It is a truth universally acknowledged that British red carpets are the best red carpets. And for sheer verve, style, eccentricity and bold failures, it was hard to beat last night's Elle style awards.

Emma Watson rocks minimal flirty glam in Hakaan — there's a reason she won a Style award.

Blake Lively, stunning in cerulean: I love this departure from her habitual fitted silhouettes!

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Per usual, Alexa Chung rocks awkward chic.

In that fierce tomboy mode, Karen Gillan — who looks adorable.

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I love the Dorothy Draper approach to florals: go big or go home. Corinne Bailey Rae clearly agrees; this is whimsy that stays chic!

Which is not to say that you then position said print against a loud plaid. I'm not saying couples need to coordinate or anything creepy, but this is...blinding.

Helena Christensen's frock has the luster of an abalone shell. You decide whether that's a good thing.

Thandie Newton makes a strong case for the 70s trend: everyone else may as well give up right now — or be inspired.

Minnie Driver's dress has pulled off something tricky: slightly dowdy on top, and skimpy on the bottom. A miracle of engineering, really.

Tolua Adeyemi shows how to do transparency.

Much as I adore Sophie Ellis-Bextor, I fear this flirts aggressively with 80'ss bridesmaid.

Lisa Snowdon wears what may be the most boob-unflattering frock in the history of clothing.

And yes, I included Jaime Winstone's in that assessment.

And this.

So, I get that it was Valentine's Day. And that this Erin O'Connor tee is all the crack in her set. And yet, Emilia Fox gives further weight to the argument that there's really no context in which text works on a red carpet.