32 of the best-ever fashion looks at the Emmys

Celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker make the Emmys red carpet a fashion lover's dream.

L-R: Sarah Jessica Parker; Claire Danes and Jane Fonda
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While we might associate the latest boxsets on Netflix, Disney+ and the like with sitting at home in our pyjamas, our attention turns to fashion when it comes to the Emmys, the celebration of the best TV of the year.

The biggest stars turn out each year, dressed in some of the best red carpet looks for the celebration of the small screen. And the awards have become an even bigger draw for lovers of fashion, as Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts and Jessica Chastain are just some of the glamorous movie stars who have made the move to TV over the years. 

Let's take a look back at some of the most iconic fashion moments in Emmy history...

32 of the best ever fashion looks from the Emmy Awards

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2000

Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2000 Emmys

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When it came to the 2000 Emmys, life imitated art. Sex and The City star Sarah Jessica Parker recreated one of Carrie Bradshaw's most iconic looks, with some extra tweaks that the character would've most definitely approved. 

SJP wore a baby pink, ballerina-inspired feathered concoction, courtesy of Oscar de la Renta, and added a matching flowery corsage-type accessory which she pushed up to her shoulder, causing the netting to float behind her while she waved and posed on the carpet. 

Joan Collins, 1987

Joan Collins in a red silk gown at the 1987 Emmys

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One of TV's reigning queens, Dynasty's Joan Collins, brought the typical 80s glamour with this striking evening gown. 

This eye-catching dress is quintessential of the legendary actress' trademark opulent style. She wore a scarlet red off-the-shoulder dress with oversized bows that drew attention to her neckline and fabulous diamonds. 

Made from a satin fabric, the dress caught the light and looked ultra-luxe. Not so much quiet luxury, but unabashed wealth and excess. Classic Joan! 

Michelle Dockery, 2018

Michelle Dockery wearing a blue gown at the 2018 Emmys

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Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery, perhaps best known for playing Lady Mary Crawley in the hit TV series, chose a vibrant Carolina Herrera for the 2018 ceremony. 

The romantic, netted full-length baby blue dress featured a dramatic floral pattern across the front. Michelle kept the rest of her look underrated and elegant, letting her hair down with a tousled fringe and next to no accessories.  

Claire Danes, 2016

Claire Danes in a gold, glittering gown

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The Homeland star looked every inch like acting royalty when she sparkled on the 2016 red carpet in a glittering gold Schiaparelli gown, paired with a selection of Forevermark Diamonds.

Claire’s backless, floor-length gown floated with her as she posed up a storm, and the gold hues looked heavenly against her lightened blonde locks.

Keri Russell, 2000

Keri Russell in a silver gown at the Emmys

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Wearing Armani, the Felicity actress stunned on the red carpet in 2000. 

With a plunging neckline and glamorous sequins, which caught the flashes of the photographers, Keri's metallic gown was so perfectly fitted, it almost had a painted-on effect.

Cicely Tyson, 1974

Cicely Tyson in a floral gown collecting two Emmy awards

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The legendary late actress Cicely Tyson won two Emmys for her performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman back in 1974, and she brought the spirit of the colourful, vibrant and artistic 70s to life in her outfit. 

Sporting a full-length, flowing gown with a floral print, the dress was loose-fitting and looked light and breezy. Cicely elevated the more relaxed dress with a chic updo and diamond earrings. 

Angelina Jolie, 1998

Angelina Jolie on the red carpet of the Emmys in 1998

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While she might be most famous for her work in movies (and her humanitarian efforts), Angelina attended the 1998 Emmys and was nominated for her work in the biopic, Gia.

Having played the role of Gia Carangi, one of the world's first supermodels, Angelina showed off some of the supermodel skills she picked up during filming in this chic Randolph Duke gown. 

Minimalist in the best way - and very on trend in the late 90s - Angelina's beige gown featured sheer detailing revealing hints of her long legs.

