10 Opera-Length Gloves To Help You Look As Elegant As Amal Clooney At The 2015 Golden Globes!
Until recently, opera gloves were considered pompous and passé, as impractical and costume-y as feather and tulle fascinators or black Venetian lace masks. But in the last three years, silk, leather, and satin gloves reaching up to the elbow or higher, even up to the shoulder, have resurfaced with aplomb.
During Season 2 of ABC’s Scandal, the show’s visionary costume designer, Lyn Paolo, outfitted Kerry Washington in a 3/4-sleeved coat in in muted grays and covered her arms using sleek elbow-length gloves. The resulting looks conveyed both a sense of self-assurance and an unassuming but remarkable poise — qualities we viewers associate with the high–powered fixer Olivia Pope. With the help of Paolo’s styling prowess, Kerry Washington made opera gloves look elegant but striking, as sensible an accessory as a scarf or hat, stripping them of any debutante associations and reinventing them within the context of a formidable leader and executive.
During this same period of time, fashion risk taker Rihanna was experimenting with opera gloves too, incorporating them into her own rebellious-yet-haute looks. At the 2012 Brit Awards, for instance, we saw how these gloves could be given a naughty, dominatrix-worthy vibe when Rihanna complemented a taupe-colored, crystal-embellished Christian Dior Couture gown with Givenchy leather opera gloves in a mahogany brown hue. Two years later, at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards, RiRi paired a see-through, diamond-encrusted gown with opera gloves in the same mesh fishnet fabric, adding a fur stole for a Josephine Baker-esque effect.
After being seen in business chic and burlesque diva contexts, opera gloves then resurfaced in more traditional black-tie settings and complemented more classic evening wear. Last year, Sarah Jessica Parker reminded us of the regal roots of the accessory when she donned a pair of white opera gloves to match her black-and-white Oscar de la Renta gown at the Met Gala. And, on Sunday evening, Amal Clooney strolled down the Golden Globes 2015 red carpet in a floor-length, Dior haute couture gown accessorized with white opera gloves.
It seems clear, then, that this is only the beginning of a renewed fascination with opera gloves. And I, for one, am thrilled for the resurgence — after all, opera gloves play a huge role in some of the most unforgettable moments in film fashion history, complementing such iconic gowns as the white Givenchy strapless silk organza gown with floral embroidery that Audrey Hepburn wore in 1953’s Sabrina; the William Travilla-designed, hot pink satin frock Marilyn Monroe flaunted in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; and the Edith Head-designed, Art Deco-influenced gown Barbara Stanwych donned in 1941’s The Lady Eve.
Whether worn with a ball gown, a tweed peplum jacket, or a 3/4-sleeved wool coat, a pair of opera gloves can transform an otherwise ho-hum ensemble, helping it soar to aria-worthy heights. Here are 10 styles to help you hit all the right style notes!
Lanvin Speckled & Leather Gloves, $695. Available at BergdorfGoodman.com
The Limited Leather Opera Gloves, $79.99. Available at TheLimited.com
Giorgio Armani Long Leather Gloves, $134.63. Available at FarFetch.com
Lord & Taylor Leather Elbow Length Gloves, $98. Available at LordandTaylor.com
Jane Carr Midi Gauntlet Python Leather Gloves, $279. Available at Gilt.com
Portolano Ladies’ Suede Opera Gloves, $145. Available at Portolano.com
Forzieri Silk-Lined Leather Gloves, $398. Available at Forzieri.com
Diane Von Furstenberg Leopard Haircalf Whipstitch Long Gloves, $243.60. Available at DVF.com
Solo Classe Elbow-Length Italian-Made Leather Gloves, $139.20. Available at SoloClasse.com
Gucci Black Python Elbow-Length Gloves, $985. Available at Gucci.com