Last night, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association held the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards. Heralding in the Official “Awards Season” were a bevy of beauties, with some notable clunkers along the way. The Golden Globes is truly a favorite of mine, as the show itself is without big production numbers, it moves along at a fairly rapid pace, and there’s alcohol. It’s really just a giant dinner party, and the viewer feels well, perhaps not invited to the party, but at least working the coat check. Because the show honors actors from both television and film, with a few music awards thrown in for good measure (how else ya gonna get T Swizzle and P Diddy to show up?), the attendance at the show is wonderfully varied.
Fashion at awards shows tends to be predictable, so for folks like myself who wait and watch and stay up way past their bedtime to see every last gown, last night was a great display of variety. I can remember years where each and every starlet wore essentially the same mermaid, fishtailed, sweetheart gown. This year, it appeared there were only two — one so stunning I will forgive her (Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad), and one so unexpected I just smiled when I saw it (Lena Dunham in Zac Posen).
I’m always on the lookout for trends on the Red Carpet, despite the lack of Red Carpets in my life, I am a Stylist at heart. The trends last night were subtle and few & far between. One was deep, down-to-there necklines (Amy Adams, Juliana Marguiles, Sandra Bullock, and Tina Fey to name a few). I love this look, especially when worn by stars with a modest decollatage — it’s tasteful, yet sexy. The other trend I noted was in hair – too many stars to list wore some version of a low, messy, knotted bun or side ponytail. From Julia Roberts to Juliana Marguiles, this look felt effortless and modern. And frankly, one that any woman could duplicate with enough patience and bobby pins. In terms of color trends (more inspiration for the normal people!), there was lots of black, lots of red, and lots of teal/emerald-green. I hated Taylor Schilling in green, I felt the dress lacked the proper undergarments, and sagged in the front – the whole look read as a nightgown. Reese Witherspoon was clean and elegant in her teal halter, I only wished the neckline were wider, lower, more open. Helen Mirren vibrated on my screen in a bright green drapey number that while showing off her enviable waistline, distracted from her regal beauty.
Speaking of the Women of a Certain Age, I thought Meryl Streep looked plain but lovely, and Emma Thompson wore a fantastic dress that stopped about 6 inches before it should have. Perhaps this was to showcase her tortuous Louboutins, as she made sure to tell us, “this red, is my blood.” Diane Keaton, on the other hand, let her hair go gray, wore an Annie Hall-esque suit and her trademark glasses to perfection. I love how comfortable in her own skin she is, and am proud of her for not donning her other, more troublesome trademark, day gloves. Good girl.
Some looks were just plain confusing, but certainly added to the variety and fun of the night. Julia Roberts wore a Dolce & Gabana black strapless gown with a crisp white shirt underneath. The interviewers on the Red Carpet were beyond perplexed by this, but this is a style I’ve seen many times. It’s a look. It’s a creative, interesting look that I don’t hate for a press event, but felt it was too uptight for the Globes. I think Ms. Roberts is struggling with how to transition from young starlet to mature Hollywood Icon in terms of her style. Get in line, lady. 40-Something can be tough. Too young to entirely cover up, too old for totally bare. At age 49, Sandra Bullock wore a Prabal Gurung dress that I adored from the waist up and hated from the waist down. The skirt was too wide and I was distracted by the introduction of the blue at the hem. Paula Patton wore a gigantic Blurred Line down the front of her body, perhaps in homage to her husband Robin Thicke’s hit single. This was just. so. much. dress. I loved the concept, but it was more Runway than Red Carpet. Perhaps the most unique look of the night was Zoe Saldana also in Prabal Gurung. She told an interviewer that the dress was made specifically for her by the designer, and I wanted to love this so much. I love the muse collaboration between designer and actor, I love Prabal Gurung, I applaud risks on the Carpet, but this looked very Project Runway Craft Store Challenge to me. Zoe still gets points for going for it.