Halle Berry, 1999

Halle Berry in a crop top and long black skirt

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Halle Berry looked radiant on the red carpet for the 1999 Emmys - and proved that you can still look award-show-ready in a more youthful style. 

Choosing a two-piece, Halle's stunning ensemble captured the daring midriff-baring styles of the late 90s. 

She wore a crop top which featured ombré crystals, flowing from pink into a darker hue that matched her billowing skirt. 

Cindy Crawford, 1992

Cindy Crawford wearing a bustier and beret

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Supermodel Cindy Crawford made a memorable appearance at the 1992 Emmys, wearing a fashion-forward outfit which merged many trends of the moment. 

From menswear-inspired touches to a nod to Clueless' Cher Horowitz, she dressed in a black corset layered over a deconstructed white shirt, paired with a black skirt featuring a daring thigh-high slit. 

The model completed her look with a chic black beret.

Calista Flockhart, 1999

Calista Flockhart wearing a white shirt and a silk yellow skirt

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At the 1999 Emmys, Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart paired a silky, Ralph Lauren skirt with a simple white button-down shirt. 

She tied the shirt up at the navel to reveal her toned midriff, and she accessorised the high/low look with a diamond necklace and diamond studs. 

In 2023, Calista would actually dig out the sunshine yellow Ralph Lauren maxi skirt when she joined her husband Harrison Ford for the premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Nina Dobrev, 2011

Nina Dobrev wearing a red dress

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The Vampire Diaries star matched the red carpet in a crimson-structured strapless dress with an embellished mermaid hem.

Perfectly fitted, the star let her dress - and her body - take centre stage, keeping her accessories to a minimum. She wore a silver necklace which she paired with a matching clutch.

Sarah Paulson, 2022

Sarah Paulson wearing a structured blue shirt and skirt on the red carpet

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Nominated for her work in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Sarah Paulson almost committed a crime of her own – stealing the show at the 2022 Emmys. 

The actress played with shape and structure in a stunning custom Louis Vuitton ensemble. 

She complimented the blueberry-hued look with understated makeup and a simple striking red lip, with added sparkle from Boucheron jewels.

Jane Fonda, 2017

Jane Fonda in a pink dress at the 2017 Emmys

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In 2017, Jane Fonda was nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy for her work in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. But some of the best work might have been what she did on the red carpet, stunning fans with a switched-up style featuring a long-sleeve, custom, waterfall-back gown by Brandon Maxwell. 

The hot pink gown was eye-catching enough, but she added even more drama with a brand new, extra-long ponytail and fresh-cut fringe. Jane accessorised the hot pink colour of the dress with emerald jewels, including a diamond and emerald necklace draped down her back.

Sydney Sweeney, 2022

Sydney Sweeney wearing a grey floral dress

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Sydney Sweeney might be a relative newcomer on the scene - breaking out with HBO's Euphoria - but she channelled full Old Hollywood glam for the 2022 Emmys. 

Wearing a dreamy backless gown in a soft dove grey hue, Sydney wisely chose Oscar de la Renta to make a memorable mark. 

Featuring delicate metal embroidery and an elegant bustle train, the dress was reportedly a custom creation. 

Oprah Winfrey, 2002

Oprah Winfrey at the 2002 Emmys

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At the 2002 Emmys, Oprah Winfrey looked like a Disney princess come to life. 

Wearing a Bradley Bayou dress in a soft yellow reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast's Belle, Oprah's night was something of a fairytale. She took home the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, and gave a rousing speech, proving she can do style and substance. 

In her speech, Oprah said, "The greatest pain in life is to be invisible. What I've learned is that we all just want to be heard. And I thank all the people who continue to let me hear your stories, and by sharing your stories, you let other people see themselves and for a moment, glimpse the power to change and the power to triumph."

Kristen Bell, 2016

Kristen Bell in a floral dress

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Kristen Bell’s beauty was in full bloom at the 2016 Emmys, when she wore a Zuhair Murad gown. 

