By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The carpet was bright red and the night was L.A. hot, but the colors were whisper-soft, cool pastels and ultra-feminine at Sunday's 55th Annual Prime-time Emmy Awards.
From Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker in a strapless puff of pink on the arm of hubby Matthew Broderick in a color-coordinated silk tie, to the Sopranos' Joe Pantoliano in a white polka dot blue vest and tie topped with a blue Kangol beret, the beautiful people dripped with diamonds and did the couture crowd proud as they unfolded from limos at Shriner's Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Here's a rundown on some of the leading looks, many of which were donated to a charity, Clothes Off Our Back, to benefit autism.
In character: Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City dressed most like her character, the sexpot PR exec Samantha, in a backless, see-through shimmery number with a generous leg-slit and side cut-outs. Stockard Channing of The West Wing was first-lady proper and elegant in strawberry milkshake pink taffeta.
Out of character: Again Sex and the City, but this time it's Sarah Jessica Parker looking the opposite of her alter-ego Carrie who thrives on mixing and matching often-uneven styles in confusing combinations, almost always worn with stiletto-sharp heels. Carrie's uncontrollable mane was slicked back, neat-n'-tidy at the base of her neck and her gown was a tribute to femininity.
Most sophisticated: Debra Messing of Will and Grace passed up the stacked pile of curls she sometimes wears on the show for loose waves, giving the spotlight to her strapless pink copper silk brocade by Elie Saab Couture and satin Jimmy Choo handbag.
Black-on-black: Ray Romano of Everybody Loves Raymond, Matt LeBlanc of Friends and Carlos Bernard of 24 went monochromatic in black shirt-tie-coat combos and Ellen DeGeneres joined them with a black suit and shirt.
Tu-tu trials: Poppy Montgomery of Without a Trace was ready for a pirouette in a strapless teal ballerina-skirted dress by Richard Tyler that reportedly had zipper complications and had to be tied together at the last minute.
Sassy but sweet: Wanda Sykes of Wanda at Large softened her sassy banter with the crowd by choosing shades of blue in softly ruffled layers.
Outstanding wildlife: Joan Rivers somehow kept from sneezing in a cloud of feathers crowning her shoulders atop a slim, long-sleeved black gown.
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