RED CARPET RANKINGS

The Best Emmys Red Carpet Dresses of All Time

by Lauren McCarthy and W Staff
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Originally Published: 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Zendaya attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on...
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Each September, the best and brightest in television are honored at the annual Emmy Awards, bringing out the biggest stars in the world of TV, and, increasingly, film. And while the Academy Awards remain the, well, the Academy Awards of fashion when it comes to the red carpet, the Emmys also have their own history of glamorous, show-stopping dresses. Think Sarah Jessica Parker in a pink confection of a Chanel Haute Couture gown at the 2003 ceremony, or Blake Lively, in her arguable sartorial star debut, showing up to the 2009 ceremony in a plunging, red hot Versace number. There was also Jennifer Aniston doing boho chic in beaded Chanel in 2004, a pregnant Claire Danes in sunny yellow Lanvin in 2012, and Tracee Ellis Ross immediately going down in history in a fuchsia ball-skirt gown by Valentino Couture. This year’s nominees include stars like Emma Corrin, Anya Taylor-Joy, Elizabeth Olsen, and Michaela Coel—a list that all but guarantees that more fashion moments will be rolling around soon. Until then, a look back at the best Emmy Awards red carpet dresses of years past.

Jennifer Aniston
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Jennifer Aniston wearing Chanel at the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Sandra Oh
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Sandra Oh wearing Vera Wang at the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on August 27, 2006. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Zendaya
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Zendaya wearing Vera Wang and Cartier at the 71st Emmy Awards on September 22, 2019.

Lucy Liu
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Lucy Liu wears Versace to the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Issa Rae
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Issa Rae wears Vera Wang to the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Kendall Jenner
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Kendall Jenner wears Richard Quinn to the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Olivia Wilde
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Olivia Wilde wearing Reem Acra at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theater on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

Christina Hendricks
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Christina Hendricks wearing Zac Posen at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Blake Lively
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Blake Lively wearing Versace at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre on September 20, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

Connie Britton
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Connie Britton wearing Burberry at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Nina Dobrev
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Nina Dobrev wearing Donna Karan at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

January Jones
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January Jones wearing Jason Wu at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Jennifer Aniston
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Jennifer Aniston wears Prada to the 52nd Primetime Emmy Awards on September 10, 2000 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Michelle Dockery
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Michelle Dockery wearing Rosie Assoulin at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Emilia Clarke
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Emilia Clarke wearing Chanel at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Viola Davis
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Viola Davis wears Zac Posen to the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Elisabeth Moss
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Elisabeth Moss wearing Andrew Gn at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Rose Byrne
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Rose Byrne wearing Calvin Klein Collection at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Lizzy Caplan
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Lizzy Caplan wearing Donna Karan at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Allison Williams
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Allison Williams wearing Giambattista Valli at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Kiernan Shipka
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Kiernan Shipka wearing Dior Couture at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga wearing Brandon Maxwell at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kerry Washington
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Kerry Washington wearing Marc Jacobs at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Taraji P. Henson
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Taraji P. Henson wearing Vera Wang at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Priyanka Chopra
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Priyanka Chopra wearing Jason Wu at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Tracee Ellis Ross
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Tracee Ellis Ross wearing Chanel Haute Couture at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Nicole Kidman
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Nicole Kidman wearing Calvin Klein By Appointment, designed by Raf Simons, to the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Sarah Paulson
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Sarah Paulson wearing Carolina Herrera at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Tracee Ellis Ross
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Tracee Ellis Ross wearing Valentino Couture at the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Penelope Cruz
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Penelope Cruz wearing Chanel Haute Couture at the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Thandie Newton
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Thandie Newton wearing Brandon Maxwell at the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Regina King
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Regina King wears Elizabeth Kennedy to the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016.