2012 Golden Globes Fashion Review

Last night began what folks now refer to as “Awards Season”. The Golden Globes, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is one of my personal favorites for several reasons.  First and foremost, it includes both television AND film, widening the pool of celebrities in attendance.  Second, the Globes are like a giant dinner party — food, and more importantly champagne, is poured throughout the live broadcast.  Third, the show itself is devoid of over-produced musical numbers, movie clip montages, and long performances by nominees.  There is an irreverent air to the show that culminates with its European perspective, a boozy snarky host (Ricky Gervais), and a “cut-to-the-chase” production schedule.  Me likey.

Much is made in Fashion of whether an outfit is “appropriate” for a certain occasion — Black Tie, Black Tie Optional, Black Tie Suggested, Business Casual, Business Dress, Business in the Back, Party in the Front (Fashion’s version of a mullet, this refers to a hemline that is short in the front, and long in the back).  The Golden Globes have a far less formal vibe than the Oscars, for example, and Lord help any celebrity who doesn’t at least TRY to look “Rock & Roll” at the Grammy’s.  When a celebrity wears a dress that is Oscar-worthy to the Globes, you may have blown your chance at Best Dressed (I’m lookin’ at you, Tina Fey).

I can start by saying that there were some really lovely gowns last night. I never screamed at the television screen, or shouted, “NOOOO!!!!” I never had my breath taken away either, so all in all I will call the show a disappointment.  More disturbing was some of the hair and makeup on the Red Carpet.  I’m not sure if it could be called a trend or a requirement, but I counted no fewer than 8 women with a tousled, casual, windswept and slightly low and to-the-side bun.  I happen to like this hairstyle but find it approachable and yet completely unattainable. After a while it looked like a uniform.

I suppose we can dive right in with the disappointments. When Melissa McCarthy won her Emmy most recently, I applauded the purple gown she wore of her own design.  I was so very very saddened to see her wearing a down right DULL green tent with a scant beading at the neckline.  That it was designed by one of my favorite fashion houses, Badgley Mischka, was even more upsetting.  This is one of those times where the Designer should have said, “Sorry. Not what we do”, and bowed out.  It looked more like a Lane Bryant Mother-of-the-Bride affair than an actual Couture gown.  Not everyone can design for non size two starlets.  Know your limits, Designers.

Other stars I usually love fell flat for me.  Michelle Williams wore a sad blue number (Blue was THE color trend last night, but it wasn’t he Electric Blue of Awards Shows past, just a sort of neither here nor there navy…..) with a black deco headband that distracted from the cut velvet pattern on the very covered up dress.  I thought Julie Bowen, a self-proclaimed tomboy who rocked a Halston-esque jumpsuit last year looked almost as ridiculous as I did when I tried to channel my inner Betty Draper one Halloween.  A long, fluffy, nude tulle fit-and-flare dress with cap sleeves and sweetheart bodice, pin curls and old-fashioned makeup made her look too fussy.  I have not much more to say about Jessica Biel other than her Victorian on top, Eighties on bottom beaded dress had a third boob.  Right in the middle there, there was some puffy drapey thing happening that was troublesome for me.  Oh, and I didn’t see a ring, so who knows.

Also in a costume-y, weird getup was Zooey Deschanel in a 60s acid green and black beaded thing with the most dated wig or hairdo (not a hair style, mind you, this was a full on ‘do) I’ve seen her attempt in a while.  She’s a confection – the sweet voice, the wide doe eyes, the goofy mannerisms.  The dress only made it worse.  I was disappointed in Heidi Klum.  I didn’t think there was anything all that wrong with her plain, nude, probably Michael Kors dress.  It had a low back, and she wore a huge turquoise bib necklace, and hair loose and down. But I don’t know.  You’re Heidi Klum!  You can wear ANYTHING you want. When the world is your closet, don’t wear a mall dress. Piper Perabo was wearing 75 yards of stiff nude tulle that was too crispy, too wide, too plain on the bodice, and with the nude makeup she disappeared.  All we were left with was her constant eye rolls and angry stares.

