The 23 Most Amazing Looks From The Emmys

The Emmys are unlike any other red carpet. First off, it happens in September, months after (or before — that's how backwards it is) proper “awards season” in January and February — so we get a healthy dose of gowns and glitz smack-dab in the middle of the year. On top of that, the biggest night in television brings together all of our small-screen favorites, which leads to some fan-fiction dreams coming true. (Amy Poehler and Tina Fey rubbing shoulders with the cast of Orange Is the New Black? Talk about #squadgoals.) The nominees pull out all the stops, bringing the drama to the red carpet with bright, daring, and show-stopping fashion. It's like the rush of a season finale cliffhanger in sartorial form.

Given the wide scope of television programming, this year's guest list — which includes everyone from sitcom giants to Netflix underdogs — makes for quite the variety in taste, personality, and style choices. So, like with any good show, there's something for everyone. You have classic drama in Aubrey Plaza's plunging-neckline-and-slit-skirt combo, too-cool-for-school custom Alexander Wang on Taraji P. Henson, and Tatiana Maslany's all-white suiting.

Without further ado, the most standout looks from this year's Emmys.

More Emmys news:
These 6 Stars Ditched Gowns For Fancy Pants At The Emmys
12 Emmys Beauty Looks That Killed It On The Red Carpet
Kerry Washington Wore A 3-Day-Old Dress To The Emmys & Won The #AskHerMore Red Carpet Game
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Photo: Mark Ralston/Getty Images.
What better way to kick off a red carpet than with some Delpozo? Joanna Newsom did the honors in a sculptural, layered gown from the Spring ‘15 collection. For accessories, she kept it minimal with Butani earrings and Irene Neuwirth cuffs and rings.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
She may be a first-time Emmy nominee, but Tatiana Maslany is certainly no red-carpet rookie. The Orphan Black star forwent a floor-sweeping gown in favor of a sleek white pantsuit by Bouchra Jarrar Couture, offset by a strappy pair of Sophia Webster sandals. Her matching blazer-and-trousers combo has all the glamour and sophistication you want from an awards show ensemble, with a little more convenience. (Seriously, think of how much easier bathroom trips are.)
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Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images.
Just when you think there’s little room for innovation in the “little black dress” category, Aubrey Plaza strolls onto the red carpet in a plunging Alexandre Vauthier number with a subtle hint of sparkle, courtesy of red Swarovski crystals dotted all over the gown.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
One look at Taraji P. Henson’s custom Alexander Wang gown and we were in love: the sweeping, sheer lace skirt, the cutout bodice, the chain straps...details almost as cool as the actress donning them.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Jaimie Alexander’s embellished-all-over Armani Privé gown was made to be photographed. No matter where she turned, its bold, sequined stripes caught the flashing lights from the paparazzi-lined red carpet.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
How to wear all-over sequins without looking like a disco ball: A guide by Sarah Paulson. The American Horror Story actress opted for darker navy and black embellishments for her custom Prabal Gurung gown for a more subtle effect.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
Don’t stare at Zoe Kazan’s trippy Miu Miu dress too long. Actually, never mind: The dizzying red-and-white print is too gorgeous not to gawk at.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
A girl after our own hearts, Kiernan Shipka tapped into one of our favorite runway trends and chose a Dior Haute Couture dress-over-pants ensemble for tonight’s festivities. That, with her Dana Rebecca Designs jewels and Christian Louboutin shoes, makes her a solid contender for our unofficial Teen We Want To Share Closets With award.
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Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images.
Custom looks are winning this year’s Emmys: Dascha Polanco’s Leanne Marshall creation has strategic slits all over the sheer bottom, which makes for strong poses and even stronger shoe stalking.
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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Maisie Williams consistently delivers on incredibly fun and sweet red-carpet looks. The Emmys were no different: The Game of Thrones star picked a dusty pink, quilted dress with a fitted pencil fit, paired with fuzzy slipper-esque heels.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Jessica Lange, ever the pragmatist, brought along her shades for the sun-drenched (and paparazzi-filled) red carpet. Luckily, acetate frames pair with everything — and it’s hard to think of what wouldn’t look great with her off-the-shoulder J. Mendel gown. The American Horror Story star stuck with a navy colorway for her accessories, carrying a Judith Leiber clutch of the same hue.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
In our dream world, Claire Danes and Taraji P. Henson totally coordinated their chain-detailed Emmy gowns. While it’s likely not the case, hardware is having a moment on the red carpet. Danes’ magenta-sequined Prada dress is held together strategically at the shoulders and sides by thick silver chains, echoing Henson’s Wang ensemble.
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Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.
Viola Davis is a winner on all counts tonight: Her custom Carmen Marc Valvo dress was an early favorite for its contemporary detailing, such as the high, round neckline and printed waistline.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
You know that feeling when you fall in love with an item at first sight and simply cannot wait to wear it? That still happens when you’re famous — except when you’re a celebrity, you get to pluck the piece straight off the runway. Kerry Washington debuted this Marc Jacobs Spring ‘16 dress just days after his show and months before it’s set to hit stores. What a life.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Tracee Ellis Ross does pink with a touch of punk in Zac Posen. This tiered style doesn’t go for subtlety in its seaming; instead, each layer is held together (and highlighted) by tiny cutouts, resulting in an extra-voluminous skirt with a bit of edge.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Elisabeth Moss joined the ranks of Pink Ladies (see also: Maisie Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, Samira Wiley) at this year’s Emmys, repping Oscar de la Renta on the red carpet.
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Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.
Lena Headey’s couture Zuhair Murad gown stands out from the rest of the bedazzled pack with beading that mimics the dress’ silhouette. A halter style is nothing new, but this particular design uses embellishment as a way to highlight the shape of the dress; it becomes more fluid the further down the dress it goes, keeping in line with its shape.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
The magic in Taylor Schilling’s bright Stella McCartney dress lies in the details. A pleated neckline is dotted by tiny golden beads, strung together (and held up) by a tiny strap that runs across the back. The skirt’s tiered hem resembles that of a petticoat that balloons up with every twirl — and reveals Schilling’s matching lemon Stuart Weitzman sandals.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Sophie Turner suits up in a Galvan one-piece, proving that the jumpsuit is the hardest-working item in any wardrobe. She accessorized her contemporary ensemble with classic accessories, including a Forevermark choker, Jimmy Choo box clutch, and Giuseppe Zanotti heels.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Samira Wiley is our red-carpet superhero in a caped one-shoulder column gown from Jill Jill Stuart.
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Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images.
Laverne Cox’s custom Calvin Klein Collection by Francisco Costa dress may look simple, but those side cutouts open up to reveal an intricate back that’s anything but basic. Plus, we love the idea of a back skirt slit, giving us a different view of Cox’s Stuart Weitzman sandals.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
The Parks & Recreation ladies know a thing or two about revamping the little black dress. Amy Poehler does cutouts right in a not-so-simple Michael Kors gown.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
What happens when you can’t pick just one awards show dress? Make like Naomi Watts and wear a double-sided frock. Her Dior dress is beaded in the front, floral in the back — and yes, it looks awesome from every angle.
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