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our red-carpet scorecard from the emmys

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Brooke Shields   
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The night's two most powerful nomination magnets—Mad Men and John Adams—both plumb American history, albeit about 200 years apart. It's not unfitting then that there was a touch of nostalgia on the red carpet at the Emmys, as many actresses worked a no-fail formula for old Hollywood glamour: chandelier earrings, loose waves, and vivid siren gowns. Though Christian Siriano decried an absence of drama to E!, bold colors were in ample supply with Brooke Shields in fuchsia Badgley Mischka, Mariska Hargitay in marigold Carolina Herrera, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in salmon Narciso Rodriguez. Heidi Klum was one of the few to play against the type in an understated gunmetal gown by Armani Privé.

Some nabbed frocks piping hot from New York's Spring runways. Kyra Sedgwick wore a L'Wren Scott slim white sheath with jeweled straps, while Tamara Mellon (who arrived with boyfriend Christian Slater) stayed true to her allegiances in breezy sapphire Halston. Eva Longoria Parker's fringed and beaded number, just seen at Marchesa, was one of the few risks of the evening due to its sky-high hem. America Ferrera and Rachel Griffiths, who wore eighties Bob Mackie from Decades, opted for bona fide vintage. Others were merely vintage-inspired—witness Laura Dern's seventies-inflected plum halter dress from Bill Blass or Marcia Cross' fifties-style, full-skirted Elie Saab. Mad Men's January Jones, a girl who's spent enough time in a circle skirt, wore a white corseted Dolce & Gabbana, which gets points for being one of the night's more unexpected choices. Shades of Madonna's Like a Virgin tour? Perhaps—just call it a siren dress of a different kind.

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