Preen Time

updated 09/29/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/29/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

GLAMOR DOESN'T COME EASY FOR me," Bridget Fonda confided as she glided down the red carpet with dad Peter at the 49th annual Emmy Awards. "But tonight, I get to be Cinderella." She wasn't the only one. At the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Sept. 14, TV's biggest names saluted their own—and fashion's favorites—in high style. NYPD Blue's Kim Delaney bared her back in a purple Pamela Barish. Demi Moore vamped it up in vintage Norell. And putting aside their thigh anxiety, Frasier's Jane Leeves, Party of Five's Neve Campbell and Baywatch's Traci Bingham went glam in gowns slit to the hilt. Said Touched by an Angel's Roma Downey, decked out in a bordeaux satin Pamela Dennis: "I wanted to look classy and elegant this evening. I was thinking Grace Kelly."

Not that everyone was swept away by sartorial splendor. "After being pregnant, I'm just so happy this dress fits," said second-time mom Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who accessorized her Bob Mackie in $800,000 worth of baubles borrowed from Harry Winston. Conan O'Brien claimed to prefer a good coiffure to haute couture. "The hair is essential," he deadpanned. "It's got to look exactly like Jack Lord's in Hawaii Five-0."

But the night wasn't all tulle and tonsorial testaments. "It's thrilling to see so much excitement," said 3rd Rock from the Sun's John Lithgow, a third-time winner. "Let's make this a yearly thing, shall we?" Delaney, for her part, won best supporting actress in a drama series but couldn't phone home because of a busy signal. "All of this is surreal," she said.

At four postshow soirees the stars pressed the flesh. Intently. "Hey! Write this down: Bruce Willis pinched Ellen DeGeneres's butt," the actor good-naturedly told a reporter after: greeting pal DeGeneres at the Governors Ball at the Pasadena Center Exhibition Hall. Others chose more original endearments. Past Emmy winner Christine Baranski (Cybill) cornered new Emmy winner Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock). Said Baranski during their tête-à-tête: "We work near each other, so we'll probably get together and stroke each other's statues."

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