Audiences tune in to the Emmys each September to see which actors will take home the esteemed golden statuette, but we also line up to get a peek at the red-carpet finery. Here, we have assembled 55 of the most noteworthy gowns in which actresses have graced our screens.
The selection of exceptional gowns is compiled from five decades of the industry’s acclaimed Primetime Emmy Awards show. Take a look at these charming dresses that absolutely steal the show.
Emilia Clarke 2019
Mother of dragons is not one to wear something off the rack for the Emmys and this dress clearly proves it.
The Game of Thrones Superstar sure knows how to make an entrance.
Brittany Snow 2019
We know it's an award show and not Brittany Snow's wedding, but why would that stop her from wearing this semi-bridal gown?
Very much on-brand with her last name, this whole look screams Snowhite and we love it.
Zendaya rocked up at the 2019 Emmy's in a mouth-dropping Vera Wang emerald dress.
The Euphoria actress in topped it off terribly elegantly with some stunning Cartier frosting
Mandy Moore 2019
The American singer, songwriter and of course, star of "This Is Us" certainly dressed to impress at the recent Emmy awards.
Moore showed up in a gorgeous pinky red satin dream made by Brandon Maxwell dress and Forevermark jewelry.
Thandie Newton in 2018
Wrapped in a sophisticated 60s-style cotton-candy pink single-shoulder gown, Thandie Newton was all decked out to receive an Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actress in the HBO drama Westworld.
The customized Brandon Maxwell dress features a dramatic off-the-shoulder cape, the look complemented by Harry Winston jewels.
Tiffany Haddish in 2018
If you think this double-sashed plunging rainbow ensemble is a lot of fun, you should see it twirl! The Prabal Gurung gown was designed to reflect the actress’s personality and her Eritrean roots.
Stylist Law Roach told E!, “. . . we just wanted to do something f—king fun and not really care what anybody thought about it.” The fashion statement went viral!
Zoë Kravitz in 2017
Appearing at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Zoë Kravitz was going for a fairytale look with this feathery-soft Dior Haute Couture look.
The magical dress, iridescent-like, changed colors as she moved.
Nicole Kidman in 2017
Nicole Kidman won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in HBO’s Big Little Lies, and she could not have been better attired.
The Rose Red Calvin Klein design tied in beads and knotted at the neckline flowed to the floor with a full skirt.
Millie Bobby Brown in 2017
Stepping onto the red carpet in a Calvin Klein by Appointment tea-length, strapless ballerina dress is British actress Millie Bobby Brown. The Alice-in-Wonderland look crafted by stylist Thomas Carter Phillips is accentuated with a silky ivory tie.
The Stranger Things starlet was 13 years old when she was nominated for best-supporting actress.
Priyanka Chopra in 2016
Priyanka Chopra made a splash “completing” the red carpet of the 68th Emmy Awards show with this amazing dress.
Designed to twirl, the Jason Wu design was adorned with one-million-dollars of Neil Lane jewels.
Emilia Clarke in 2016
The intricately-tailored gown made of tiny chain-link sequin proved weighty, like a dainty suit of armor. The nude-hue creation by Atelier Versace was Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke’s first pick off the rack.
She was nominated as best supporting actress for her role as Mother of Dragons.
Taraji P. Henson in 2015
Empire’s notorious “Cookie” stood out at the 2015 Emmy Awards show in a flowing, sheer black gown contrasted with straps made of industrial-grade metal chain.
An upside-down-triangle cut-out dots the bodice. She was nominated for outstanding lead.
Kerry Washington in 2015
Just days off its runway-premiere, Kerry Washington snagged this remarkable Marc Jacobs gown.
The sparkly chain mesh, three-quarter length dress with a high thigh slit and deep V-neck turned plenty of heads.
Kiernan Shipka in 2015
Amongst a sea of sophistication, enter Kiernan Shipka’s playful dress-over-pants ensemble. A dainty off-the-shoulder embroidered high-cut strapless over black trousers finish Dior Couture’s set.
A perfect fit for its 15-year-old model.
Lizzy Caplan in 2014
Lizzy Caplan surprised everyone with this dramatic Donna Karan Atelier gown at the 66th Annual Emmy Awards.
The black strapped dress, with open back and side cut-outs, is finished with a striking white train. Stunning!
Rose Byrne in 2013
The I Give it a Year star made an elegant statement at the 65th Annual Emmy Awards in a barely-salmon pink two-piece gown revealing the midriff but covering up with a high-neck scoop.
It first appears that Rose Bryne chose a conservative dress, plain and straight-line, but a second look shows the sophistication of Calvin Klein.
Michelle Dockery in 2013
Nominated for outstanding lead actress in Downtown Abbey, Michelle Dockery chose this dramatic two-toned, red and burgundy satin Prada gown.
Jewels by Fred Leighton completed the actress’s attire.
Tina Fey in 2013
Comedian Tina Fey donned a cobalt blue floor-length-flared fitted gown to accept an Emmy Award for Best Comedy Writing.