My other pet peeve on Awards Shows is women who simply cannot WALK, sit, or otherwise move in their gowns. Especially at the Globes, where the venue at the Beverly Hills Hotel requires many steps and circumventing of tables and chairs (and did I mention the booze?). Too many actresses visibly HOBBLED to the podium last night. Paula Patton and even Reese Witherspoon, whose dress appeared unfettered and simple, couldn’t manage to not sort of wiggle and hop her way to the mic. I kept waiting for Jennifer Lawrence to trip, burp, fart – something – and laugh it off in a way that makes us all love her a little bit more, but she appeared quite composed and humble last night. She just came off a Press Junket for her Hunger Games film, wherein EVERY look she wore to Premieres was flawless. So I was disheartened to find her last night AGAIN in Dior, and in Dior that looked like a giant piece of taffy with a black ribbon around it. It had a diapery affect around her hips, did nothing for her beautiful bustline, and just felt wrong. I cannot figure out the super dark nails and lips with the emerald jewelry that accompanied this disaster either. Oh well. Her hair was adorable, and she’s a doll in every other way.
Some of my favorites last night included Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen (she never does full skirts, wow!), Cate Blanchett in stunning Armani lace with low back, and Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren red. Julia Louis Dreyfuss, who I typically really like, looked boring in a red halter gown and ponytail. Poor Julia had the fashion misfortune of being seated next to the eye poppingly beautiful Lupita Nyong’o also in red, perhaps that contributed to how lackluster she looked.
Also disappointing was Zooey Deschanel in a frumpy Oscar De La Renta, with the aforementioned messy side bun and WITHOUT her trademark false eyelashes. This look missed the mark for me. Also in the young’uns camp was Taylor “T swizzle” Swift in a red and black stunner by Carolina Herrera. She wore the other hair trend, the faux bob. Also seen on Cate Blanchet, this is where you “fake” short hair by tucking it under and polyuerethaning it to your head. Kate Mara was eerie but statuesque in J. Mendel, I prefer her as a brunette. And of course, we have to mention the Emmas. Watson, Stone, and Roberts all took risks last night, which I now require of anyone under 30. I happen to LOVE Watson’s pants under the dress getup from Dior, although I know not everyone will. Stone wore a shapeless tea length Chanel dress that looked like separates, and is spawning baby bump rumors. Never a good thing. And Roberts wore a sculptural if mature black Lanvin fishtail gown that aged her, but not in a bad way. It was a bit serious, is all.
I typically feel undecided about a few gowns on Awards Shows, and in the coming months when I see more print pictures or other views of them, they tend to grow on me. This year, that would be Michele Dockery (first reaction: yawn), Elizabeth Moss (ill-fitting? goth color?), Allison Williams in Alexander McQueen (just didn’t look like a McQueen), and Mila Kunis (tinfoil?).
The hosts for the evening, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler wore different gowns on the Red Carpet and changed a few times during the show. Other than Tina’s gorgeous red onstage deep v dress, I felt all of them were not the least bit noteworthy. So I will not note them here. They did reference their ages and reproductive statuses a few times, so it was fun to see all the Mommies-to-Be on the Carpet as well. Talk about different ways to mitigate a baby bump, Olivia Wilde, Drew Barrymore, and Kerry Washington couldn’t have possible handled it more uniquely. There are very few fashion choices one makes when one is with child, typically the choice you have is, “hide it or show it”. Ms. Wilde showed it, swathed it in green sequins, and shined a light on it. I thought she looked fabulous. Ms. Washington walked a fine line, wearing a form-fitting white dress with a sculptural tulip like overlay to disguise. I wanted to like this, but I felt it was ill-fitting in the chest, and couldn’t make up its mind with the coverage issue. Lastly, Ms. Barrymore was an absolute disaster in her choice of hiding her curves, in that she essentially hung a floral shower curtain over her entire body. This was odd, neither sweet nor sexy, and a big missed opportunity.
Worst dressed for me has to go to Megan Mullaly, who you may think you didn’t see because you likely didn’t recognize her in a black pirate costume with horn rimmed glasses. For best dressed, I have to choose Margot Robbie in a white Gucci gown with beaded trim that fit her to a T, and made everyone ask…..who’s that girl? Always, always a good thing.