Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum ramped up the sizzle Sunday night on the Emmy Awards red carpet that already had TV's biggest stars talking about just how hot they were because of the sweltering temperatures in Los Angeles.
Vergara wore a teal-colored gown by Zuhair Murad with beads all over and a cutout reverse halter neckline, and Klum chose a seafoam-colored gown by Alexandre Vauthier with plunging Vs from every angle on the top, super-high slits and not much left in the middle.
They helped fuel the trend toward bright, bold color that was also worn by pregnant Claire Danes in strapless daffodil-yellow Lanvin, Julianne Moore in a long-sleeve, stretchy gown and Nicole Kidman in a blue-on-white-beaded gown. All brought bonafide fashion credibility to the Nokia Theatre, but they weren't necessarily the favorites.
Hayden Panettiere plucked her sari-style Marchesa straight from the runway, and Gennifer Goodwin's flame-red-on-sheer-champagne strapless gown by Monique Lhuillier announced there's a new generation of style stars to reckon with.
Goodwin and Klum were early favorites of Louise Roe, Glamour editor-at-large and "Fashion Star" host. She wasn't crazy about Elisabeth Moss' printed, peplumed Dolce & Gabbana gown, which she said had a little too much "fussy detail."
And, Roe said, Emily VanCamp could have gone edgier than her still-lovely J. Mendel gown with pleats and hints of sexy sheer fabric. "She's young and has a killer body, she could have played around a bit more."
Zooey Deschanel had a manicure with little TV sets on her thumbnails — perhaps the kind of thing "E!" had in mind for its mani-cam that had stars walking their fingers down a tiny red carpet.
Celebrities build their fashion reputation largely from the red carpet, Lhuillier said, and they'll affect trends for color, silhouette and embellishments.
Lhuillier said Emmy gowns were already in the works earlier this month when she presented her most recent catwalk collection — one in which she declared "the ballgown is gone." Instead, she focused her full-length dresses in mermaid and other sleeker hemlines.
Not everyone watching TV will need a gown in the coming weeks or months, but when they do, they'll often turn to the brands they hear about at the Emmys, Oscars or Grammys, Lhuillier said. "That's what a red carpet does for a company like mine."
There's always someone who takes the high-fashion risk on the Emmy red carpet. It was Gwyneth Paltrow and her belly-baring, metallic lace number last year. It wasn't a critical favorite, but now — in retrospect — it seemed like the spark for many of the current runway trends.