Let's be honest: the Emmys haven't always been known as the most provocative of award shows when it comes to fashion. (You're not likely to see a pastied nipple à la Lil Kim at the VMAs, for example, and Björk has never attended the ceremony in a swan dress.) But, you will always catch the television industry at its classiest—and a few shocking style moments have been known to happen. As you get ready for Sunday's broadcast, let's take a look at the historic style moments that have kept us glued to the Emmys pre-show festivities regardless:
Diahann Carroll, Joan Collins and Linda Evans, then known as the power trio of divas from Dynasty, turned heads by turning up in outfits that referenced their characters Dominique Devereaux, Alexis Carrington, and Krystle Carrington. But they also showed a hint of their own individual personalities outside of the Nolan Miller and Bob Mackie creations they wore on the show.
In a sea of boring black tuxedos, the late actor Meshach Taylor from Designing Women was one of the sharpest suited men to ever grace an Emmys red carpet. Here, perhaps he was drawing inspiration from Prince?
Cyndi Lauper reached a hight note with this black-and-gold, lamé number. Note her coordinated bag and kinky shoes.
David Duchovny shut it down for the men that same year with an incredible Dolce & Gabbana suit and the face of faux humility; the X Files special agent knew he looked good.
If you're looking for your next couples outfits for that '90s party, look no further than Brad and Jen (she wore Randolph Duke). That's pretty much era goals on the Emmys red carpet, right there.
To help usher in the new millennium, Sarah Jessica Parker floated down the red carpet in balletic Oscar De La Renta and peak Sex and the City gorgeousness.
XOXO to Gossip Girl sirens Leighton Meester (in Bottega Veneta) and Blake Lively (in Versace) for picking up the couture torch from SJP on the small screen and at the Emmys, where they showed sophisticated styles.
We're not sure if this was intentional or not, but Claire Danes came close to looking like the Emmy herself in glittering Giorgio Armani Prive.
Mad Men's leading lady January Jones chose a stunning Zac Posen confection to break out of her show's retro feel and catapult straight into fashion's future.
Kerry Washington is consistently one of the most stylish people to grace the red carpet. She simply glowed in delicate Marchesa.
The vision of Laverne Cox in majestic Mark Bouwer managed to combine timelessness with a thoroughly modern moment.
It was hard to pick which spouse was dressed better when Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey came out in nude Zuhair Murad and blue Dolce & Gabbana, respectively.
Showing a lot of skin can actually be super classy, as American Horror Story actress Naomi Grossman showed last year in a number by designer Jun Escario.
Jill Soloway has helped push the gender fluidity conversation forward with her series Transparent, so her choice of a polka-dot suit from Bottega Veneta was brilliant.
Alan Cumming is the most stylish Emmys man from recent memory with this Vivienne Westwood ensemble. Who will top the cheeky Scottish actor this year?
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