There were scores of women who were just fine, as I mentioned, specifically Stacy Keibler, Debra Messing, Ariel Winter, Diane Lane, Viola Davis, Jane Lynch, Paula Patton, Kristin Wiig, Mila Kunis, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone, Helen Mirren, and Juliane Moore.  Who, for the record, copied Angelina Jolie AND Julia Louis Dreyfuss before her by wearing a black dress with bright emerald earrings.  Stop that!

Amanda Peet wore a dress made of window valances.  Large, white, tiered polka-dotted window valances I’m fairly certain she stole from my Grandmother’s kitchen.  She topped off the look with not-so-ironic and hideous tortoise-shell glasses during the actual ceremony.

There are a few celebrities that no matter what they wore, they would need to be mentioned.  Madonna’s last appearance at the Globes was in 1998 for Evita.  She is an icon.  I felt the one fingerless glove evoked her 80s garb, but I thought her Reem Acra dress was cool.  Angelina Jolie was in an ivory satin dress that bothered me a lot.  It had a red turned down trim, and with her pale skin and matching lipstick, she looked as if she had wax candy lips in her mouth.  I thought the dress could have worked the neckline fell lower on her chest.  It was so high, that the molded corset looked like armor.  It was an odd fit, and an odd choice for her.  Meryl Streep makes me happy to be a woman, but that lace insert Cowboy shirt was all sorts of wrong.  She’s done better.  Not often, but knowing she’s capable of it makes her poor choices all the more disappointing.

I’m not sure why Elle MacPherson was at the Globes this year, and I’m not sure I care.  She is a true Super Model.  She sashayed in her most amazing over-the-top nude dress with train and pleating and corsetry and flowing hair and…….what?  Sorry, I got a little lost in her there.

Also consistently well dressed and continuing to do so were Natalie Portman in red, Kate Winslet in a black and white dress that was the reverse of Claire Danes’.  Tina Fey made me very happy by wearing something other than black, but her red mermaid dress was WAY too much dress for the Globes.  THAT, my friend, is an Oscar dress.  Dial it down, sister.

Nicole Kidman wore a bizarre dress that appeared to be Bedazzled with studs.  I didn’t get it.  Lea Michele wore a Marchesa dress that felt a little too Ice Skater at the Olympics for me. I didn’t love Freida Pinto, who wore a Prada dress in teal that was also crispy (see Piper Perabo) and stood away from her body too much. I did love her hair and her necklace.  She may have won that category for me.  Salma Hayek was GORGEOUS in an architectural black gown with gold trim on the top half and long, loose hair. I loved this different approach for her.  I thought Kate Beckinsale was a vision in a dress I NEVER would have guessed was Roberto Cavalli.  It was a beaded strapless nude/gray elegant gown.  Her large diamond earrings and required side-chignon were lovely.

I thought Sofia Vergara looked very pretty, she was neither highlighting nor concealing her most famous asset, my one comment for her would be that we’ve seen this silhouette, nay, this actual gown on her too many times.  She did change it from red to the trending blue, but perhaps its time to try someone other than Ms. Wang for the next Red Carpet.  Shailene Woodly wore an amazing Marchesa dress in pale lavender that I suspect could only truly be appreciated up close.  The beading at the neckline was intricate and involved.  I LOVED Rooney Mara in a black Nina Ricci with cut outs and side ties and a down-to-there neckline. It was sexy, interesting, and worn with an edgy blunt ponytail — I loved the whole look.

The men of the evening are barely worth mentioning, which in this case usually means they did just fine.  George Clooney looked his requisite perfect, and I rather liked Ricky Gervais’ burgundy tie-less getup.  It suited him.  Swank, Snark.  They go hand in hand, no?

My best dressed of the night had to be Charlize Theron.  The last time I saw her on the Red Carpet she wore an atrocious dress with two sculpted roses, one on each breast.  This Dior gown (Ms. Theron happens to be the Dior perfume spokeswoman) in pale pink was absolute perfection.  It had a large side bow that poor Eva Mendes was lambasted for a few years back, but this time the designer cleverly had the slit in the skirt start where the bow ended.  The low neckline, the beading at the waist, the diamond headband and side chignon (ack!) were so so beautiful. The very definition of Haute Couture.

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