September 23, 2002 12:00 PM

In keeping with the mood of the country last fall, the Emmy Awards adopted a toned-down dress code: “Dressy cocktail/business attire,” And what exactly did that mean? From the looks of the red carpet parade, no extravagant ball gowns, but anything else was fair game. Or was it?

COCKTAILS, ANYONE?

Just Right

She chose her nothing-to-hide Halston to “help the security people,” said Gilmore Girl LAUREN GRAHAM.

Too Nightclub

The invitation said 5:00, but ER’s MICHAEL MICHELE dressed for after-hours in Carolina Herrera satin pants and open blouse.

Too Garden Party

She won a trophy for her work on The West Wing, but ALLISON JANNEY (in Dolce & Gabbana) lost her way on the South Lawn.

Too Sexy

CSI’s MARG HELGENBERGER borrowed her Christian Dior before the dress code changed. Dior let her keep it.

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

Best of Both Worlds

We really like her! SALLY FIELD cut a sophisticated silhouette in a muted aubergine sheath by Heidi Weisel.

Too Choir Girl

Hey, Church Lady! Was it divine Providence that brought together MELINA KANAKAREDES with this prim top and Gucci skirt?

Too Serious

She’s used to going incognito in Alias, but JENNIFER GARNER took undercover to the extreme in a somber Gucci pantsuit.

Just Right

“I had other dresses, but this was nicely conservative,” said JESSICA ALBA, ever the Dark Angel in Richard Tyler.

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