I’m baaaa-aaaack! AKA The Golden Globes Fashion Roundup

Hello, darlings– no I’m not dead. Just been hanging more on FB and Twitter these days because I seem to only think in short bursts. Which sounds vaguely dirty, but that’s neither here nor there. Awards season has started and as such, I will be venturing back into long form for my usual fashion round-ups.

Now, I know there are probably several of you who are new, maybe coming over here from Twitter or FB and you’re probably wondering what sort of credentials I have for offering a fashion round-up. Well, none, really. Other than I have a lifelong love of fashion and actually, did grow up around the industry, with my mother, in her day, serving as a production pattern maker for several high end sportswear and evening wear designers (if you ever watch pageants, you’ve definitely seen stuff she worked on– even now. Those patterns last forever.). She’s also quite an accomplished seamstress in her own right, making various gowns and dresses for me throughout my life, including the Edwardian-styled creation that was my wedding gown.


Twenty yards of silk taffeta, point d’Alençon lace, and over 10K pearls, y’all– the woman may drive me nuts, but that’s love, you know? Also, I have no idea who let me get married that young.

Needless to say, I still love fashion and adore dressing in red carpet style when the occasion demands (sweats the rest of the time, for I am nothing if not practical), and when awards season rolls around, watch avidly to see who’s wearing what and who pissed off their stylist. Seriously, you’d think Sarah Jessica and J-Lo would learn, right?

Anyhow– the Golden Globes.

*disclaimer: all pictures the property of their respective photographers/agencies. No infringement intended, no profit being made.

Huh. Well, dear readers, sad to say, I was seriously underwhelmed with a side of WTF were they thinking? on occasion. I don’t even know where to start, exactly, so I guess I’ll just dive on in.

First case of WTF, Paula Patton. Girl, I think it’s illegal to have skinned Big Bird and wear him as a dress. I’m sure he’s on the endangered species list. Seriously, very, very few people can wear that color (and I acknowledge my own bias against it, since I really do dislike yellow) but I think if you’re going to wear it, sleek and streamlined is the way to go, not misguided prom gown.

Speaking of misguided. And they presented together. Piper and Sarah Michelle… girls, did you consult with each other ahead of time? I think not.

Okay, Piper. You’re a lovely lady with a lithe figure. You also have no curves or chest to speak of. Whoever put you in a gown that has a bodice more commonly found on holiday dresses for toddlers needs to be spanked. Severely. Couple that with the skirt that nearly swallowed poor Peter Dinklage and we have an issue of proportions. Now, Sarah Michelle… sweetie, I actually did want to like your gown. I will admit to applauding the use of the fabric—I thought it was vibrant and different, but as I’ve said before and will probably say until the end of time, if one aspect of the gown really stands out, in this case, the pattern of the fabric, it’s best to keep everything else streamlined. There was just too much going on with the poofy skirt and the peplum. I applaud your hair and jewelry, however. They were simple and worked.

End result, Piper and Sarah Michelle looked like a pair of meringues.

There seemed to be a slight trend of video game screens doubling as dress bodices. Zooey, Salma, step forward, if you please?

Yanno, I kind of really wanted to like Zooey’s if only because it was a bold choice in a sea of blah. I just couldn’t get the Galaga sound effects out of my head every time I saw her. Salma, on the other hand… well, girl can wear her gown, rather than it wearing her. But again, very 80s-era video game, somehow.

Lea Michele is going the way of J-Lo. Her looks are starting to become more and more extreme, but unlike J-Lo, I don’t think she has the panache, quite yet, to pull those looks off—whether they look good or not, Jenny From the Block always commits and wears her outfits with an air of “Yes, bitches, I know it’s extreme, but this is me wearing it.” Lea, more often than not, looks as if the dress is wearing her. Also, Halle Berry pulled this look off far more effectively.

I wanted to love both Sofia Vergara and Emma Stone’s gowns and I almost did, but something small, in both cases, kept me from full-out love affair.

With Sofia, bless her, I love how she embraces her curves and works it. She has found her look and she sticks with it (although I confess to a desire to see her in something other than a mermaid cut). However, if she’s going to wear that cut, time and again, at least I give her props for finding unique versions of it and OMG, how I ADORE the detail work on the skirt, all those thousands of tiny, structured pleats, swirling around. It gives my detail-loving heart a major happy, in a “Oh yeah, I’d so wear that gown” sort of way. Executed in that color, it gave the impression of a stormy sea.

However… it was the color that killed it for me, on her. I never thought I’d see a color that didn’t look good on her, but that dark teal? Was kind of blah on her, sad to say. And I really, really wanted to love it. It was okay, it just wasn’t great. And from Sofia, I expect great.

Now, Emma. I loved the color of her gown. Bold choice considering she’s a redhead again, but the dual shades of red/burgundy complemented her beautifully. So what killed it? The shoulder pad, not-quite-cap sleeves. I’m sorry. It’s a personal preference, but I hated them so much. Coupled with the belt, which was okay, although I would have preferred if it had been fabric, rather than leather, she sort of looked like she was in some militaristic/dominatrix uniform.

Speaking of dominatrixes…

Madge. Really? The 80s called, they want their fingerless glove back. In another nod to the 80s, her designer clearly stole the fabric from bridesmaids dresses of the era. Also? It’s not nice to do that to The Girls. They’ll get you back. And yes, her arms looked trés scary.

