See Emma Stone, Miley Cyrus, Lea Michele, and More From the People’s Choice Awards Red Carpet

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Lea Michele arrives at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for PCA) Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The People’s Choice Awards honor actors and musicians who win the most votes in their respective categories from average people like you and me. Well, average people who take the time to cast the votes, that is. It’s a low-stakes event in terms of entertainment industry prestige and red-carpet dressing. You could be a reasonably well-known actress and show up in khaki pants and a linen shirt with an updo and people would react with all the excitement of seeing Kim Kardashian in a tight dress. 

But if the awards don’t make it all that dangerous to mess up, shouldn’t the stars and quasi-stars who attend wear that thing they really want to wear but aren’t quite sure is safe enough? Especially if no one really knows who you are anyway — and a lot of the people who attended only have the vague sort of name recognition acquired after showing up to places just to get their pictures taken a lot, rather than doing terribly memorable things with their careers — shouldn’t you wear something to make people really notice you? To the point where they look up what it is you DO instead of just clicking to the next (quasi-)celebrity in the slideshow, and being so bored with everyone’s look that they’re bogged down with thoughts of how stupidly simple it is to be a semi-famous red-carpet walker, nowadays? (Hi, Ronnie from Jersey Shore.) Perhaps it’s no mistake that the people who are looking the best and most interesting are those whose careers are the most notable, like Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Emma Stone (The Help), Miley Cyrus (growing on me as she ages by not taking anyone’s shit).

In the slideshow, see the odd array of cocktail gowns, American Pie stars, and misappropriated Miss Universe-worthy (and sadly aging) trains from the People’s Choice Awards red carpet last night. Along with the usual outfit commentary, also enjoy a brief explanation of why these people are in the running to be Chosen.

People’s Choice Awards Red Carpet Fashion