I'll leave the commentary on the content of the awards ceremony to someone else--although how about that Michael J. Fox/Parkinson's "fun fact" E! Network put up, huh?--and deal strictly with the fashion that came down the red carpet at last night's Golden Globes awards. Since the Globes kick off award season, they can be seen as a barometer for other awards (SAGs, Oscars), as well as for gowns; actresses will choose Oscar gowns based on the reception of their Golden Globes dress.
There was the occasional hot mess (Paula Patton's head-to-to, horizontal ruffle was distracting) but overall last night's dresses were pretty spectacular. The two biggest trends were sleek and streamlined gowns in solitary, bright hues, or liquid metallics, both of which have an "Old Hollywood" feel.
Best Fashion Moment of the Night
Before we take a look at the dresses, let's stop and slow-clap for Emma Thompson, who came out on stage, barefoot, with a martini (up) in one hand and a pair of Christian Louboutin platform stilettos in the other. The red, she explained while indicating the signature color of the soles, was actually her blood.
Love you, Emma darling.
Trend: Art Deco
1920s-inspired Art Deco gowns were seen on Rita Wilson (Roberto Cavalli), Elisabeth Moss (J. Mendel), and Tracey Pollan. Architectural lines accentuated by intricate beadwork were echoed with flapper-style jewelry--long, lanyard-style necklaces, for example--and the effect was elegant, if not entirely original.
Trend: Bold Colors, Simple Lines
So many actresses made an impact by employing this strategy last night: Reese Witherspoon (in classic Calvin Klein), Amy Poehler (in her opening Stella McCartney look), Lupito Nyong'o (Ralph Lauren), Margot Robbie (Gucci), Lena Dunham (custom Zac Posen), and Julia Louis-Dryfus (Narcisso Rodriguez).
A less successful employ of this effect was the gorgeous Melissa McCarthy, who needs to stop wearing dresses with ill-defined waistlines. Her black gown was custom-made for her, so there is no excuse for the poorly-finished collar or the general shapelessness of the dress. Can someone please make this woman a beautiful dress?
Trend: Liquid Metallics
Dresses in metallic colors and fabrics that seemed to ebb and flow on their own, this nod to "Old Hollywood" produced the most successful set of gowns at the Globes. Newly-engaged Robin Wright looked incredible in gold Reem Acra, although her double-sided boob tape gave out while she was presenting; Olivia Wilde's emerald green Gucci made my husband say "wow"--twice. Kate Beckensale looked incredible in a beaded Zuhair Murad that combined the "liquid metallic" and "flapper" trends perfectly. Mila Kunis' Gucci gown was a gorgeous pewter on top, but unfortunately the magic drips to a halt at her thigh, and the rest of the gown is a dull grey-lavender that doesn't read beautifully on television. Naomi Watts' Tom Ford was one of the best dresses of the evening, but of course it helps when you get to accessorize with Liev Schreiber.
Calling "Maternity" a Trend is Stupid, but ...
Pregnant stars made formal wear look easy last night. The aforementioned Olivia Wilde was incredible in her long-sleeved, emerald green Gucci, and Scandal's Kerry Washington looked lovely (and comfortable) in her sleek, white Balenciaga (even though her hair was kind of blah). Drew Barrymore's floral Monique Lhullier was not everyone's favorite, but it was very Drew and and I found it fresh and charming.
Trend: Intricate (and Too Hard to See on TV)
There were so many dresses I would have liked to see up-close and personal, because the detail was utterly lost on live television. Hopefully the still photos we see today will give us a better look at Cate Blanchett (Armani Prive), Zooey Deschanel (Oscar de la Renta), and Michelle Dockery (Oscar de la Renta), among others.
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There were a few looks that elicited strong reactions, both positive and negative: Emma Watson layered a coral Dior dress over navy pants and heels that I've finally decided I love. On the other hand, Julia Roberts' look--a crisp Oxford shirt under a strapless black gown--initially made me smile, but now I think it's too much of a throwback; you can't repeat Sharon Stone's 1996 Gap turtleneck/Valentino skirt moment.
Zoe Saldana's Prabal Gurung was so busy, one hardly knew where to look--a definite miss. On the other hand, Emma Stone looked young and modern in Chanel (most didn't like it, but it's a winner) and Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling was fresh in a spring green Thakoon gown that almost goes nightgown, but for the Chanel jewels and incredible beaded clutch.