Were Those the People’s Choice Awards or E!’s Rendition of Pride and Prejudice?

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Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, and Kim Kardashian. Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The bravado celebrities have recently shown in their choice of red-carpet attire should have made for an exuberant, fashionable start to the 2011 awards-show season at the People's Choice Awards last night. But perhaps the all-important start to the season and inherent pressure to be the best dressed of the night left celebrities to look for dresses in such a scared state that the result was one of the saddest red carpets in some time, as though all the Adderall has fled Hollywood and no one knows what to do on Xanax. The clothes were not fashionable. Many of the women looked like they had just come from shooting E!'s version of Pride and Prejudice, with the look of the night neither glam nor modern nor young, but rather that of a slovenly milkmaid.

Some of this nation's most gorgeous women swaddled themselves in what could have been their grandmothers' pillowcases, while others stuffed their cleavage into what might have been a Halloween costume that comes in a plastic bag. Out strode Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester in dresses of oddly similar shape. How did each decide that of all the options available to them, this cut was the best? And there was Kim Kardashian in a shiny pillowcase, as though she had come from afternoon tea sponsored by Maxim.

And why? These women have access to the best clothes in the world, and it's time to use it. Perhaps also to replace a few stylists. And most of all, please, please, just cheer up.