By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Emmy awards saw a sea of red and white gowns with sleek silhouettes on Monday, as television's top talent channeled golden age glamour for Hollywood's first red carpet of the major awards season.
Red, often a risky choice as it can disappear into the color of the carpet, was the favored tone for stars such as "Veep" nominee Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a column halter Carolina Herrera and "Homeland" star Claire Danes in a vermillion embellished Givenchy dress.
"Mad Men" ladies Christina Hendricks opted for an asymmetric vermillion Marchesa gown with gold accents and January Jones went for a full-skirted strapless Prabal Gurung gown. "Big Bang Theory" actress Kaley Cuoco opted for a strapless Monique Lhuillier with pink floral motifs, while Mindy Kaling wore a sleek custom Kenzo gown.
"Red is a vibrant, easy way for celebrities to wear colors that we've seen in fashion over the past year," said Eric Wilson, fashion news director of InStyle magazine.
To juxtapose the red, some stars opted for bold jewel hues, such as Allison Janney in a royal purple strapless Nicolas Jebran gown, "Orange is the New Black" star Samira Wiley in a yellow Christian Siriano column dress and her fellow star Taryn Manning in a vintage gold Azzaro strapless gown.
"The Voice" judge Gwen Stefani chose a silver skirt and top combo with gold metal accents by Versace, while Amy Poehler picked a silver low-cut metallic gown by Theia.
"This is the sexiest red carpet at the Emmys in years," Wilson said. "Fashion has elevated in the last few years, celebrities are owning the fashion and taking chances."
Monochrome tones remained a popular choice to stand out on the red carpet. "House of Cards" nominee Robin Wright led the all-white line with a backless white Ralph Lauren jumpsuit, while "Orange is the New Black" nominee Taylor Schilling wore a cream halter-neck beaded Zuhair Murad gown, saying she loved the comfort of the style.
Michelle Dockery opted for a cream dress with pops of blue and green by Rosie Assoulin, a trend also favored by "Girls" star Alison Williams in an off-white full-skirted Giambattista Valli gown.
"Masters of Sex" star Lizzy Caplan wore both black and white with her halter Donna Karen gown, while "The Good Wife" actress Julianna Margulies spun a twist on black with a beaded Narciso Rodriguez column dress.
Sarah Paulson created red carpet drama with a black Armani Prive strapless gown that had exaggerated overlay of embroidered netting, which got the star caught on hedges lining the red carpet. Julia Roberts skipped the long gown trend for a short leg-baring sequined navy Elie Saab dress.
And then there are the outfits that split fashion critics, which this year was "Girls" star Lena Dunham's pale pink shirt and multi-tiered full skirt by Giambattista Valli.
Wilson praised Dunham for taking a risk, saying "Lena looked amazing, it's really fun color trend and with features, it's bubbly and fun, very much her personality."
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Ken Wills)