Marking the start of awards season, the Golden Globes has always been highly anticipated for the parade of stars wearing the most stunning gowns and jewelry that make it to the red carpet after a lot of frenzied hustling among agents, stylists and design houses.
But with pandemic protocols still in place, everyone was expecting this season to be a lot more toned down.
Well, it may have been quieter since the real red carpet only had presenters walking, not to mention that the hosts were in two different cities: Tina Fey at the Rainbow Room of the Rockefeller Center in New York and Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. But it turned out that it was the nominees and winners Zooming from their homes with their pet dogs and cats who gave the red carpet, albeit virtually, the glamour and glitter of the old days.
Locked down for so long, they came out of their bedrooms with a vengeance, in the latest designer couture and jewelry, doing the red carpet walk to their living rooms. Elle Fanning, pre-show, was eating takeout sushi in a bathrobe wearing a suite of vintage Fred Leighton diamonds and pearls, to later emerge in a custom-made ice blue Gucci gown, cut on the bias, that was inspired by Grace Kelly.
Like another goddess from the silver screen of old, Anya Taylor-Joy appeared in a Dior haute couture emerald Lurex dress with matching evening coat and shoes. She fittingly won best actress in a limited series or motion picture for TV for The Queen’s Gambit.
Another star of a Netflix movie, Rosamund Pike, wore a frothy Molly Goddard confection in ruby tulle. She posted a video of herself emerging from an elevator with the voluminous gown and kickboxing her way through the corridor in full fighting form with her stompy Alexander McQueen combat boots. True enough, she won best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy for I Care A Lot.
Still in vintage Hollywood mode in a mermaid gown but with a 2021 twist for diversity (which she singled out as a failure of the Globes, which has no black members), Viola Davis wore a Claude Kameni of Lavie by CK in a fabric of vibrant prints from the designer’s native Cameroon.
Another African-American, Regina King, who made history as a nominee for director for her film, One Night in Miami, was resplendent in a Louis Vuitton gown that required around 20,000 sequins.
With a seductive wave on her hair reminiscent of Veronica Lake, Amanda Seyfried emerged in a coral backless gown with a stole of handcrafted silk flowers by Oscar De La Renta, embodying all the opulence of the silent film era as well as alluding to Marion Davies, the Hollywood actress she plays in Mank.
Andra Day, best actress in a film for The US vs. Billie Holiday, referenced the ’30s jazz age of decadence in an ethereal grey tulle gown with sequin macrame bodice detail by Chanel Couture.
Drawing from a decade earlier, Julia Garner of Ozark was in Prada’s ivory and black flapper gown with the lowest plunging neckline, worn with Verdura jewelry of diamonds with black and gold starbursts.
Another Prada sighting in off-the-shoulder embellished satin was Sarah Paulson, who proved the LBD is eternal even with an arm cast, which the fashion house dressed up in lilac sequins and its signature triangular logo.
Prada’s younger label Miu Miu dressed up Emma Corrin, best actress for her role as Princess Diana in The Crown, in a black and white polka-dot sheath with a Pierrot collar, matched with Cartier emerald and diamond earrings.
Her Prince Charles, Josh O’Connor, won best actor and wore a Loewe suit with a cravat for a touch of the Romantics, just like his character in the TV series.
Going off tangent from all the vintage romance was Cynthia Erivo in a neon-green neoprene Valentino haute couture dress in an exaggerated trapeze and accessorized with a nose ring, elbow-length gloves and sky-high silver platforms.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jane Fonda received her Cecil B. De Mille award in a simple white trouser suit that came straight from her closet, in keeping with her vow not to buy new clothes and also symbolic of women power, a sobering presence that, together with her powerful speech, summed up the zeitgeist: The need for diversity and the need for change.
Although it’s not what we are used to, it’s quite something that, thanks to technology, we are still able to dress up and celebrate things that define us as humans, like honoring the excellent work of those who tell stories through film and television, inspiring our lives and giving us hope.