1 of 10
Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director: It takes a confident star with a strong sartorial instinct to wear a short dress – instead of the standard floor-length gown – to a major awards show, and I think Kate Mara is that star and this midnight-blue design from Elie Saab’s Fall 2014 Couture collection is that dress. Between the intricate beading, plunging neckline and peplum detail, it’s dressy enough to be black tie, but still totally fresh and unexpected.
2 of 10
Andrea: There are several reasons why this gown (from the designer’s Fall 2014 collection) is not right for an awards show: It’s black, there’s no embellishment and the mermaid silhouette has been done to death. Yet its simplicity feels refreshing, and with the right star (I’m thinking Julianna Margulies or Robin Wright) and a visit from the Harry Winston fairy, this look has the potential to be a total show-stopper.
3 of 10
Zoë Ruderman, Deputy Style & Beauty Director: I wasn’t the only one to choose this gown; Alex did, too, and we picked it for the same reasons (it’s unique, it’s edgy and it’s sexy without feeling ridiculous – this isn’t the Grammys, people). But we chose it for two different people: I selfishly want it for myself and Alex imagines in the one-shoulder cutout design. Since I’m not nominated and Claire is, I suppose I’ll let her get first dibs on the dress.
4 of 10
Zoë: When people ask me about my Emmys predictions, they’re probably expecting me to respond with shows or actors I think will win, but here’s how I answer: We’ll see a crop top on the red carpet. This two-tone two-piece from the new-ish-to-the-scene designer has a sophisticated, dramatic silhouette that balances out the youthfulness of a shrunken tee and makes it feel awards-show-appropriate.
5 of 10
Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor: Like Zoë, I picked this dress because I would love to wear it to the Emmys someday. (What? It could happen.) But in reality, I see Kate Mara nailing this look. Long sleeves have been a popular trend this year, and the liquid metallic feel of this gown is definitely an edgy, statement-making red carpet choice.
6 of 10
Brittany: When I first saw this navy-and-gold sequin design, immediately popped into my head. I know what you’re thinking: She would never conceal that cleavage. But hear me out: The body-hugging silhouette would still show off the Modern Family star’s amazing curves, and it’s definitely flashy (Gloria would be proud!). And is it just me or are you ready to see her in a different neckline?
7 of 10
Loni Venti, Style & Beauty Editor: Crimson is so dazzling against porcelain skin, so I’d love to see this red-hot number on Michelle Dockery, who doesn’t normally go this sexy, but could absolutely pull it off. There’s something old Hollywood about the design, but the plunging neckline and wrapped cummerbund give it a revitalized, 2014 feel. Michelle, if you’re reading this, go with tousled waves and a matching lip for a minimalist-chic vibe.
8 of 10
DOLCE & GABBANA
Loni: I’m in love with fall’s dark floral trend, and I especially like it on this off-the-shoulder creation. The juxtaposition of sweet and dark is just so eye-catching. And you know what else is sweet and dark? Piper on Orange Is the New Black. Taylor Schilling, you can call off your dress search – I’ve got yours right here.
9 of 10
Alex Apatoff, Senior Style Editor: Dior is known for its sweeping ball gowns, but I’m a bigger fan of the fashion house’s more minimalist fare, like this subtly shimmery white shift. Sure, it’s short, but the details make it special enough for evening, especially when worn by someone as effortlessly cool as Robin Wright – the icy-white hue and simple shape are right in her wheelhouse.
10 of 10
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
Alex: There have been practically no bold colors on the red carpet lately and it’s putting me to sleep. C’mon, starlets, don’t make Lupita Nyong’o carry all the weight! I’d love to see someone like in this sophisticated, sexy DVF gown – the shade is to die for, the flowy silhouette means the wearer can indulge at the dessert table and the ’70s vibe is sure to stand out in a sea of mermaid gowns (which, for the record, are also making me snooze).