As awards-show season kicks into high gear, it’s time for another season of pretty starlets in pretty, unmemorable gowns and actors in a string of identical, improperly tailored tuxedos. And while there’s nothing wrong with standard red carpet fashion, it does have a tendency to get boring. So, as is our wont, let’s take a moment to celebrate a few of the brave souls who did something surprising on the red carpet at the 2017 Golden Globes.
Evan Rachel Wood
Often when women do menswear on the red carpet, there’s an impulse to go very slinky. But Evan Rachel Wood decided to go dapper instead in her perfectly tailored tux, resulting in a look that’s full-on Marlene Dietrich.
It was an unusual choice for Wood, who has tended toward sequins and mermaid silhouettes in the past. She wanted to make a statement, she said:
I’ve been to the Globes six times. I’ve worn a dress every time. And I love dresses. I’m not trying to protest dresses. But I want to make sure that young girls and women know they aren’t a requirement and that you don’t have to wear one if you don’t want to. Just be yourself, because your worth is more than that.
In a role reversal, Janelle Monáe, reigning queen of dapper red carpet menswear, decided to go high femme at the Globes in her sparkly, tulle-heavy Armani Privé gown. What really elevates the look is the pearls dotting her hair, and how they’re reversed and mirrored in her polka-dotted skirt.
Emma Stone’s wildly underwritten character in La La Land became a real person primarily on the combined strength of Stone’s charm and her fantastic vintage wardrobe. Now Stone is continuing the trend of expository wardrobe into awards-show season. If ever there was a gown that said, “Hello! I am representing a movie about old Hollywood nostalgia and artistic dreamers,” it’s this starry, dreamy Valentino. It is also, for my money, the best iteration of the sparkly + pink trend that dominated the red carpet this year.
Ruth Negga is dressing like a cyborg about to go into battle, and I am here for it. That long stripe of exposed zipper down the front is the perfect finishing detail on this Louis Vuitton — that, and her severely chic slicked back hair.
This is just a taste of what’s to come
The Golden Globes may or may not predict the Oscars, but in terms of fashion, they tend to be just a warm-up act. Many of the biggest stars save their most elaborate looks for the more prestigious awards, and the Globes’ well-documented quirkiness and tendency toward drunkenness mean that they’re the place for second-tier wardrobe.
For our purposes, that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. Second-tier wardrobe tends to be less prestigious than top-tier, but it also gives people room to take risks. The Evan Rachel Woods of the world are much more likely to break out a tux in the relative safety of the Globes than they are at an event with the self-importance of the Oscars, where the pressure to put on a princess-y ballgown is immense.
But we can continue to hope and pray that come February 27, some brave soul will put an outfit that gives us all something to talk about.