The Emmys are back on Sept. 19, 2021! In honor of television's glitziest night, Wonderwall.com is rewinding to the 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards — which took place 20 years ago in November, as the show was delayed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks — to take a look at how TV's greatest dressed for the big night, starting with Debra Messing. In 2001, Debra was nominated for an Emmy for her work on "Will & Grace." She walked the red carpet in a sparkly black shift dress with an expanded white hem paired with high black boots.
For more Emmys fashion from 2001, keep reading…
For the 2001 Emmys, Lauren Graham went with an asymmetrical, one-shouldered gown covered in black lace in a floral pattern.
Jessica Alba looked professional at the 2001 Emmys, which that year were held at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles. The then-20-year-old star wore a black knee-length dress with a long blazer-style coat over it and peep-toe heels, also in black.
Barbra Streisand, who performed at the Emmys, wore an off-the shoulder black gown with a matching choker necklace. She paired the dress with black pantyhose, something not often seen on today's red carpets.
Jean Smart, who took home an Emmy for her work on "Frasier" that year, was another highly professional-looking actress on the red carpet. Jean wore a gray pinstriped suit with a silk shell underneath. She also pinned a red, white and blue ribbon on her lapel to honor the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, which happened only two months earlier.
Nancy O'Dell showed off her patriotism in a white sequined T-shirt featuring the American flag paired with a black blazer and tailored pants. That year, the Emmys were twice rescheduled, as the original date, Sept. 16, 2001, was too soon after the 9/11 terror attacks and the second proposed date, Oct. 7, 2001, was when the War in Afghanistan began.
"Frasier" star Jane Leeves donned a shiny gold dress covered with white flowers and a jacket made from the same fabric.
Patricia Heaton, who won an Emmy for her work on "Everybody Loves Raymond" that year, accepted her trophy in a silky brown dress with a twist detail over her midriff. She paired the tea-length dress with matching brown shoes and an ornate necklace.
Kim Cattrall dressed a bit more conservatively than her on-screen alter ego, Samantha Jones, who earned her an Emmy nom that year for "Sex and The City." Kim wore a highly ruched slightly sheer black dress that fell to the knee and paired it with open-toed kitten heels.
Edie Falco was all smiles the night she took home top honors for her performance as a mob wife on "The Sopranos." Like many on the red carpet that evening, Edie kept it conservative in a blazer and black dress pants.
"The West Wing" star Allison Janney took home an Emmy statuette while wearing a black knee-length dress with pink and white lilies all over it. She paired the frock with peep-toe heels, a black satin wrap and a patriotic red, white and blue ribbon.
Shaun Robinson opted for the super-popular conservative look favored by ladies on the red carpet that year. She arrived in a blazer matched with a skirt and her kept her accessories to a minimum.
Calista Flockhart looked ready more for a suburban night on the town than she did the Emmys when she presented in a white peasant blouse paired with a champagne-colored high-low fitted skirt.
Kristin Davis went for a more playful look than most at the 2001 Emmys. The "Sex and the City" star wore an off-the-shoulder black dress that was cinched at the waist and styled with black high heels and playful curly hair.
Holly Hunter and Sally Field both showed some shoulder back in 2001. The pals, who were both nominated for Emmys that year (Holly for two, and Sally for one that she won!), walked the red carpet hand in hand, with Sally wearing an eggplant off-the-shoulder top with a thin satin ribbon as a belt and matching sequined skirt and purse and Holly in a black sheer one-shouldered dress with clunky black shoes.
Joan Rivers and Melissa Rivers brought the glitz to their favorite place — the red carpet. Joan wore an off-the-shoulder silver dress with a deep scoop neck while Melissa opted for a more casual look — a black tank top with sparkly straps and low-rise wide-legged black sequined pants.
Nominee Marg Helgenberger picked a classic black slip-style gown when she was honored for her role on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." The sheer fabric and knee-high slit in the gown added a touch of flair.
Aisha Tyler was another pants-wearing star at the 2001 Emmys, which were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Aisha wore a lime green sequined tube top with black tailored pants (where she pinned her 9/11 ribbon) and matching lime green and pink sandals.
Leah Remini looked glamorous in a black lace dress at the Emmys on Nov. 4, 2001. She accessorized her super-feminine frock with simple sparkling diamond earrings and a delicate necklace.
"Judging Amy" star and Emmy nominee Amy Brenneman selected a lengthy black strapless top with matching flowing pants 20 years ago and added a long black jacket. And yes, she's carrying a wristlet purse — that's not something you'd see on today's red carpets!
Carla Gallo wore a dress that could work as easily in 2021 as it did in 2001. The actress selected a gorgeous blue tank-style dress with thin straps and a scalloped bustline. The only things aging her look are those round-toed heels and boring black bag.
Rachel Griffiths' look at the 2001 Emmys looked a little off-kilter: The Australian actress wore a half-off-the-shoulder LBD with a pair of pantyhose. The one element we loved? Her strappy black heels.
Janel Moloney wore a gorgeous dark dress to the 2001 Emmys. The "West Wing" actress's frock featured teardrop cut-outs along her chest and sparkly lace embellishments along the hem.
Maura Tierney, who was nominated for her work on "ER" in 2001, looked ready for a board room meeting as she walked the Emmys red carpet, though she did manage to infuse a bit of playfulness. The actress wore an oversized black suit with a red half-unbuttoned blouse underneath and paired the look with large gold earrings and red lipstick.
Mary Tyler Moore was all smiles in her long-sleeved LBD at the 2001 Emmys. The actress jazzed up her look with a massive sparkly dragonfly brooch on her shoulder and copper shoes that looked like ballet slippers with a heel.
Sela Ward looked beautiful in glamorous separates the night she was nominated for her work on "Once and Again." Sela paired black satin trousers featuring a large bow as a belt with a black V-neck blouse, a long, sparkly necklace and glittering heeled sandals. The look was simple but still exuded elegance.
Michael Michele's Emmys pants just scream 2001! The actress wore shiny silver creased trousers with an overly flashy belt and added a white blouse with a ruffled V-neck and dramatic sleeves.
Megan Mullally accomplished two red carpet trends at the 2001 Emmys. The nominee wore black pants and an eggplant top — a favored style and color for the big night.