ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

In a year which saw Game of Thrones achieve record-breaking success, Rami Malek redefine what it means to be a leading man and Sarah Paulson finally cash in on some long overdue kudos, it’s easy to overlook what the Emmys is really all about. Like every great ceremony, the pulsating heart of the Emmys is not the glory, or the disappointment of winning an award, or even the celebration of outstanding talent, no, it’s the glorious cat walk along the red carpet which sets the true pulse of the evening's entertainment.

With the eyes of the world upon them, the celebrity circus never fails to delight and disgust us with its fashion triumphs and travesties as the stars waltz, strut and stumble into the ridiculously raunchy sounding ‘Microsoft Theatre’ in LA. But how often do we spare a thought for the inspirations of the designers that lie behind these dazzling garments?

This year we decided to dig deep into the soul of the 68th annual Emmys best and worst dressed celebs to really understand what it is that makes us love and hate these outfits as passionately as we do.

The Emmys 2016: Best Dressed

Mandy Moore

Father of the Bride / Sesame Street
Father of the Bride / Sesame Street
  • Designer: Prabal Gurung
  • Inspiration: A classic multi-layered wedding cake and Big Bird
  • Result: A dress that manages to remain wonderfully pleasing whilst in both style and color despite being vaguely reminiscent of dehydrated urine

Priyanka Chopra

Inglorious Basterds / Blancanieves
Inglorious Basterds / Blancanieves
  • Designer: Jason Wu
  • Inspiration: A towering inferno and a passionate matador
  • Result: A dress that screams seduction, danger and desire. Most especially to bulls and open flames.

Kristen Bell

Days of Heaven / Jenny from the Block
Days of Heaven / Jenny from the Block
  • Designer: Zuhair Murad
  • Inspiration: Luscious prairie cornfields and J-Lo's green Versace perversion of a dress from the Grammys '00.
  • Result: Sixteen years ago most people thought Jen's jungle debacle was a sign of an impending apocalypse. It's a true miracle that instead of heralding the end times, it helped herald Kristen's delightful plunging prairie ensemble.

Emilia Clark

Game of Thrones / Angry Birds
Game of Thrones / Angry Birds
  • Designer: Versace
  • Inspiration: Her own naked body and a 'Hatchling' from The Angry Birds Movie
  • Result: Clearly wishing to make penance for his creation of J-Lo's dress, Versace has combined two of natures most perfect things: Emilia Clarke's naked form and adorable baby chicks and the result is astonishing.

Ariel Winters

The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
  • Designer: Yousef Al-Jasmi
  • Inspiration: Finding a muse in Kylie Jenner and fusing her with the art-deco draped Daisy from The Great Gatsby, Yousef created a simply dazzling dress which looked just as good seeing Ariel wear it only a week after Kylie at New York Fashion Week. Sort of.

The Emmys 2016: Worst Dressed

Anna Chlumsky

Jonathan Livingston Seagull / The Witches of Eastwick
Jonathan Livingston Seagull / The Witches of Eastwick

  • Designer: Christian Siriano
  • Inspiration: A common seagull and projectile vomit
  • Result: Having designed nine other outfits for this years Emmy's including dresses for Kathy Bates, Leslie Jones and Niecy Nash, Christian clearly allowed himself a bit of poetic license when it came to Anna. This 'garment' is either the result of his artistic vision becoming horrifically blinded, or an un-disguised message to the world of his clear and impenetrable hatred for Ms. Chlumsky.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

101 Dalmatians / Teen Titans
101 Dalmatians / Teen Titans
  • Designer: Carolina Herrera
  • Inspiration: Perdita from 101 Dalmatians and Killer Moth from Teen Titans.
  • Result: A blotchy frankenstein's monster of a gown which screams 'post- industrialization moth chic' more than any other dress in history.

Sarah Hyland

The Wind Rises / Le Signe de Zorro
The Wind Rises / Le Signe de Zorro
  • Designer: Monique Lhuillier
  • Inspiration: The airplane of dreams from The Wind Rises and Zoro
  • Result: Is Sarah getting ready to burgle your house, or is she about to take flight with her huge floppy, fabric wings? Nothing remains certain with Monique's fusion disaster of a design.

Hari Nef

Dante's Inferno / Christmas Vacation
Dante's Inferno / Christmas Vacation
  • Designer: Gucci
  • Inspiration: The deep, hellish depths of Dante's Inferno and Christmas wrapping paper.
  • Result: When one wears a dress comprised of bright red, naked babies to an awards show, one is clearly trying to send a message to the world. Whether it's a message of support for IVF treatment or a battlecry to take more of an interest in classic renaissance art however, we are still unsure.

Aziz Ansari and Amy Poehler

March of the Penguins / Ghostbusters
March of the Penguins / Ghostbusters
  • Designer: Pamella Roland
  • Inspiration: Slimer
  • Result: Whilst Aziz looks like a penguin as most males do at these ceremonies, Pamella Roland has managed by comparison to make Amy Poehler look like she is oozing green slime over both the red carpet and those within her immediate proximity. The true horror of this slimy scenario becomes even more apparent when Aziz's pained facial expression is taking into account as Amy oozes all over his hidden arm.

What were the best and worst outfits of this years Emmys?


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