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Adjusting the Brightness

Vivid Hues Step Out at the Emmys

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Katherine Heigl
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America Ferrera
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Debra Messing won quickest-off-the-mark honors at the 59th annual Emmy Awards Sunday night, nabbing a white-and-black Ralph Lauren dress fresh off the designer's 40th-anniversary runway for the occasion. Donning dresses from the Resort collections—which are of a slightly less recent vintage, but still way off-limits to noncelebrities, as they won't arrive in stores until late November—were Kyra Sedgwick in black silk faille Oscar de la Renta and Minnie Driver in chartreuse silk jersey Donna Karan. Zac Posen's seamstresses have been busy: Katherine Heigl and Mariska Hargitay both wore his gowns.

What stood out—amid the usual, safe parade of black, white, and red—were the sudden bursts of color. In fact, at times the red carpet looked not unlike New York's Spring catwalks, what with all the vivid, saturated hues. There was Julia Louis-Dreyfus in violet Narciso Rodriguez, America Ferrera in electric-blue Monique Lhuillier, Felicity Huffman and Sally Field both in shocking pink, and last year's favorite, Helen Mirren, in—what else?—royal purple. But the prize goes to Portia de Rossi, who looked great in a deep navy Azzaro gown by Vanessa Seward with a crystal-encrusted snake neckline so bling she hardly needed jewels.

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