From Downton Abbey to Mad Men, the small screen is having a love affair with period pieces as of late, and at last night’s Critics’ Choice Television Awards sponsored by Debbie Brooks, the same nostalgic attitude permeated the red carpet, with Emmy Rossum, Diane Kruger, and more opting for looks that harkened back to decades past. But while some gowns captured the best elements of bygone times, others were the wrong kind of retro.
Kaley Cuoco’sPaule Ka number had a ’50s prom dress feel, but the empire waist and embellished top weren’t figure flattering. Similarly, her sideswept ‘do clipped back with a barrette felt a little too forced for the occasion. Lizzy Caplan, one of our all-time faves, likewise went with a strapless, full-skirted silhouette, but while we adore the sherbet shade of her Oscar de la Renta dress, we aren’t so sold on the heavy wedge espadrilles and bejeweled clutch she paired it with.
Our top picks of the night were hands-down Kruger and Rossum (although our unexpected honorable mention goes to Maria Menounos). The German style star chose a ’40s-inflected Nina Ricci gown with a lace-trimmed sweetheart neckline, while Rossum looked farther back to the Roaring ’20s in show-stopping, Deco-inspired Naeem Khan.
Check out all of the looks below, and to see how last night’s showing compares to years past, see Julianne Moore, Christina Hendricks, and more on the 2012 red carpet, and Lucy Liu and crew at their super stylish Summer Party: