Awards Season is ON.
Now begins the parade of celebrities carefully dressed in borrowed finery that will go along with a desired public image plotted more carefully than a John le Carre novel. Every awards season, in general, usually has a vaguely-cohesive feel to it, as recent runway trends get condensed to their sparkly essence, alongside the usual standard silhouettes. The Golden Globes, being the first "big one," is sort of a barometer for the season we can all look forward to. Last year was a year of Full Baffle, in which everyone made terrible decisions.
Let's find out how the wind is blowing this year, starting with the awards show where people are allowed to get drunk all night right at their tables instead of flasking it in the bathrooms during commercials!
And speaking of feeling a little drunk:
Lucy Liu, you're up.
This look gives me pangs in my heart, and here's why: it starts with perfect hair and makeup, and a silhouette that's very modern-Marie-Antoinette in an unfussy way, which I adore - nothing like an insouciant pocketed skirt to assure people your internal scaffolding is no biggie. A photo-print is an interesting approach to florals if you are going to attempt the sartorial quagmire than is florals. But the usually-unerring Lucy Liu is wearing a floral that is godawful. The colors are motel-bedspread, the print is uneven in a way that should probably either not happen or should look more intentional on a dress as expensive as this dress is so it doesn't look like she's slowly melting into the red carpet, and the print itself lacks the impact, detail, and grace of versions of this style that do it well. I want so much to like this look, but while I can understand where it's coming from, I just can't go where it's asking me to go.
However, though she was the only entrant in the Golden Globes Motel Bedspread 5000 this year, Lucy definitely had her finger on the emerging trend of the ballgown silhouette, which seems to be making a 1950s-Versailles comeback this year!
Julianne Hough, in a dress I almost love! There's a lesson here about that ineffable quality of wearing a dress vs. it wearing you. Cate Blanchett would be wearing the hell out of this dress. This dress is wearing the hell out of Julianne Hough.
Debra Messing, who got the Panniers part of the ballgown memo and sort of forgot the rest.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who looks, as usual, very nice.
Jennifer Lawrence, who has a literal boob shelf on her bodice, one just under each bosom. That is…a style decision! That…someone made. I can only hope she was storing her lipstick there right up until her publicist made her take it out, because I can't imagine her letting a chance like that go to waste.
God, remember when Lwaxana Troi would show up on Star Trek TNG and inevitably there would be some huge ambassador party that she would end up crashing and then everyone would learn lessons about acceptance and in the meantime more ugly fabric would have been strangled into Future Dresses than seemed humanly possible? Me, too. In other news, here's Lena Dunham.
and Zooey Deschanel, looking standard next to what was, for me, the highlight of the red carpet: A heating vent that looks suspiciously like a Heater Handbag someone got utterly sick of and shoved in the bushes for punishment. It started out distracting, and turned magical. We'll see it again.
But first, some lovely dresses!
LOOKING LOVELY DIVISION
Helen Mirren, Biker Snake Goddess. Fabulous. Look at the grin on Heater Handbag.
Michelle Dockery, actual human designer's sketch, who makes a doily breastplate look effortless.
Adele, whose style I have come to enjoy, because it's "Can I get a black dress with sleeves and a little detail somewhere, thanks we're done." And it works, and she has made it a part of her brand, and I dig.
Juliana Marguiles, who said, "I shall take EVERY texture!" It worked out, though!
Julianna Moore! She often makes dress decisions that confuse me; she often makes dress decisions that delight me. She and her Mod Reenactment team have chosen well this year!
Frances Fischer, doing the 1930s thing to very pretty effect.
Amy Poehler, single and reminding everyone that it was certainly not because of her bod that she got divorced, in a cropped tux.
Sally Field, flaunting what she's got. I am down with everything but the blue eyeshadow.
Jodie Foster! Like the silhouette, love the colors, love the detail on the straps and neckline, am not quite understanding the texture of the actual dress.
Tina Fey! Very cute. Not as stunning as the green one, I think, but this is a mostly-darling dress.
Kathryn Bigelow. It's not even that this dress is great (the dress is fine, but hardly exciting), but that is the face of a director who has Had It With All This Can We Not, and I just want it immortalized here.
On the right: Alison Pill, looking old-Hollywood in a very simple and elegant way! On the left, Emily Mortimer, in a dress that probably seemed like a good idea but just looks like a shroud of thumbtacks, which is as good an intro as any to the division of ladies who did their very best, and left us all with some questions.
NOT QUITE DIVISION
Kerry Washington. It's interesting! I love the beading, and could even have been talked into the wide bands of neutral, but somehow I cannot be talked into the beading and the wide band of neutral AND the sheer overlay on top of the mini. That doesn't keep her from working it, but just for contrast, this is what she wore to the premiere of Django Unchained in London:
Oh, horse head ball gown? Sure. NAILED IT. How I wish she'd worn it here.
Mayim Bialik. I really like this - it's slightly ice-princess but applied with a light hand, and the colors are great on her. I just wish this neckline had been slightly more boatneck to echo the belt, so it looked more Old Hollywood and less t-shirt.
Zosia Mamet, in a very Deco dress whose design I love, with leather inserts I question the necessity of. Nothing else would have given that contrast? The hem looks weirdly stiff.
Anna Gunn. I sort of get the Cornucopia of Plenty neckline details and the blousey waist, but I would pay someone a hundred dollars to have made that skirt long enough to hit the floor.
Amanda Seyfriend, cosplaying Kim Basinger-as-Veronica-Lake in her really fancy nightie in L.A. Confidential.
Thandie Newton, cosplaying You Might Have Forgotten About This Import But I Bet You're Sorry Now, Buddy. That dress is a bit cobbledly-bits - either line the whole thing in sheer or line the whole thing in a color or make the contrast more elegant than you have - but Thandie Newton cannot even be bothered with people's opinions on her encrusted yet floppy mock turtleneck because she's so busy fabulousing her way down the carpet that she hasn't even noticed.
Kelly Osbourne is pleased with her bog-standard mermaid dress! THE HEATER HANDBAG LAUGHS LAST.
Glenn Close, in a dress that was lovely until it burped at the hem and cuffs.
NO THANKS DIVISION
Nicole Richie in a dress made of drapes, and The Heater Handbag.
Katherine McPhee, the living embodiment of a woman as a product packaged for sale. Jessica Biel take note, I guess.
Rachel Weisz, wearing a dress that clearly tore mid-thigh on her way out of the limo, leaving her with only a sheer lining that she sold as best she could. (The Heater Handbag is judging her.)
Jessica Chastain, the living embodiment of trying to make fetch happen, in a dress that is sad just to be on her.
Morena Baccarin, in a dress that was probably nice at some point but got so many Project Runway additions that now it's growing its own tendrils on the bottom left. (Wave to the Heater Handbag!)
Taylor Swift, in that quasi-Hepburn string-and-boatneck neckline that didn't work back when Taylors in my high school were wearing it and is not working now.
Halle Berry, you are a year late with that leg, and two decades late with that dress, and The Heater Handbag is SHOCKED you left the house that way.
Marion Cotillard, in a dress in a wonderful color, whose bodice had potential, and whose skirt looks like she caught it caught in her undies in the bathroom and shoes that don't go but look like they're trying to.
And somehow, this is the dress that tipped The Heater Handbag right over into a drunk stupor. Good night, sweet prince. See you at the Oscars.
More photos can be found at Yahoo!, from which these shots are mirrored.