The stunning dress featured a plunging neckline and a full skirt, which was embellished with floral motifs.

Penelope Cruz, 2018

Penelope Cruz at the 2018 Emmy awards red carpet

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Penelope Cruz brought opulent, old-world glamour in a feathered, icy blue gown by Chanel Haute Couture. 

Looking like a modern-day Cinderella, the stunning actress (who was nominated for her work as Donatella Versace in The Assassination of Gianni Versace) chose a custom Chanel made of silk tulle, iridescent beads, and strands of feathers. 

Topping off the already ornately detailed gown was a bodice adorned with 8,000 pieces including white and iridescent blue organza flowers, beads, and feathers.

Kaley Cuoco, 2021

Kaley Cuoco in a neon yellow dress and matching heels

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Kaley Cuoco added a major pop of colour at the 2021 Emmy Awards, going for a highlighter hue. 

The Big Bang Theory actress opted for a neon-yellow Vera Wang dress, which featured a gravity-defying slit and two floral embellishments above the straps. Her sandals were in a matching neon.

Angela Bassett, 2021

Angela Bassett in a ruffled black and pink dress

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Angela Bassett was unmissable in a statement-making dress by Greta Constantine at the 2021 Emmy Awards. 

The Black Panther actress went for a bold pop of colour on the red carpet wearing a sleek black design enveloped by vibrant hot pink ruffles. 

She tied her look together with diamond drop earrings and black platform heels.

Heidi Klum, 2007

Heidi Klum in a purple Dior gown

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In a mauve colour, Heidi Klum looked like a vintage Hollywood vixen at the 2007 Emmys. 

With a strapless design and a high slit, the dress was sexy in a subtle way.

The gorgeous dress was courtesy of Dior by John Galliano, and the German supermodel matched her classic-looking dress by sweeping her hair up and showcasing a dazzling pair of earrings. 

Emma Corrin, 2021

Emma Corrin wearing a pale yellow Miu Miu dress and bonnet

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Emma Corrin shot to fame following their critically acclaimed performance as Princess Diana in Netflix's The Crown, and the star proved they were just as capable of making a style statement as the late Princess of Wales. 

In a moment of avant-garde daring, Emma swapped the typical glam of a voluminous dress for a custom Miu Miu bonnet and smock-style gown. Partly The Handmaid’s Tale inspiration, and partly editorial fashion, the Miu Miu design was in pastel yellow, and they paired the look with long fingerless gloves and drastically long nails, painted black.

Rose Byrne, 2013

Rose Byrne wearing a peach crop top and long skirt

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Rose Byrne's 2013 Emmys look was not an obvious choice - and serves as a great inspiration for anyone looking for tips on making a simple style look elevated. 

Wearing a peachy co-ord set, the simple but statement-making look saw her don a cropped halter with a straight, column gown. With just a hint of midriff showing, it was a fresh take on red-carpet glamour. 

The Bridesmaids star paired her effortlessly chic look with a wavy, youthful bob. 

Jane Seymour, 1991

Jane Seymour wearing a decorated jumpsuit

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Nobody expected this fashion moment from Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman star Jane Seymour. 

The former Bond Girl turned many a head in this bedazzled jumpsuit, which featured an array of graffiti-style hearts and motifs, plus a structured neck-brace addition.

Such a daring look could only come from the creative mind of Gianni Versace - and it was undeniably one of the most memorable fashion moments from the Emmys. 

Marcia Cross, 2005

Marcia Cross wearing an emerald green gown

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Desperate Housewives star, Marcia Cross, looked more diva than desperate in a show-stopping Elie Saab gown back in 2005. 

The emerald hue perfectly complemented her jewel-toned amber hair, and the body-hugging bodice opening up into a full, billowing skirt added a classic touch.

Letting the dress be the statement maker, Marica kept her fiery locks loose and natural and opted for a soft makeup look.