Now, there was quite a bit of red yesterday. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Reese. The dress was okay. Color was okay. Fit was okay (another mermaid *yawn*). Her hair on the other hand, was a disaster. She cannot do tousled “I just got out of bed with my new, sexy husband” hair. She just doesn’t have the demeanor for it, nor, more importantly, did that gown call for it. She could have kept her hair down, but it would’ve been better to do something sleek and elegant, like Sofia Vergara or Nicole Kidman. I wanted to attack the girl with a brush, I swear, and I suck at doing hair.

Dianna, on the other hand, was a close, but no cigar for me. I adored the intricacy of the bodice. Very Firebird-esque. (Yes, I know they were swans, just work with me here, okay?) But why in hell did the designer opt to use Grandma’s old lace tablecloths as a multi-tiered skirt? WHY?? If only it had been a simple, heavy silk satin skirt it would have been my clear winner. Period. Because yes, I love the bodice that very much but that damned fussy skirt killed it.

Of the three examples above, Stacy Keibler wins. She’s a tall girl with a bangin’ figure, so she went with a simple column in what looks like silk jersey, which has a fabulous drape but is otherwise unadorned, letting the color dominate. Hair and accessories are simple and unfussy and when your main accessory happens to be George Clooney, what else do you need, really?

All right. There were also a lot of nude shades on the carpet. Seems like the thing, when people don’t want to wear black and they’re afraid of color, they go for nude. So. Let’s look at a few.

Julie Bowen. Honey, I love you, but other than the hair looking beautiful, this was a total fail. There was no definition between you and the fabric, rendering you the approximate overall shade of an underdone piece of toast. Speaking of toast, you look a wee bit thinner than you did back in your Ed days. It could be you’re that thin naturally, but I can’t help but want to feed you a hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Charlize, Kate, and Diane, for all my grousing that people use nude as a fall back, y’all managed to pull it off, in its various iterations, quite, quite nicely. In fact, Kate and Diane both are doing the Women of a Certain Age who’ve also had babies look quite proud. Rock on, ladies!

Michelle, Michelle, Michelle… you’re such a pretty girl. Why did you let someone dress you in Grandma’s old burn-out velvet housedress from 1965?

And I never thought I’d say this, but Kate Winslet, you looked frumpy last night. And I so wanted to love how you looked, because damn, girl, you got hips and boobs and you usually dress them well.

Okay, now the two I’ve been most on the fence about. Nicole and Angelina. I know most people absolutely adored Angelina’s gown and in theory, I do too. Simple, beautiful vintage cut and the detail of the draping is sublime and appears to give her curves where she needs them and of course, I love the splash of color and that she matched her accessories so wonderfully. The one thing that kept me from all out true love was the height and width of the neckline. It was a scant inch or so too high for my taste, seeming to overwhelm her neck. And when you’ve got a swanlike neck the likes of Angelina’s you don’t want to overwhelm it. Otherwise, le sigh. I truly did love it.

Nicole’s: I like the contrast of her hair color with the gown and unlike so many of the younguns, Nic has her gowns fitted properly. I like a lot about this gown, including the Deco-style detailing. I just somehow don’t full out love it and it’s frustrating, because I can’t quite tell you why.

SWINTON. ‘Nuff said. She’s her own category.

Natalie Portman, what in hell were you thinking? Just because Marisa Tomei wasn’t here this year, you had to take up the avant-garde cause? That architecturally structured disaster probably weighed more than you do. Why yes, this is a case of the gown overwhelming its wearer. Do like the color, though.

Okay, on to the final stretch. (For a meh year, I was sure a Chatty Kathy, wasn’t I?)

Evan Rachel Wood. You know… props to the girl. This was easily the most unique gown on the red carpet and she wore it well. I love the color, don’t love the halter on her, love the details and how one embellishment flows into the next, rather than all of them fighting for space on the gown. Overall, I’ll call it a win, especially since she kept everything else relatively simple.

Octavia Spencer, girl, I bow down to you. You were beautiful, gracious, and at times, downright adorable. I LOVE that shade of lavender on you, as much as I hate you for being able to wear it when I can’t. (Turns me a lovely shade of jaundice.) You used a great fabric, it draped beautifully and your shoulders and décolletage are things of beauty, so props to you for showing them off.

Nicole Richie has come a long way and she has really become one of my style icons of late. She has learned what works for her frame and dresses it flawlessly in vintage silhouettes. She’s also clearly in tune with the details, well-aware that they contribute to the overall effect. She was a big winner for me last night.

Dame Helen. ‘Nuff said. Let’s just pause for a moment to admire and pray that we can be that fabulous one day.

I know you’re all thinking I’ve been relatively mild, for me, and that someone has been conspicuously missing thus far. Wait for iiiiiiittttttt

Sweet zombie jaysus, Jessica, we know you just got engaged and all, but what in hell was up with the Bride of Frankenstein look? Okay, never mind, that’s an insult to the Bride of Frankenstein, because she at least brushed her hair. I just… y’all, I can’t even cope with this hot mess of lace tablecloth and hot pants. Did no one shine a light on the girl and make certain that we wouldn’t be able to see straight to Paradise when she was under the stage lights? And you just know she worked with a stylist who told her she looked, “FAB-ulous, darling!”

Feh. I’ve got better gowns in my own closet.

So. Who was my winner? Believe it or not, someone wearing a simple, black gown. Because she wore it oh, so very, very well.

Morena Baccarin, it should be illegal to be you.

I would wear this gown in a New York minute and young ladies on the red carpet, take note, this is how you walk and pose: back straight, shoulders back, poised, relaxed, elegant.

(The husband disagrees—he hates the front of the dress. Ah, well. I don’t expect everyone or anyone, really, to agree with me.)

And there you have it. What’s next? The SAGs? Until then…

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