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Emmys: Toast the nominees with these TV-inspired cocktails

Nominees like Julie Bowen, Tony Goldwyn, and Anna Chlumsky started warming up for Sunday at Entertainment Weekly‘s pre-Emmy bash in L.A. last night.

“We have a routine,” Gail Simmons told EW of her Emmy night plans with Top Chef co-stars Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colocchio, insisting that the trio will keep their spirits up even if they don’t get the trophy for Best Reality-Competition Program. “We party whether we win or lose!”

Speaking of spirits, we’ve rounded up five cocktails to help you kick off your Emmy celebration.

Click on to learn how to mix up libations inspired by Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Girls, Scandal, and Downton Abbey.

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'Boardwalk Empire' gets a wardrobe update

New year, new wardrobe. It’s now 1924 on Boardwalk Empire, which means there’s been a slight shift in the show’s look. And while those silk dresses, three-piece suits, and trench coats may look effortlessly gangster chic, they involve a lot of hard work courtesy of Emmy nominated costume designers John A. Dunn and Lisa Padovani.

According to the design duo — who custom make most of the show’s wardrobe — fashion history is only one element of the aesthetic. “When we get the scripts, we’re inspired by the stories, the characters,” said Padovani of the Prohibition-era show. “We do a lot of research and then we take whatever that reality was and tweak it [to suit] our story.”

What’s new this season? “We’re heading into the mid 20’s, so there are new silhouettes and new fabrics,” said Dunn. “The silhouette is very slim, the waist is dropping, the women’s dresses are still long, but they’re going to start to shoot up. The patterns are just beginning to show the influence of art deco.” Though, Padovani added, “I’m inspired by contemporary stuff too and I’ll think, ‘That could translate into 1920’s….’ We try to incorporate old pieces with new pieces and old trimmings and accessories with the new things we manufacture to give it a seamless quality.”

The addition of new characters like Daughter Maitland (Margot Bingham), Dr. Valentin Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), and Roy Phillips (Ron Livingston) means the costume designers have more actors to dress, and Livingston has been especially excited about the process. “He’s very much into the clothing,” said Padovani. “He wants to know the motivation behind what we’re thinking. He likes to discuss it.” The show’s other leading players are equally motivated by the 1920’s fashion, particularly Michael K. Williams, who plays Chalky White. “He’s so cute. He [recently] said, ‘I think Chalky White has a shoe fetish,’ so he wanted special shoe inserts to keep his shoes pristine,” said Padovani, who happily granted the actor’s wish. “John and I are very detail oriented. [When they're filming, the cast] can’t wear their sneakers, even though we usually don’t see their feet. Once you’re on set, you really should wear the costume. It helps the actor.”

Click through the gallery to find out how Nucky and Gillian’s wardrobes have changed this season, and what inspired the look of new characters like the Onyx Girls, Daughter Maitland, Dr. Valentin Narcisse, and Roy Phillips.

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The Emmy for best costume design should go to... POLL

From Lady Mary’s embroidered dresses to Jon Snow’s fur-trimmed capes and Snow White’s fairytale gowns, this year’s crop of Emmy-nominated wardrobe designs are a telling example of Emmy history — the Academy loves period and fantasy costumes.

The 2013 Emmy nominees in the category of Outstanding Costumes for a Series are Boardwalk Empire, The Borgias, Once Upon a Time, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones, all shows that are set in the past, or, in the case of Once Upon a Time, in another world. In fact, this year’s nominees is the same group that went head-to-head for the costume Emmy last year. (GoT costume designer Michelle Clapton took home the award in 2012.)

Why are costumes from shows set in modern times often left out of the running?

“[It's] really hard for people to understand how intricate, precise and detailed [contemporary designs] can be because we wear them every day,” Tom Broecker — the longtime costume designer for Saturday Night Live who also worked wardrobe magic on season one of House of Cards — told EW at the opening of the FIDM Museum & Galleries’ Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibit in July. “Contemporary costumes are seen as more mundane because they lack the majesty of period clothes.”

Which costume designer should win the prize for Outstanding Costumes for a Series at the Creative Arts Emmys this Sunday? Cast your vote in the poll below.

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