White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Over the weekend in Washington, DC, celebrities converged at the annual White House Correspondents ' Dinner, rubbing elbows with journalists and political types. What does one wear to hear President Obama make jokes about himself? Full-length gowns and bare shoulders.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

There were some sharp-dressed men in attendence: Psy, Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens, Scandal's Tony Goldwyn, Daniel Dae Kim. Humina humina for those last two.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Black — always safe, elegant and classy — was one of the most popular colors for the ladies. Patricia Arquette's gown is a hot mess of a wreck — so busy, so tight, with sheer layers, sparkles AND ruffles — but Rebel Wilson looks fab if a little understated. (Maybe some large, dangling earrings would have been nice?)

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Sharon Stone stalked the red carpet in full Maleficient drag. Witchy and wonderful.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Black with embellished necklines: Natalie Dormer, Olivia Munn.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

One of the best gowns of the evening is this graphic floral strapless number, worn beautifully by Kate Walsh.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

More shoulder-baring black: Romantic draping for Robin Wright; sheer layers and contrasty shoes for my girlcrush Morena Baccarin.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Shonda Rhimes sparkled in lacy black; Kerry Washington got washed out by her black bodice and nude lips. Girl could use some color.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Julie Bowen rocked black with gold shimmer. Tracy Morgan's fiancée Megan Wollover had sheer black with rosettes.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Divine deep blue gown trimmed in velvet — and impressive jewel earrings — made Jessica Paré a stand-out. Arianna Huffington opted for leather and lace.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Deep violet was flattering on both Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

The bad news: Under the bright lights, the fabric of Connie Britton's gown looked cheap. The good news: The color brought out her eyes and her hair, as usual, is perfection. Meanwhile, although Sofia Vergara was spectacular in body-clinging sapphire, I want to yank out those earrings and give them to Rebel Wilson.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Springy bright green? A flawless choice for Smash star Megan Hilty. Katy Perry also looked great in a gown fit for a garden nymph.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Bold, fitted red suited Tracy Pollan (with Michael J. Fox) quite well. Soft, belted chiffon is timeless and elegant on Emily Mortimer. Alexandra Wentworth bared her shoulders, collarbones and leg.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Feeling truly conflicted about this apricot gown on Elizabeth Banks. The halter neck with back ties is cool, but the fabric looks creased and pulled and weird.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

A+ to Sophia Bush and Amy Poehler for perfecting the light, luminous, formal-but-not-stiff look.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

On the wrong person, such a covered-up dress could be nun-like, but Kate Mara pulls it off, looking chic and French. Carol Alt went for a deep neckline in a gown that might be just a liiiiiiitle tight.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Nice, nothing to write home about beige-y neutrals: Chrissy Teigen, Savannah Guthrie, Gabby Douglas.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Textures, fur, statement necklace, signature bob: Anna Wintour, predictably poised, of course. Although I'm sick and tired of sheer/illusion/mesh, Hayden Panettiere's dress is lovely; the milkmaid braids frame her face and the bright lips light it up. Well done.

White House Correspondents' Dinner Fashion: Cold Shoulders, Hot Messes

Parting shots: Rebel and Gabby. Former Marie Claire editor and current Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Natalie Dormer. Basketball player Kevin Ware out and about after that horrifying injury. And finally, the Reverend Al Sharpton and Chris Matthews, showboating.

Images via AP.