Politics & Policy

Red-Carpet Hits and Misses

A review of the Golden Globes’ best and worst dresses

The 69th annual Golden Globe awards saw the best of Hollywood dressed to the nines in some pretty amazing — and in some cases, daring — fashions. Not surprisingly then, the talk of the town tends to be all about who wore what, rather than who took home the evening’s awards. Let’s dive right in, analyzing what stood out color-wise, the trends at the event, any hits and misses, and my pick for the best- and worst-dressed actress.

Blue reigned supreme on Sunday night, shining more than any color on the designers’ palettes. From solids and prints, to silks and burned-out velvets, it was an across-the-board winner. Let’s start with Michelle Williams, who donned a very pretty, velvet-patterned, indigo-blue dress from Jason Wu. The fabric was really quite extraordinary if you think about how burned velvet is created (through carefully orchestrated and planned chemical alterations and reactions to artfully designated areas of the fabric length, which leave only some velvet remaining, creating the pattern). If you recall, Jason has become the “it” designer, scoring a career catapult by crafting Michelle Obama’s ivory inaugural dress, so it is no surprise celebrities flock to his showroom with hopes of wearing his work.

                      

From burned-out velvet to vivacious prints, our focus turns toward Sarah Michelle Gellar, who wore a floor-sweeping Monique Lhuillier ball gown. The print is both abstract and modern, almost tie-dye-like, but more closely resembling a paint-splatter pattern. It’s truly sensational in every way, from the fit and drape, to the color placement, which creates a slenderizing effect. What makes it very special is that while it appears to thin the actress, it still exudes the trend of volume and luxuriousness while not being overdesigned or too much like a Halloween costume. Some might say she has too petite of a frame to wear such a large dress, but I applaud her for allowing her daughter to select her gown, and I truly think she wears the dress well.

          

#page#One of my favorite dresses of the evening was worn by Sofia Vergara. I want you to take a close look at the workmanship of this dress, which is perhaps the most intricate of the evening. A body-hugging, peacock-blue mermaid dress was hand-crafted by Vera Wang, the famous wedding-dress designer. It is no surprise she applied her flawless talent and execution to this number. I love the color, the fit, and the magnificent treatment of the fabric from the thigh down. She wore it perfectly, and with all that design, Sofia chose (rightfully so) to wear it without much in the way of jewelery, instead selecting a pair of diamond bracelets, a ring, and earings, leaving a bare neck. This was definitely a solid, nailed look and I really appreciate all the attention her seamstresses paid to the art of glamour and perfection.

                

After a selection of breathtaking blue marvels, my emotions turn the same hue as I am sad to report one of my favorite actresses lands on my “missed” list. Julianna Margulies, who has never failed to amaze me with her attire, left me asking myself why she chose to play it so safe on Sunday with her plum-colored Naim Kahn. It’s a pretty dress for what it is, but it is so incredibly simple, it doesn’t stand out in comparison with other red-carpet numbers. Shaped with just a pair of princess darts, there really is nothing to it. Further, the horizontal weave of the fabric widens the actress and accents her stomach, a big no-no in the fashion world. The fabric itself is textural and artfully woven, and after seeing his gowns in Bergdorf Goodman, I know they are among the best out there. But it just does not work here.

                    

#page#Many wonder how different designers who have their creations on the runway during the same fashion week can have remarkably similar details. It’s as if there is some room where everyone in the fashion industry sits and goes over the trends prior to putting out their lines. Of course we all know this isn’t true. So then how does one explain the similarities? It really is an aurora borealis of unexplained mystery. A great example of this from the Golden Globes was the odd similarity of a bold-red duchess satin adorning the dresses of Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman. Have a look for yourself, and wonder how these coincidences occur. Angelina is wearing a Versace Atelier bleach-white dress with a dramatic scarlet brush-stroke detail placed near her clavical. I can’t help but remark on the startlingly skinny appearance of the actress. I thought the days of stick-thin were over! From the runways of Paris to New York, designers have been presenting their creations on more healthy-looking models in recent years, and this seems to be an extreme rollback to the improvements. Natalie, with a much healthier appearance, following the birth of her baby, is wearing a fuscia pink Lanvin dress with the same red brush-stroke detail at the top. Personally, my favorite designer as always been Versace, but here, I must say Natalie wins the head-to-head comparison.

                

                      

Classic beauty and the grace of a swan are the only way to describe the lovely Charlize Theron. Her petal-pink, satin, chiffon Christian Dior dress is finished with a crystal buckle at the waist, holding well-draped, layered gatherings. There’s something about this dress that speaks to the old-world, Hollywood glamour while keeping a fresh modern look. I love how she accented her Greek-goddess hairstyle with a diamond headband, matching her handbag and the crystal buckle. She is so effortlessly beautiful that she did not need an overwhelming color to make her stand out on the red carpet — or in this fashion review. Notice how she does not even wear a necklace (something typically found on V-cut dressed women) nor does she feel the need to wear bracelets or rings. I have to agree with her choice here, even if I might have designed the plunging neckline with a bit more modest approach.

#page#And now, for the oddest look of the evening: And the award goes to . . . Tilda Swinton. The good news is, that is her intention year after year. She prides herself on being unconventional, stunning the press with every selection she makes. She did not quite push the boundaries, as she has in previous years. Nonetheless, she is a master of appearing on the red carpet as though she were on the catwalk.

Her outfit doesn’t exactly look “bad” in the sense of the word, but extreme and slightly extraterrestrial. Even so, she executes her controversial look with comfort and an unexpected dose of grace. Tilda donned a light periwinkle-blue dress and silk jacket by Haider Ackermann and completed the look with a matching pair of gold extreme bracelets. She gives new meaning to the word “fierce.”

Bradley Scott is a winner of the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award and a New York native. His website is http://www.bradleyscott.com.

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