Dressed in a halter top custom-designed by Narciso Rodriguez, she was not prepared for the wardrobe malfunction that exposed her on top as she accepted her statuette!
Sofia Vergara in 2012
Sofia Vergara sparkled like a mermaid in a seafoam green halter top gown. Sequined up and down, the only problem arose when the zipper over her derriere burst, 20 minutes before it was time to join the cast on stage for Modern Family’s Outstanding Comedy award.
The wardrobe malfunction was fixed in time!
Julianne Moore in 2012
No one denies it takes a brave soul to wear this particular hue from head to toe. The Dior Haute Couture ensemble is actually a ball skirt and cashmere sweater separates.
Julianne Moore showed it off at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Allison Williams in 2012
Allison Williams looked absolutely ravishing in this emerald Oscar de la Renta gown.
The Girls star played Marnie on the HBO comedy-drama.
Jessica Pare in 2012
Jessica Pare graced the red carpet draped in this Roman goddess gown by Jason Wu. The Mad Men actress said she attended the 2012 Emmy Awards ceremony thrilled that the show was nominated for 17 Emmy Awards.
She sure looked worthy of an Oscar.
Zooey Deschanel in 2012
Zooey Deschanel from New Girl stunned wearing this Cinderella strapless in sky blue tulle. Forevermark diamond stud earrings and a pink marquise ring accentuated the Reem Acra gown at the 64th Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
It's a small step away from her traditional "quirky girl" look, but it's still charming nonetheless.
Nina Dobrev in 2011
Nina Dobrev’s cherry red Donna Karan mermaid-style gown dazzled at the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards.
The Vampire Diaries star’s dress was a fan favorite at the 2011 event.
Kate Winslet in 2011
Red gowns ruled at the 2011 Emmy Awards Show in Los Angeles. Kate Winslet sets herself apart in this Elie Saab cap sleeve V-dip dress.
The dress was tailored to the perfect fit, to collect her best actress statuette for her role in HBO’s Mildred Pierce.
Gwyneth Paltrow in 2011
Gwyneth Paltrow’s black-and-see-through Pucci gown with open midriff demanded attention.
Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler put it best. “I can’t stand next to her too long. She looks too good.”
Claire Danes in 2011
She would have to wait until 2012 to win best lead actress in Showtime’s Homeland. This time, Claire Danes was invited to the 2011 Emmy Awards to present.
The actress was nothing short of captivating in this sparkling metallic Oscar de la Renta strapless gown.
Kim Kardashian in 2010
Kim Kardashian charms in a flowing white Marchesa gown with wrapped bodice and an Egyptian-style neckline.
The reality television diva introduced the genre at the ceremony by performing a song.
Anna Paquin in 2010
The True Blood star arrived at the 2010 Emmys in a Roman warrior-esque, black and gold gown by Alexander McQueen.
Jewels from Lavande and shoes from YSL completed her adornment.
Chloë Sevigny in 2009
Boys Don’t Cry star Chloë Sevigny entranced red carpet spectators with a translucent polka dot gown by Issac Mizrahi.
The actress accented her sheer, one-shoulder dress with a shiny yellow gold bracelet and hip brooch.
Drew Barrymore in 2009
Drew Barrymore looked spectacular in a strapless dusty rose Monique Lhuillier gown.
She donned the elegant dress as a nominee for Outstanding Lead Actress in Grey Gardens.
Mila Kunis in 2009
Mila Kunis also went with a Monique Lhuillier gown. The Family Guy actress sparkled in the dainty burgundy tulle cocktail-length dress trimmed with a black waist tie.
The beautiful actress finished it off with Fred Leighton jewelry.
Blake Lively in 2009
Blake Lively made an appearance at the 61st Annual Emmy Awards in a plunging Versace gown.
The Gossip Girl knockout was not putting out any fires in this scintillating high-slit fashion statement.
January Jones in 2009
Versace also provided January Jones this elegant 60s-throwback. A geometrical bodice of intricate metallic beading and leatherwork cinch at the waist and flow to the floor into a tousled train.
The Mad Men star is simply ravishing.
Leighton Meester in 2009
Leighton Meester brings the Grecian goddess to life in this double-knotted Bottega Veneta.
The Gossip Girl finished the theme with a pair of yellow gold cuff bracelets.
Olivia Wilde in 2008
Here’s Olivia Wilde at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
The floor-length Reem Acra gown features a ruched bodice and capped sleeves in silver beads.
Mischa Barton in 2005
An elegant Mischa Barton presented with Adrian Grenier at the 57th Annual Emmy Awards held at the fabulous Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
The OC star donned a sophisticated Oscar de la Renta spaghetti strap gown.
Halle Berry in 2005
At the 2005 Emmy Awards, Halle Berry was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in the Oprah miniseries Their Eyes Were Watching God.
She dazzled in a sleek sapphire sweetheart strapless by Emanual Ungaro.
Jennifer Aniston in 2004
Who could take their eyes off of Jennifer Aniston in a white Channel column embroidered with gold beading?
She looked just like a goddess at the 2004 Emmys with a bohemian mop of tousled hair topping the classic gown with a tousled train.
