michele, Adrianne Palacki, Kathy Griffin, Kate Winslet and Sofia Vergara, although there were a few crimson misfires as well (sorry, Angela Kinsey and Kerry Washington).

Other Emmy fashion trends included strapless and mermaid cut dresses, and long, wavy tresses. We also noticed lots of nude and champagne colored gowns -- not always an easy hue to pull off, and few had much luck trying.

But let's get on to the most important part, shall we? Here are the folks who should be thanking their stylists profusely, and those who might want to more closely evaluate their next red carpet appearance.

BEST:

Nina Dobrev -- A relative newcomer to the Emmys, The Vampire Diaries star arrived early and instantly became the person we'd compare all the other red dresses to on the red carpet. Her form-fitting, strapless Donna Karan dress was a stunner, and when the camera panned down, we loved the unexpected folded pleating details at the bottom of the mermaid gown. A beautiful but simple choker and loose, wavy hair topped off her look.

Sofia Vergara -- Oh, Sofia, is there a gown on earth that wouldn't make you look super hot? The Modern Family vixen definitely gave Dobrev a run for her money in the hot, red dress department. Her tight, one-shoulder Vera Wang mermaid gown hugged in all the right places, and we adored the contrast she added by wearing enormous emerald chandelier earrings.

Sarah Hyland -- It was hard to find anything wrong with the Hyland's romantic look, courtesy of Project Runway alum, Christian Siriano. The Modern Family actress looked simply sweet in this flowy, salmon, one-shoulder gown with a jewel-encrusted waistline. Long and loose curls and a bejeweled cuff topped off her ensemble.

Cobie Smulders -- We only saw flashes here and there of the How I Met Your Mother actress, and we kept wanting to see more. Smulders easily popped against the red carpet in her chiffon robin's egg blue gown, which was both breezy and sophisticated all at once. Not only was the dress perfect for her coloring, she made looking great seem easy. If only others had such luck.

WORST:

Julianna Margulies -- When she was interviewed on the red carpet, The Good Wife star said she still hadn't found a dress as of 9 p.m. Saturday. Perhaps that's why she ended up in this awful white satin number by Armani Prive. Its stiff, thick bodice -- adorned with crystals that were better suited to dangle from a chandelier -- looked like my toddler's one-piece floating swimsuit, which is stuffed with ugly layers of foam. When she walked, the bottom half of the gown lacked flow and wore like a half unzipped sleeping bag. This thing did nothing for her figure, either, and frankly, we were hugely disappointed. Start looking for a dress earlier next time, sister.

Jayma Mays -- Someone must have mixed up the Glee star's invitation in the mail, because we swear she was headed to a little girl's princess party instead of the Emmy awards. We could have lived with with the delicate sequined flower pattern on the top portion of her baby pink dress, but then we saw the bottom half -- a tiered tulle monstrosity -- and spied the childish bow barrette in her hair and little pink clutch. It looked suspiciously like what Teresa Giudice's daughter, Malania, wore to her fifth birthday party last week on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I'm sure Mays is a great lady and all, but grow up already, sheesh!

Alan Cumming -- Normally, the men don't get much attention on the red carpet, because hey, it's pretty hard to screw up wearing a monkey suit. That is, unless you're Scottish kook/actor Alan Cumming. The Good Wife actor and Emmy nominee wore a souped up tux jacket, paired with a pair of red flowered pants that could only be described as women's pajama bottoms or a one-time kimono.

Gwyneth Paltrow -- First off, we'd read really recent reports that Paltrow wouldn't be attending the Emmys. And when we saw her outfit, we kinda wished she'd stayed home. Her see-through, two-piece Pucci ensemble -- a cropped top and long skirt -- seemed both inappropriate for the red carpet and also reminded me a bit of a genie costume I wore on Halloween around 1996. And trust me, the latter part of that sentence is what's most troubling. At least she didn't go home a complete loser -- she did pick up the Emmy for her guest work on Glee.