It was hot at the 64th Emmy Awards. The stars were nearly melting on the red carpet. Maybe that accounts for the unlikely color of the night: sunshine yellow. Here was Julianne Moore in one of the fashion gets of the evening, a yellow top and skirt from Raf Simons’ debut couture collection for Christian Dior. There was Claire Danes, front-runner and eventual winner of the Best Actress in a Drama trophy, in yolky Lanvin billowing gracefully over her pregnant belly. “It didn’t need any tweaking,” she laughed on the carpet. “It was bump ready.” By the time Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen, in chartreuse Monique Lhuillier, collected one of the night’s first awards, for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, well, it started to look like luck was a lady in buttercup.
Of course, that’s not to say there weren’t memorable looks of a subtler sort. Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a solid claim on the night’s best-dressed in wine-colored Vera Wang, making it almost extraneous that she took the Best Actress in a Comedy award—until you consider that, with it, her career-spanning three wins and 13 nominations puts her on a par with Lucille Ball, the most-honored comic actress at the Emmys ever.
Lena Dunham opened the Emmys naked, as part of the video sketch introducing host Jimmy Kimmel. By the time she appeared in the crowd at the beginning of the show, she was in a lacy, short-sleeve Prada gown, looking every bit as elegant as any veteran nominee, despite it being her first ceremony. High notes were struck as well by Tina Fey, in burgundy Vivienne Westwood; Elisabeth Moss and Julianna Margulies, a floral pair in Dolce & Gabbana and Giambattista Valli, respectively; and Amy Poehler, in beaded black Stella McCartney. Plenty of stylists were getting grateful shout-outs from their clients on the carpet and on Twitter, but Poehler had a very particular one to thank. She’d paired her dress with “a $2 adjustable ring from my child’s toy box,” she said. “He told me I should wear it, so I listened to him.”