Golden Globes Fashion Recap: Good Dresses, Dated Format
This show definitely had award season warm-up vibes, but hey, at least had any vibes at all.
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The Golden Globes hasn’t updated its format or look in decades, and not in a cute nostalgic way, but in a stuck way. This means that the red carpet is pulling the award show along, rather than the other way around.
That dynamic represents a huge change for the roughly 25-year-old celebrity-fashion industrial complex, born when celebrities replaced supermodels as the faces of the industry. While a new type of supermodel is coming back in the form of “nepo babies,” celebrities are still the fashion industry’s main conduit to the masses. We saw this just days ago when Gucci released, to great internet buzz, its new handbag campaign starring Dakota Johnson. Fans now take this kind of relationship, where a star is contracted to appear in ads and wear a certain brand on red carpets, for granted. But it didn’t start becoming a thing until around the late nineties, when stars and the fashion industry realized it would be wise to start layering fashion onto celebrity activities.
Related in Back Row: Venice Red Carpet Makes Movies Actually Exciting Again
But today, classic award shows like the Globes and the Oscars almost feel like layering celebrity activities onto fashion. The best chance the Golden Globes had this year as a red-carpet event was to feel like the 2022 Venice Film Festival. It didn’t quite meet that mark. The men’s fashion was surprisingly penguin-y on the whole, as though Timothée Chalamet’s shiny red jumpsuit was just a mirage. Rihanna was the biggest fashion star of the night to attend, but didn’t bother with the red carpet, leaving Schiaparelli to release a photo of her in her custom couture dress sitting at one of those big round tables (better photos came out later, thankfully).
I liked that on the whole, the clothes didn’t feel gimmicky, like they often do at the Met Gala. Some looks wowed in their simplicity, like Letitia Wright in Prada, Viola Davis in Jason Wu, and Laverne Cox in vintage John Galliano. Less restrained but equally gorgeous were Michelle Williams’s Gucci dress and Li Jun Li’s Dolce & Gabbana. Fussier gowns included Selena Gomez’s Valentino, and Michelle Yeoh’s Armani Privé, both of which I liked. I liked Ana Taylor-Joy’s pale yellow Dior, too, but judging by social media reactions, many would disagree with me (debate is also inevitable with Margot Robbie’s Chanel dress). That strikes me as a good thing — these dresses should be conversation starters.
However, it’s impossible to scrutinize this as a fashion event independent of the institution itself. If the institution doesn’t survive — and at this rate, it probably won’t — neither does the red carpet.