Dangerous curves everywhere


The stars on the red carpet outside the Nokia Theatre were hot, literally, at Sunday's 60th annual Emmy Awards — and that meant the sweeping trend on A-list actresses was updos.

Heidi Klum wore one, and so did Mariska Hargitay. Same 'do for Marcia Cross, Vanessa Williams, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sandra Oh.

The perfect accessory? Dangling earrings, like Debra Messing's 19th century diamond fan-pendants from Fred Leighton.

There also were many strapless gowns — on the likes of Tina Fey and Teri Hatcher — and, in a nod to an emerging catwalk trend, asymmetric looks as seen on Christina Applegate and Williams.

But the looks were anything but trendy, sticking instead to safe silhouettes, boldly elegant jewelry and flattering colors.

Take, for example, Oh, one of the night's fashion winners, who has done time on a few worst-dressed lists. She came in a retro-style black lace dress by Oscar de la Renta with a ribbon sash and a few sparkles on the skirt. They matched her gleaming 5.5-carat (each!) emerald-cut diamond earrings by Bulgari.

Applegate didn't disappoint in her much-anticipated red-carpet return after breast-cancer surgery. She wore a dramatic, sweeping gown in ice blue with metallic patches.

"I think Applegate was one of the best dressed of the night," stylist Marie Alice Stephenson said. "She was glamorous, elegant, and she pushed it."

Christina Hendricks did her 1960s-era "Mad Men" character justice in a curve-hugging emerald green gown, which complemented her red hair that she wore in a up-style twist. Louis-Dreyfus showed off her trim figure in a salmon-colored Narciso Rodriguez dress with a fitted shiny bodice — complete with a sliver of skin showing under the bust.

Fey liked the color, too. She left her glasses at home, wearing her hair down and choosing a sexy sweetheart eggplant-colored gown by David Meister in what seemed an obvious attempt to avoid Sarah Palin comparisons.

Klum had the opportunity to take the most risks, as she was expected to adopt many looks throughout the night: She planned no fewer than six as she extended her red carpet walk in a custom Giorgio Armani Prive gunmetal metallic gown with a one-shoulder capelet to hosting duties on the broadcast.

Jennifer Love Hewitt — her hair in a bedhead bun — told E! that her white-with-black strapless gown by Herrera was an easy choice, and Williams' splashy white-and-black print dress by Kevan Hall had a jeweled strap that went from her shoulder to just below the waist. White also was worn by Kyra Sedgwick, whose dress by L'Wren Scott featured diamond embroidery.

Black is tricky on the red carpet because it doesn't pop, Stephenson said. "America Ferrera had a bold Fred Leighton necklace and a shorter hem — and that's the way to do it. If you don't do something spectacular with black, it can fall short."

Felicity Huffman sparkled in a split-neck silver gown as she showed off a sleek bob haircut, and Eva Longoria Parker wrapped herself as a gift to escort and husband Tony Parker in a short strapless number with fringed tiers by Marchesa. He wore a complementary silver-gray suit.

Samantha Critchell is a fashion writer for the Associated Press.