Los Angeles (AFP) - Monday nights were never supposed to be this fun.
The best of American television graced the red carpet at the annual 66th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles -- moved from a Sunday to Monday for scheduling reasons -- and there was no doubt what the dominant theme of the evening was in the fashion stakes.
Online and at the Nokia Theatre, much of the talk centered on Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the statuette of lead actress in a comedy for "Veep." She sported an eye-catching twisted and draped Carolina Herrera halter gown.
"I'm just as nervous now as I ever have been," said Louis-Dreyfus, who reportedly washed her flowing dark locks in the kitchen sink.
January Jones ("Mad Men"), in a Prabal Gurung ensemble, Giuliana Rancic and super model Heidi Klum -- who wore designer Zac Posen -- also all wore various tones of raspberry red.
As was Christina Hendricks, in a satin one-shoulder gown with floral embroidery by Marchesa.
Among the most eye-catching stars strutting their stuff were Hayden Panettiere ("Nashville") in a plunging silver gown and growing baby bump.
Transgender actress Laverne Cox of "Orange Is the New Black" stunned in a sheer white dress, similarly leaving little to the imagination.
Despite temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit), there was a distinctly conservative feel to the outfits worn by many of US television's leading lady lights.
"Breaking Bad" star Anna Gunn, in the running for the best supporting actress in a drama gong, wore a tasteful dress that combined sensible blue with white, with one shoulder bare and gold-colored shoes adding a glittering dimension.
Among the most eye-catching -- and controversial outfits -- was the one by "Girls" creator Lena Dunham.
She wore an enormous-trained fluffy frock that turned from pastel pink to increasingly fiery red as it plunged to her toes. That was complemented by a sensible pale pink blouse, a tattoo peaking out of her right arm.
Not that the Twitter world -- or some fashion experts -- were impressed by the outlandish number.
"Can someone PLEASE inform Lena Dunham that it is NOT okay to dress like a human-sized, partially-used fluffy tampon??" one Twitter user wrote.
The men were not to be outdone on what was the longest red carpet in Emmy history.
Bryan Cranston, up for best lead actor in a drama for hit series "Breaking Bad," had grown a pencil-thin mustache to go with his tuxedo.
"It's just a little something I'm playing with," he said of the dashing facial hair.
And Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey, going up against Cranston in the same category for his depiction of a disturbed cop in "True Detective," was also impressively attired, his black shoes dazzling in the late-afternoon dusk.