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Best Fashion of the 2012 Emmys

Courtney Cox | Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Guests at the Emmys tend to joke that the event lacks the star power of the Academy Awards, but this year, what they were supposedly lacking in big names they made up for in style.

This year it seemed that the old pros were outshining the young scenesters who typically lead the way in terms of sartorial know-how. Nowhere was this more evident than in the brigade of middle-aged women who stood out in citrus-hued frocks.

It seemed this bright color was also a good-luck charm, because three of the biggest winners were all wearing some form of sunny gold.

Claire Danes was radiant in a Lanvin column gown that showcased her growing baby bump. Danes was honored as outstanding lead actress in a drama for her role in “Homeland.”

Another outstanding leading lady in gold was Julianne Moore, who took home the award for her work in “Game Change.” Moore wore a long-sleeved Dior Couture gown that had to be sweltering in the Los Angeles heat but looked beautiful on television, which is the goal, of course.

Julie Bowen from “Modern Family” was yet another golden girl in the best-dressed and outstanding actress categories. She wore Monique Lhuillier and paired it with bold statement earrings and loose, beachy hair.

One of the most underrated style stars at award shows is Kristen Wiig – perhaps it’s because she appears so naturally beautiful and effervescent in comparison to the crazy characters she’s known for on “Saturday Night Live.” This year she didn’t disappoint. She wore a blush-colored Balenciaga dress with a feminine handkerchief hemline and a delicate necklace and ring set from Fred Leighton.

One newcomer who outshone the rest was undoubtedly Allison Williams, who plays Marnie on HBO’s new hit series “Girls.” Williams is the daughter of “NBC Nightly News” host Brian Williams, but she was much bolder than the straight-laced newsman in her emerald peplum Oscar de la Renta gown. The architectural bodice was perfect for Williams and she stood out as one of the most stylish rookies at this year’s festivities.

However, Williams was not without competition. Her fellow HBO star Emilia Clarke was the picture of old school beauty in head-to-toe Chanel. Her stark white dress with intricate purple embroidery was simple and looked like an updated version of 1950s elegance.

Tina Fey looked better than ever in a burgundy Vivienne Westwood gown with a hint of baroque detailing at the neckline. She was stunning in a way that’s often unexpected from someone who plays a middle-aged woman most frequently seen in unflattering sweats.

Fey’s former partner in crime, Amy Poehler, also looked stunning in a black, beaded Stella McCarntney dress. Fresh off the news of separation from Will Arnett, Poehler looked beautiful, happy and – dare I say – sexy.

The most courageous award has to go to Jena Malone in J. Mendel. She wore a raspberry dress with a thigh-high slit and an intricate bodice that combined elements of weaving and drapery. Her metallic silver, ankle-strap shoes were the perfect hardcore edge that the ensemble required. The outfit was totally befitting of the young actress, who is currently filming the second installment of the “Hunger Games” franchise as the cold-blooded killer Johanna Mason.

These stars were just a few who exuded movie-star glamour in a small-screen field, but they kicked off awards season in a stylish, fashion-forward way.