The Emmys carpet wasn’t the only bold color this year — for a change.

ollywood finally got the fashion message to lighten up. A rainbow of color — from periwinkle to pink — reigned on the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards red carpet Sunday, with nary a star in black. It’s no surprise; after all, most of the stars took their dresses right off last week’s color-drenched New York spring runways.

Purple was the color of choice for Kristin Davis, Elisha Cuthbert and Marg Helgenberger, while Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Wynter, Joely Richardson and Allison Janney opted for shades of pink, and Lauren Ambrose, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox Arquette were in a blue mood. Meanwhile, white was still right for Alicia Silverstone, Megan Mullally, Kim Cattrall and Patricia Heaton.

Paula Abdul, who was busy judging the fashions as she walked into the Shrine Auditorium, said, “It’s nice to see color for a change.”

Ever the fashion maven, best actress winner Debra Messing chose a burnished rose and gold Elie Saab to match her hair. “I started the selection process much later this year, but this happens every time: I start putting dresses on and very quickly I start to realize what kind of silhouette and feel I want. This feels like sort of a modern Rita Hayworth.”

Sarah Jessica Parker had a similar epiphany about her pale pink Chanel couture gown, saying, “When I saw it, to me it was abundantly clear that this was the dress. I couldn’t believe that I had the opportunity to wear it because I think it’s like a confection. I love it so much!”

Indeed, almost everyone seemed enamored with their frocks. “Isn’t it divine?” gushed Poppy Montgomery as she twirled in her tea-length ballerina-like Richard Tyler. “I’m not even sure what color my dress is. I’ve heard everything from teal to aqua to sea green. All I know is that there isn’t another one like it.”

Even Jennifer Aniston, who usually adheres to basic black, surprised red-carpet watchers in her “last-minute” choice: a short, vintage blue Halston from Paper Bag Princess.Lake Bell, who also found her vintage halter at the Hollywood boutique, offered one theory on the evening’s color code: “I thought red was the new black. But what do I know? I was just trying to be different.”

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