Jennifer Garner in 2003
Here we have Alias star Jennifer Garner at the 2003 Emmys where she received her second of four nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
The actress, also known for the Dallas Buyers Club, graced the red carpet in a creamy halter gown with a chic sheen from bodice to floor.
Sarah Jessica Parker in 2003
At the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Sarah Jessica Parker glided down the red carpet in this strapless princess gown by Chanel.
The tulle gown with sparkly embroidery was donned by the Sex and the City star in a flattering dainty pink.
Debra Messing in 2002
Here is Debra Messing at the 54th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium. The Will & Grace star was nominated for a total of five best actress awards for the role.
In 2003, she took home the Emmy. Messing looked stunning in this elegant black Michael Kors gown.
Keri Russell in 2000
Keri Russell looks like a silver statuette in this Giorgio Armani gown highlighting a broad and deep V-neck.
Glamour magazine called it one of the “best Emmy red carpet looks of all time.”
Sarah Jessica Parker in 2000
Once again, Sarah Jessica Parker turned heads at the Emmys. This time she wore a playful pretty-in-pink Oscar de la Renta cocktail-length dress, including a flowery armband with a tulle train.
A fluffy feather-like skirt added to the look of sweetness.
Michelle Williams in 1999
The Dawson’s Creek star arrived at the 1999 Emmys in a soft pink ultrathin spaghetti strap full-length gown.
The sleek dress was adorned with a dainty beaded gossamer overlay. Sheer and chic!
Calista Flockhart in 1999
The Ally McBeal star received one of her three Emmy Award nominations at the 1999 Awards show. Calista Flockhart looked stunning in this stellar Ralph Lauren two-piece outfit.
The shimmering gold skirt resting on her hips matched with a bright-white casual-tie blouse makes “simple and savvy” sophisticated.
Lara Flynn Boyle in 1998
Nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in The Practice, Lara Flynn Boyle arrived in a simple but sleek column gown.
A dramatic straight-slant neckline with capped sleeves met dangling gems. She is a silver beauty.
Angelina Jolie in 1998
Angelina Jolie never fails to dazzle and amaze. At the 50th Annual Emmy Awards, the actress was nominated for two Emmys.
She graced the red carpet in this bodacious gold gown effortlessly addressing her curves up and down.
Helen Hunt in 1998
Mad About You star Helen Hunt picked up her third Emmy for her role in the popular comedy series at the 1998 Emmy Awards program.
She stepped up to retrieve her golden statuette in this spaghetti strap strapless floral print.
Katie Holmes in 1998
Dawson Creek star Katie Holmes looked adorable at the 50th Emmy Awards. The dainty shoulder-cap embroidered gown with white lace trim set the starlet apart.
A rosebud ruffled petite purse finishes the stylish sweetness.
Demi Moore in 1997
Bruce Willis accompanied Demi Moore to the 1997 Emmy Awards. She looked ravishing, as always, in a form-fit royal blue sequence gown.
The actress was nominated for her part in the made for TV movie If These Walls Could Talk.
Tori Spelling in 1995
Riverdale and 90210 starlet Tori Spelling shared the red carpet with BFF Jennie Garth at the 47th Annual Emmy Awards.
She looks lovely in a teal beaded tank-top bodice and long straight skirt.
Teri Hatcher in 1995
Desperate Housewives Teri Hatcher has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy as best lead actress at the 1995 Awards show. She didn’t take it home, but she won a SAG for the role three years running.
Here she is shimmering in an embossed silver column.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus in 1995
Comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld has picked up a total of 11 Emmy Awards for playing the unsurpassable Elaine, after being nominated a total of 26 times!
The 47th Awards show was not her night, but she won big donning this totally-90s black plunging corset-bodice gown held up by teeny-tiny spaghetti straps.
Jane Fonda in 1992
Jane Fonda strode the red carpet of the 44th Annual Emmy Awards in this slinky-sparkly black halter gown alongside hubby Ted Turner.
It took place on August 30 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Cindy Crawford in 1992
At the Emmy Awards in 1992, Cindy Crawford presented rather than received a nomination, but she hit a fancy fashion high note in this get-up. With a touch of black-and-white ‘80s nostalgia, Crawford’s tuxedo-twist ensemble boasts of a satin bustier and a high slit.
A black beret tops the creation.
Cybill Shepherd in 1983
Cybil Shepherd attended the 35th Annual Emmy Awards show held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in 1983. Back then, television programs Cheers and Hill Street Blues were basking in acclaim.
Shepherd looked absolutely bewitching in a deep V-neck sequin and satin ball gown.
Florence Henderson in 1970
The Brady Bunch icon Florence Henderson epitomized the era in this lacey and flowery see-through dress at the 1970 Emmy Awards Show.
Isn’t it oh, so, Carol Brady?
Mary Tyler Moore in 1970
Mary Tyler Moore looked perfectly beautiful in a ruffled asymmetrical gown.
The off-the-shoulder masterpiece made her shine at the 22nd Emmy Awards show in 1970.