22 Gowns That Won At Last Night's Emmys

Last night, all of our favorite A-listers brought their A-game and looked A-mazing, but the real winners at the Emmys weren't Breaking Bad or Downton (um, robbed much?). Instead, we're cheering for Miss Shipka and praising Dame Danes — plus a handful of their fashionable peers — who skillfully demonstrated that the real competition was on the red carpet. From a couple out-of-left-field treats (it's exciting to see Piper, a.k.a. Taylor Schilling in the limelight) and a few no-brainers, like the incredibly well-heeled Kerry Washington, these 22 ladies really, truly brought it to the Emmys last night. (Sadly, the guy who nervously sidled behind Neil Patrick Harris did not make our list.)
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Christina Hendricks
Hendricks either knocks it out of the park or, well, doesn't, but last night's simple and curve-hugging Christian Siriano gown let the alabaster beauty shine. Black is basic, bold, and sometimes the best.
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Kate Mara
Sometimes it feels like Kate plays angel to Rooney's more devilish side, but it looks like she's amped up the drama with this J. Mendel gown. How can white feel so naughty?
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal
Gia Coppola
A short dress? At the Emmys? We do declare. We applaud Gia's fresh and youthful strapless number (made by her date, Zac Posen).
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Taylor Schilling
Well, hello Piper! This elegantly basic dress looked lovely from both front and back — and hinted at a cheeky bit of skin from the side — but the best part was its designer. Thakoon is not often seen at awards shows, so we love that Schilling is repping an NYC native.
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Linda Cardellini
Long gone are Cardellini's Freaks and Geeks days, though the actress seems to have only gotten better with time. Her wine-colored Donna Karan dress is both soft and sculptural, and she wisely keeps the accessories to the bare minimum with just a Rauwolf clutch, letting the design speak for itself.
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Zooey Deschanel
While we predicted Deschanel would wear prints (a safe bet), this sateen J. Mendel gown seemed to suit her better. Zooey opted for a more mature, simpler look, but she still kept her quirk with a glittery Edie Parker clutch (and even edged it up with a couple of saucy cut-outs).
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal
Robin Wright
Lest you forget that Robin Wright is a bombshell, she is bringing out a diehard Ralph Lauren number to remind you. Who knew a turtleneck could be so sexy?
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Photo: Stewart Cook/RexUSA
Laura Dern
Um, Laura Dern in Naeem Khan. Laura Dern in Naeem Khan. Don't tell any of the other ladies on this list, but she may have been our favorite for the evening.
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Sadly, this picture doesn't do this gown — and the ease with which Julia wore it — a lick of justice. The whole thing was shimmery but not glitzy, subtle but not snoozy, a true testament to the wearability of Monique Lhuillier. JLD has been nominated for an Emmy 13 times — and never has she looked more radiant.
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal
Carrie Brownstein
This may be, may very well be the first time we've written about Carrie Brownstein on the red carpet. And why not? Her striped column dress looks elegant, flattering, and so un-Portlandia.
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Rose Byrne
The normally raven-haired Byrne mixed it up by going blonde, and let a lighter, structural midriff-baring Calvin Klein dress augment her summer send-off. The muscle-tee silhouette of the neckline keeps the whole vibe from feeling too soft; instead, it is powerful and feminine.
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Kiernan Shipka
One day, we hope Kiernan Shipka teaches a master class in red carpet dressing. The Mad Men actress is only 13 years old, and already has the step-and-repeat down to an immaculate science. In a floral Delpozo, she looks totally fashion-forward but fun, too — and that's what it is all about.
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Photo: BEImages/ Jim Smeal
Mindy Kaling
In case you didn't know, we love us some Kaling up in here, so Mindy has to go pretty far off base in order to disappoint us (sartorially, that is. She would never actually disappoint us). Luckily, she stuck to a designer she loves, Georges Chakra, for a lovely cut-out design that felt fun, not overly busy.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/RexUSA
Michelle Dockery
While the trend of the evening seemed to be pale and neutral hues, Dockery stood out from the crowd in a burnt sienna-colored Prada gown and clutch. Once again, the return of the halter top cuts a strong, feminine shape, too.
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Photo: REX USA/StewartCook
Aubrey Plaza
This darker Mario Schwab look was so different from what we normally see from Miss Plaza, we found ourselves stunned (and pleasantly surprised) that she did something different. It might not make our list if it wasn't worn by her, but to see her thinking outside the box — with a simple Rupert Sanderson heel, no less — was refreshing.
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Photo: Stewart Cook/RexUSA
Claire Danes
Ah, yes, the woman of the hour, who has proven to be the Meryl Streep of the Emmys (kind of). Claire Danes' Armani Privé will certainly dominate every best-dressed list, because, hey: It looked amazing.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/RexUSA
Allison Janney
Allison Janney looked at her most lovely in this rich purple Lorena Sarbu gown, proving there is no age limit to working a cap sleeve.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/RexUSA
Elisabeth Moss
There is something basic and fundamental about Moss' Andrew Gn number. It hits upon all the red carpet no-brainers: black, white, and shimmery. Not off the beaten path, but stunning nevertheless.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/RexUSA
Julianna Margulies
Another example of a dress that looks lovely in pictures, but incredible in dynamic motion, Margulies' Reed Krakoff appeared actually fluid. She kept it simple with Fred Leighton earrings — anything else might have overwhelmed the simplicity.
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Photo: Matt Baron/ BEImages
Kerry Washington
Truth be told, sometimes we want to put her on best-dressed lists for events she didn't even attend, that's how much (and often) she kills it. Fortunately, Washington and her ethereal Marchesa actually were at the Emmys last night, so we didn't even have to pretend.
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Photo: Stewart Cook/RexUSA
Connie Britton
Ladies and gentlemen, here is an example of letting your assets work for you. The golden-red hues of the embroidery in Britton's elegant Naeem Khan dress (a popular label for the evening) not only match her hair, but her Stuart Weitzman clutch as well, buttoning up the whole look flawlessly. Also, that rich, royal shade of teal is deep without being muted, and a unique treat on the carpet. Lastly, Connie, we love you.
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Photo: Matt Baron/ BEImages
Kristen Connolly
A retro silhouettes with a modern see-through twist, the House Of Cards actress' Nicholas Oakwell floor-length kept with the neutral theme of the night. (Also, we love her super-straight hair, too!)