Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com
While some trends are truly enduring (old Hollywood glamour, whatever that means!), many more are far more fleeting–do we expect starlets in 2070 trying to replicate their version of “old Hollywood glamour” with cut-outs and illusion netting? Here’s a sampling of some of Hollywood’s top talents dipping their toes into pants (!), primary colors (!!), and butterflies (oh my!!!)
Julianne Moore loves avant garde designer gowns, the appeal of which can be totally lost between the runway and red carpet. In this custom Givenchy piece however, she looks fantastic; the glittering silver graduates beautifully into the ombre feathers–it’s a lot of look, to be sure, but she pulls is off.
Dakota Johnson’s Chanel is similarly silver (and tricky), but I wish that the dress had a more straight hem–I’m personally not a huge fan of mullet hems, and especially when they’re not done with such a loose fabric. [Editor’s note: DISAGREE. One of the best looks of the night.]
Bold metallics can be deployed well in more minimalist dresses–Reese Witherspoon’s silvery Calvin Klein is a straightforward silhouette with just enough detail in the beading to keep it from looking pedestrian, and she had the red carpet savvy and confidence to make a strong impact.
The Emilia Wickstead worn by Diane Kruger makes a strong impression with a chic and modern shape that we’ve come to expect from Kruger, who, like Moore, loves couture gowns for a spin on the red carpet.
Jessica Chastain’s Versace would have made a huge impact regardless of the gorgeous burnt gold shade of the gown, but she imbued the dramatically draped dress with a sex appeal we don’t often see from the ridiculously-prolific actress.
White with Side Body Skin Reveals
Like we said earlier, when you see it three times, it’s a veritable trend. Rosamund Pike and Kate Hudson wore structurally-similar white gowns with side cut-outs, but Kate Hudson’s dress is quintessentially Versace: tight, sexy, and outrageous, in an appropriately-formal way.
The Vera Wang that Pike wore, however, has strangely thin straps where thicker ones would be much better, and it’s making the bust stand off of her chest in a way that does her no favors. She had a baby five weeks ago, and looks objectively amazing, making this gown’s appearance all the more disappointing.
Emily Blunt’s is the most classic of the three, with the Michael Kors-custom gown embodying a beautifully-made, Grecian inspired ensemble.
Ladies Wearing Pants
Emma Stone, possibly inspired by the Golden Globe outfit another Emma (Watson, in Dior last year), wore pants on the red carpet. Pants! This Lanvin jumper looked completely chic, with the crystal detail on the top offset by the beautifully cut black trousers, complete with a bewildering, but ultimately exciting, side/back bow that also created a small train.
Nominee Lorde also opted for a pantset this year, sticking true to her offbeat style in a custom Narcisco Rodriguez suit that spoke to her trend-resistant style while not making her look like Morticia Adams. Or significantly older than 17, which is how old she is.
After making such a memorable (caped!) splash at last year’s Globes, it was nice to see a looser, sexier Lupita Nyong’o in this white and purple Giambattista Valli Couture gown. Lupita is rarely seen without her short natural hair, and her styling team has demonstrated the myriad ways in which it can be played with and adapted to any event, making as strong a case for the afro — or any iteration of natural hair — on the red carpet as any.
YOLO Icon Prince also sported an afro at the Globes, making an amazing surprise appearance.
“Old Hollywood Glamour” is such a red carpet cliche that it’s hard to swallow another actress describing her gown as such; it’s even harder to swallow when it’s as miserably depressing Lana del Rey’s turquoise gown is. She looks like a re-animated Priscilla Presley wax figure.
Keira Knightley’s ruffled bib-nightgown looks like a vaguely victorian confirmation dress–this is made all the more distressing by the fact that it took more than 30 people from Chanel’s design team over a week to complete this gown. The fact that such an extraordinary amount of labor went into crafting this glorified bib-nightgown set with a crushing lack of poeticism or grace is depressing. Look: there’s a butterfly attached to the bag. Look: there are butterflies beaded onto her skirt. It’s entirely too literal and marks a rare miss for the normally-chic Brit.
For years, ladies avoided red on the red carpet, most likely for the logistical challenges that can arise from being photographed in fabric the same color as the surface they’re standing on. However, more and more leading ladies, undaunted by the possibility of blending into the carpet. Heidi Klum went for her usual overt sex appeal in her usual Versace.
Jane Fonda, also slaying in Versace, and Helen Mirren in Dolce, acted as physical manifestations of those “Sexy at Every Age” articles. Helen Mirren is 69. Jane Fonda is 77. Let that sink in.
Viola Davis and Allison Janney look similarly ageless and sexy, in Escada and Ella Zahlan, respectively.
Julianna Marguiles looks great in a patterned Ulyana Sergeenko, though the dress an unusual tea length hem that I’m not quite sold on.
Taylor Schilling’s dramatic and modern gown, courtesy of Ralph Lauren, was a head-turner.
Holding it down for the millennial set, “Girls” co-stars Lena Dunham and Allison Williams also wore red gowns last night: Allison opted for an Armani Prive gown with beautiful red beading that offered a welcome break from her often-prim choices. Zac Posen created yet another ill-fitting gown for Lena–he’s her former babysitter so I get the sentimental choice, but he has served her wrong on too many occasions now. Good color for her, though.
Reese Witherspoon wore a vintage yellow gown to the Globes back in the early aughts, starting a huge trend for both the bold color and throwback style. Jenna Dewan-Tatum, in a loose, romantic Carolina Herrera gown modeled a softer, gentler yellow on the carpet.
Leslie Mann’s Kaufman Franco sheath hugged her body like a glove, and the successful use of the brighter hue demonstrated yellow’s surprising versatility.
Gucci created a more classic belted gown for Naomi Watts, though the entire outfit was essentially a canvas for her incredible Bulgari snake necklace. It was a huge and risky statement piece that elevated the whole look.
All in all, this year’s Globes had a fairly safe, and sometimes pedestrian, red carpet. Usually billed as Hollywood’s biggest party due to its early date in the awards season and massive amounts of booze distributed, it seems like these A-Listers might be reserving their big statement pieces for later awards shows– even this last night’s style flops were somewhat conservative. Hopefully we’ll find more surprises and risk-takers along the way: remember, we’re only just getting started.