“It never rains in LA — except at the Golden Globes,” joked stylist Ilaria Urbinati hours before the 80th Golden Globes kicked off on Tuesday night.
This year, however, the stormy downpour that descended on Los Angeles was in stark contrast to the mood surrounding the actual event, which industry insiders said was unusually quiet compared to past awards seasons, with fewer pre-show events. The fact that the show aired on a Tuesday rather than its usual Sunday slot also contributed to the more subdued energy.
Urbinati, who has had five nominated clients including Donald Glover, Adam Scott and Diego Calva, added that the relaxed nature of the run-up to this year’s awards allowed her to focus solely on the clothes. It comes after a two-year hiatus from the Golden Globes red carpet: last year’s ceremony was canceled amid controversy over a lack of diversity at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the governing body and host of the Golden Globes, and Covid-19 held up the virtual ceremony in 2021.
The less hectic rush certainly came to the fore in the creative, joyful and fashion-laden combinations seen on the red carpet. Sequins, like anything bright and reflective, was the main trend of the night, including Sheryl Lee Ralph in a shimmery purple Aliétte, Angela Bassett in a high-necked Pamelle Roland silver sequin dress, and Jessica Chastain in an embellished Oscar de la Renta dress with shimmering silver crystals and sequins like a spider’s web.
When it comes to designers, Margot Robbie dismissed rumors that her relationship with Chanel is over, stepping out in a pink Chanel Couture sequined halter dress. Dolce and Gabbana continued its consistent presence on the red carpet, dressing Niecy Nash and Jennifer Coolidge, who took home a trophy for her role in “The White Lotus” and gifted the Italian house during the presentation. Louis Vuitton created custom looks for nominee Barry Keoghan, who wore a powder blue tuxedo, and Ana de Armas, who wore a strapless black dress encrusted with crystals.
Gucci dressed several women, including “Wednesday” actress Jenna Ortega in a floaty taupe dress with cutouts, Michelle Williams in a white pleated dress with ruffles and trophy winner Julia Garner in a candy pink suit with a crystal-detailed bodice. Armani, usually a big presence on awards carpets, dressed significantly fewer celebrities this year, although Michelle Yeoh, who won best actress in a comedy/musical, wore a strapless navy blue sequined Armani Privé gown.
Men took more fashion risks than in previous years. In addition to Keoghan, Seth Rogen wore a Pepto-pink monochromatic tuxedo and Eddie Redmayne wore a chocolate brown Valentino tuxedo with a large sculpted silk rose on the lapel. Glover wore a white YSL robe under a black tuxedo jacket citing “comfort” as his priority for the evening.
It was a fitting return for the Globes, which are known for their fun and atmosphere, and have historically had an upbeat and upbeat tone with a look that teeters into editorial territory. Think the black Lanvin strapless bodice pant suit covered in silver beading worn by Emma Stone in 2015, Lady Gaga in voluminous green Valentino, or Cynthia Erivo stepping out in a structured neon green Valentino dress in 2021.
While the Golden Globes may pale in comparison to the Oscars in terms of viewership and prestige, its red carpet has long been a platform for up-and-coming and established celebrity style stars to cement their status in the public eye, as well as for fashion houses to seek out their next star campaign . Zendaya and Jennifer Lawrence, for example, both quickly landed major fashion deals after proving their mettle on the red carpet.
In 2018, the Globes red carpet also became a stage for activism when most of the women in attendance, including A-listers Reese Witherspoon, Issa Rae, Amy Poehler, Tracee Ellis Ross and Michelle Williams, wore black in solidarity with Time’s Up and through their work, the fight against discrimination based on gender. Several men, including Ewan McGregor and host Seth Meyers, also showed their support by wearing Time’s Up pins. Actress Connie Britton took a more casual approach, wearing a Lingua Franca sweater emblazoned with the words “Poverty is sexist.”
Shortly after the statement-making red carpet in 2018, the Golden Globes made headlines over allegations of questionable practices and a lack of diversity within the HFPA, which is made up of journalists and photographers for publications outside the US.
The controversy came at a time when ratings for the Golden Globes were declining. Just 6.9 million viewers watched the virtual ceremony in 2021, compared to 18.4 million in 2020, according to Nielsen data. (However, all awards shows have seen viewership decline over the past decade, and 2021 saw lower numbers for the pandemic-hindered ceremonies.) The HFPA’s problems ultimately led to NBC not airing the 2022 ceremony, effectively canceling it. event for this year.
This year, although the Golden Globes are back, it’s a somewhat cautious return. Although the fashion was sparkling, events organized by brands, publications and film studios before and after the ceremony were dramatically scaled back.
“Not one person went to the party,” Urbinati said. “Which was much better because a big part of the stress of awards season is random parties. Brands don’t really get excited about party wear because there’s not as much coverage.”
Tu Tran, owner of Lit Agency, a celebrity PR and VIP salon based in West Hollywood, added that he fielded few or no dress requests for parties held years before. Tran speculates that the absence of pre- and post-show events is likely a side effect of the backlash.
“People are waiting to see how things play out,” Tran said. “It’s probably a combination of the first-year returns and brands saving their budget to see how the show shapes up going forward.”