The BET Awards, hosted on Sunday night by the hilarious Chris Rock at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, certainly didn’t lack for excitement. The red carpet was one wild ride where nearly everything went from shredded dresses to micro minis to plunging necklines. But when it came to our select highlights, it was the fresh, frocks that caught our eye. Prime example: Kerry Washington, who was nominated in the Best Actress category, in a strapless Dolce & Gabbana floral dress paired with white pointy pumps (above, center). The Scandal actress and recent mom was the picture of summer perfection from the vibrant print down to her accessory, a grass green clutch.

Meanwhile, buzzy up-and-comer Gugu Mbatha-Raw (above, right) offered a more pared down interpretation of the occasion in an elegant, high-neck light-colored dress by Jason Wu and diamond stud earrings by PHYNE by Paige Novick. The swingy below-the-knee skirt offered just the right touch of flirty fun for an otherwise minimalist take on the red carpet.

But this being a more open-minded sort of red carpet, the details sometimes ran awry. Gabrielle Union, also a nominee in the Best Actress category, looked lovely in an ivory and black gown with high slit, but we would have left the thigh-high suede boots at home (above, left). Swap them for strappy sandals (and cheerful pedi) and she’d be right in step for the season!

Looking for more red carpet stunners? See all the statement looks from the BET Awards!