Black Lightning — The Most Electrifying Fashions At The 2018 Golden Globe Awards
Remember when Lara Flynn Boyle wore a pink tutu dress, along with pink heels that laced up to her knees, to the 2003 Golden Globes? Or when Fran Drescher paired a figure-hugging white dress with a floral headpiece worthy of Carmen Miranda (well, sans the fruit, that is) back in 1996? Well, there was none of that wackiness this year, nor were there any dresses so unique, so glorious, that they’re likely to go down in history (think of Kate Hudson’s long-sleeved, sparkling, nude-colored Atelier Versace gown with the plunging neckline at the 2002 Golden Globes; Eva Mendes’s strapless white silk taffeta Dior gown at the 2009 Golden Globes, which she accessorized with a stunning turquoise necklace; Anne Hathaway’s intricately beaded, long-sleeved, shimmering rose gold Armani Privé gown at the 2011 Golden Globes; or Jennifer Lopez’s yellow Giambattista Valli dress at the 2016 Golden Globes).
Standing in solidarity with the many women (and yes, men too), who came forward in 2017 to share their accounts of the sexual harassment and assault they endured at the hands of powerful producers (Harvey Weinstein among them), directors (such as Brett Ratner and James Toback), actors (Jeremy Piven, Jeffrey Tambor, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Ed Westwick, and Dustin Hoffman are among the many who stand accused of inappropriate behavior), and TV personalities (such as Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer), nearly everyone who attended the Golden Globes wore black, thereby lending their support to the #TimesUp campaign. It was a powerful political statement but, admittedly, there was a much more somber tone than usual to the awards show last night — and a parade of black gowns clearly added to that sense of solemnity. But that, of course, was the point: to somehow pull off the yearly awards show and commend all those who made great works of cinematic art, all while demanding change within the entertainment industry (and, by extension, within the world at large). It’s time to address and rectify the poisonous misogyny in Hollywood, the reckless abuse of power, and the veil of secrecy around lewd and demeaning sexual behavior perpetrated by influential persons in the industry.
These issues won’t be resolved by wearing black to an awards ceremony, but the show of solidarity made for a powerful step in the right direction. And even with the solemn overtones of the ceremony, there managed to be joyous moments — even on the red carpet.
Here are some of the black looks that earned gold stars at this year’s Golden Globes.
In the last decade, we’ve seen a lot of women wearing pants, tuxedos, and jumpsuits on the red carpet, so the surprise factor has definitely lessened. In other words, wearing a tuxedo or pants under a dress is no longer going to automatically make headlines. But the beauty of Alison Brie’s look, designed by Vassilis Zoulias, is that it doesn’t try to be unconventional, to shock, or to stand out — it just does. There’s a femininity to the billowing skirt layered atop the perfectly tailored strapless jumpsuit, but the cut of those trousers and the way Brie carried the overall look conveyed strength and power. It was a look that conveyed the notion that women are both delicate and hard, strong and vulnerable, gentle and ferocious — and it was a knockout look befitting of the GLOW star.
Jessica Biel’s strapless Dior Haute Couture stands out from the fray because of how it juxtaposes textures, weights, and transparencies. The black tulle fabric feels airy and light, particularly when draped delicately over nude-colored tulle, as it is in the bustier and in certain sections of the princess skirt. If you look closely at the skirt, however, this buoyancy, is anchored by sections where the black tulle is layered above more black tulle, creating greater depth and opacity. And, of course, the strip of velvet shaped like a crescent moon, which runs from the bust line all the way down the center of the before swooping across the side of the skirt, adds a sense for richness to the textural mash-up.
This look simply took my breath away, and it showed that, even in a sea of black dresses, you can show your bold, risk-taking aesthetic. Nothing about Margot Robbie’s gown can be dubbed “safe.” Sure, it has a sexy plunging neckline, but everything else can be construed as a gamble. The strong shoulder, for instance, could’ve easily made this Gucci dress feel costume-y or dated, like some bad vestige of a Joan Collins Dynasty dress, but they accomplish precisely the opposite — they add a modern sensibility, a sense of fortitude, to the dress. Similarly, the glittering silver embellishments on the skirt and cuffs of the dress could’ve felt gaudy, but they didn’t — the flowers had a three-dimensional, almost sculptural quality, as if they were blooming as Robbie walked.
Issa Rae had no reason to feel “insecure” when she walked the red carpet in this Atelier Prabal Gurung gown, featuring a thigh-high slit that showed off her muscular stems. The plunging V-shaped neckline also added to the gown’s sex appeal, while the cape detail worked perfectly with the night’s themes of strength and courage. Yes, y’all, Issa Rae is a caped heroine, a comedy crusader, and a fashion #boss.
In recent years, Nicole Kidman has experimented with edgier looks that didn’t quite seem to fit her personality, but this year she nailed it with a Givenchy Haute Couture gown in 3D bonded Chantilly lace embellished with sequins and Swarovski crystals. The fluttering sleeves, the open back, the way the sides along the back seemed to sway like wings… This dress managed to feel delicate and ethereal, romantic and wistful.
It was wickedly rewarding to see a 58-year-old woman turn as many heads on the red carpet as her 20-something peers. In this figure-hugging Mario Dice dress, Allison Janney showed that women simply get better with age. The bodice’s graphic pattern, created by the juxtaposition of black and white, lends the dress a modern edge, while the sheer mesh underlay allows the pattern to breathe a bit and gives the illusion that Janney is showing a bit of skin, making the look just provocative enough while remaining perfectly polished.
In an off-the-shoulder, black lace Ralph & Russo dress with sequined embellishments, Penelope Cruz looked like a classic old Hollywood screen siren. The satin bustle and train, meanwhile, added the requisite drama for an awards ceremony of this caliber.
Yes, Kate Hudson was practically naked at the Golden Globes — and bless her heart because she looked hot and haute in her barely-there illusion dress. Her sleeveless Valentino dress featured a cleavage-flaunting, plunging U-shaped neckline; a sheer bodice with an opaque diamond pattern for a hint of coverage, a cinched waist; and a sheer skirt with delicate pleats over high-waisted panties. Hudson’s bombshell red carpet looks have become an award show highlight, and she didn’t disappoint this year.
Diane Kruger looked like a Grecian goddess in this black illusion Prada dress with a criss-crossing halter bodice and a sheer cape draped over her shoulders. The teardrop-shaped jewel accents accentuating her waist and lining the edges of her cape add a touch of sparkle to her diaphanous look.
The epic train of Many Moore’s Rosie Assouline dress was enough to make me swoon, but I was also struck by the rounded shape of the halter neckline, which felt artful and modern, and by the sharp 45-degree angles along either side of the bodice’s upper area, which accentuated Moore’s shoulders and clavicles. The red band at the waist, meanwhile, added a refreshing pop of color.