Katherine Heigl, 2024

Katherine Heigl in a red dress at the 2024 Emmys

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Katherine Heigl went full blonde bombshell for the 2024 Emmys. 

Wearing a show-stopping, red strapless Reem Acra gown, Katherine's gown appeared to be designed to look like oversized flower petals held together with a crystal pin at the waist. 

She topped off the radiant look with a Rahaminov diamond choker and a silver clutch. Her blonde bob was curled and coiffed into a deep side part for a touch of Old Hollywood glamour. 

Julia Roberts, 2014

Julia Roberts in a short blue dress embellished with pearls

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She's arguably one of the last undisputed movie stars, so it's always a thrill when someone like Julia Roberts does a stint on TV. 

For the 2014 Emmys, the Pretty Woman icon was nominated for her work in The Normal Heart. 

For the awards show, Julia wore Elie Saab Fall 2014 Couture. The fresh, playful number was a dark-blue shorter dress featuring oversized beading, a fun take on a peplum waist, and a plunging neckline.

Kerry Washington, 2011

Kerry Washington wearing a red gown to the 2011 Emmys

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Red is a popular colour for an awards show - not only does it stand out, but you know you won't clash with the red carpet. 

Kerry Washington fully embraced the bold hue in a Zuhair Murad beaded gown. 

The Scandal star paired her bright red number - which included subtle see-through detailing -  with Jimmy Choo platform pumps and Lorraine Schwartz jewellery.

Tessa Thompson, 2017

Tessa Thompson in a rainbow coloured dress

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Struggling to choose what colour to wear? Be like Tessa Thompson (of Westworld and Thor fame) and wear them all!

Adding multi-coloured merriment to the 2017 Emmy red carpet, the actress looked jubilant in a rainbow-coloured Rosie Assoulin dress. Featuring a high collar and cutouts at the waist, the pleated lurex gown was from the designer's Resort 2018 collection.

Yara Shahidi, 2021

Yara Shahidi twirling in a green Dior gown

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Yara Shahidi took inspiration from Old Hollywood for her 2021 Emmy Awards ensemble, wearing a green off-the-shoulder gown courtesy of Dior. 

The Grown-ish actress paired the vintage-inspired dress - which evoked the classic silhouette of Dior’s famous New Look style - with a three-strand gold beaded necklace and brown leather pointed-toe pumps and wore her hair slicked back into a chic bun.

Anya Taylor-Joy, 2021

Anya Taylor-Joy's pale yellow dress and bright yellow shawl on the Emmys red carpet

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Anya Taylor-Joy was, almost literally, walking on sunshine in this golden yellow look. 

The star of The Queen’s Gambit wore a very soft, pastel yellow Christian Dior Haute Couture halter dress with a dramatic yellow shawl.

She wore her hair up in an elegant, structured bun and added even more touches of luxury with Tiffany & Co. jewellery.

Jennifer Aniston, 2004

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt at the 2004 Emmys

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In 2004, Jennifer Aniston was nominated for the last time for her work in the iconic sitcom, Friends. For the red carpet, she opted for a simple, sophisticated look in white and gold Chanel. 

With subtle Greek motifs, Jennifer added an extra touch of Grecian goddess with her long, flowing hair. Added points for having the ultimate accessory on her arm – Brad Pitt. The couple, who were still married at the time, brought a level of supercharged star power to the Emmys and looked every inch the Hollywood Golden Couple.

Nicole Kidman, 2017

Nicole Kidman in a scarlet red dress at the 2017 Emmys

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Can Nicole Kidman ever really go wrong? If we're judging this on her best-ever looks, it would appear not. 

And, arriving at the 2017 Emmys where she'd scoop multiple awards for her work on Big Little Lies, Nicole delivered Hollywood elegance in a Calvin Klein by Appointment crimson pleated A-line dress. 

Featuring a pleated bodice and a sparkling silver halter neckline, she teamed the look with pink satin sandals with asymmetrical crystal straps.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

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