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Lena Dunham Won the Red Carpet (by Losing It)

The ”Girls” creator and star wasn’t afraid to be her sartorial self on the red carpet this year

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Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 | Lena Dunham
John Shearer/AP

It’s been 13 years since Björk laid an egg at the Academy Awards. And if the Oscars’, Emmys’, and Golden Globes’ red carpets are the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Gowns, that’s nearly 40 nights of jewel-toned, fish-tailed, corporate-sponsored parade floats accessorized with borrowed diamonds and phonetically spelled designer names for E!’s Mani Cam (”MOH-neek Luh-HOO-lee-ay”).

Then Lena Dunham arrived at the Emmys. The actress, Girls creator, and author showed up in a blushing flotsam of Giambattista Valli tulle that Dunham described as both ”cake” and ”sweatpants.” We’ll go with cake. Frosted. Layered. Highly caloric and gloriously messy. Verified and unverified fashion critics pounced. The best: ”An inside-out Muppet.” The worst: ”Gwen Stefani’s wedding dress.”

While best-of honors went to Kerry Washington and Downton Abbey‘s Michelle Dockery — ”simply chic” — Dunham’s magic-carpet ride brought back a sense of fearlessness and (depending on one’s relationship with pink and red) color blindness to awards shows that actually made watching people get out of cars fun. (In two and a half hours of stars walking in dresses, don’t you need some surprises?) However gorgeous or hideous — take your pick — Dunham’s choices may be, they are her own. And for that, madam, you win.