Sure, it matters who wins the mantel-candy (and there were only, like, 175 nominations for Mad Men and Modern Family), but let’s be honest, we all tune in an hour early just to see what (or perhaps we should say who) everyone is wearing (cue the music). At this year’s 64th annual primetime Emmy Awards, the red carpet was awash with aquatic colors such as seafoam green and mermaid-style gowns that would make Ariel jealous. A mermaid-esque muy caliente Sofia Vergara nearly set off a style war among us stylists. Love it or hate it (and most stylists we spoke to hated it), she looked smoking hot, and her curves were flattered and fierce in the body-con Zuhair Murad cut-out confection. But, because most felt the dress itself fell flat, she didn’t quite make our list.

As a stylist myself, I’ve got my own opinions on who got it right. I went to several other celebrity stylists to get their take, too. Here are our top picks!

 

heidi klum

Heidi Klum
Perhaps the biggest fashion risk-taker of the evening, the Project Runway host left little to the imagination in a gown by Parisian designer Alexandre Vauthier. We could see her supermodel-sculpted arms and legs prominently on display, and if the slit had been a little higher, she’d surely have sent the censors into a frenzy. Not that we’re complaining. “The V-neckline is an instant silhouette slimmer because it draws the eye down, elongating the torso,” explains celebrity stylist Lindsay Albanese, who has worked with Paula Abdul and Kristin Cavallari.
Make It Work for You: As the saying goes, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. When it comes to eveningwear, pick your most-prized figure possession, and show it off. “That sky-high slit showed off her amazing legs,” Albanese says. Plus, blondes always shine in shades of blue. “Pastel aquatic colors on fair-skinned blonds are ethereal and graceful,” Albanese says. Eat your heart out, Seal.
 
 

tina fey
Tina Fey
Never underestimate understated elegance, as the 30 Rock actress proves. “She looked simple and elegant—the night’s clear winner,” says New York City-based stylist Hillary Cooper. “The warm maroon dress—the color of the season—sculpted her figure perfectly,” adds stylist Sam Russell, who has worked with Mad Men’s Jon Hamm. “Just a hint of brocade—another seasonal trend—at the neckline provided a nice frame for her clean makeup. You could not take a bad picture of her.”
Make It Work for You: Let a dress that's nipped, tucked, and tailored to perfection shine. “Have one thing in your look be your focal point, and keep the accessories simple," Albanese says. “When dressing for a big event like this, less is always the most memorable."

 ginnifer goodwin
Ginnifer Goodwin
While a citrus-hued Padma Lakshmi started trending early on twitter, it soon became clear that Goodwin was leading the tangerine tango in a Monique Lhuillier. “The contrast between the reddish-orange floral pattern over the nude felt very fresh and on-trend,” says Dina Cerchione, stylist for Ricki Lake.
Make It Work for You: “This is a lot of dress and not for the faint at heart,” Cerchione says. “If you aren't quite up for such a dramatic all-over pattern, choose an a-line skirt with a detail like this and pair it with a black turtleneck or a little cami and cropped jacket.” Albanese recommends adding an accessory we saw a lot of on the red carpet: belts! “Her dress nipped in perfectly at the waist so it didn't hide her figure, but it’s always a wise choice to add a belt to a busy dress like this so you don't lose your shape,” she says.
 
Honorable Mention: Julie Bowen
While her dress wasn’t even a blip on the radar for most of our stylists, the Modern Family actress (and Emmy winner!) stood out to me. Bright yellow was trending on several celebs, and I loved how the simple but perfectly tailored gown showed off the actresses’ amazing arms, beachy blonde hair, and, of course, her Hollywood tan. She looked fresh, young, and Cali-chic!
Make It Work for You: This lemon-color graced everyone from redhead Julianne Moore (in a mustard masterpiece from Dior Couture) to blondes Bowen and Claire Danes, proving it to be more sweet than sour! It works with an array of hair colors and skin tones, but, as this trio proved, be sure to keep the rest of the look simple and let the bold color stand out on its own. Simple gold accessories will suffice.

 

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