Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

How the Golden Globes became the Frocky Horror Show ... and a few award-winning outfits too!

As the stars hit the red carpet, Frances Burscough looks at the fashion hits and the misses

Sack the stylist: Neven Sandra Bullock can carry off this colour-blocking ballgown by Prabal Gurung
... Emma Watson in a disastrous red Christian Dior gown

A deluge of sewage from a burst pipe threatened to ruin the red carpet at Sunday's Golden Globe awards in Hollywood. Fortunately the organisers were able to mop up the mess in time for the spectacular arrival of the A-Listers. Some came up smelling of roses, but there seemed to be more than the usual quota of real stinkers too.

But before we get down to the nitty-gritty of who wore what by whom, here are a few of my personal observations on the emerging trends this awards season.

The future looks bright if you're a fan of the vivid and vibrant. Last year's fad for nudes and neutrals is all but over as a riot of colours clashed, mingled or merged with the red carpet.

Although there was certainly a lot of scarlet, there was no one overall shade that dominated on the night as almost every area of the spectrum from canary yellow, to teal blue, to vermillion, to emerald, to jade put in an appearance.

As for the shape of things to come, the corseted bodice with swishy fishtail silhouette remains the silhouette of choice for many of the leading ladies. A new and interesting development is also the emergence of the long cape, either detachable or integral, as an elegant addition to the overall ensemble.

Meanwhile, the trend for asymmetry continues apace with a number of one-shouldered or laser-cut necklines making the headlines.

On the whole fabrics are one extreme or the other this year, either sparkling metallics glittering with beads and embroidery or very matt, flat and understated.

Now, as much as I love Jennifer Lawrence and applaud her award for Best Supporting Actress in the brilliant American Hustle, her dress was for me the biggest flop of the evening. Given the amount of choice she must have had, with the world's greatest designers all vying for her attention, how on earth did she end up in such a complete and utter disaster?

And, more importantly, why?

Ok, it was created by Dior. But that is the only good thing I can think of to say about that drab white shroud which made her beautiful body look about as attractive as a sack of spuds. As for the arbitrary and pointless black straps ... what is that all about?

What does it add to the outfit, other than unnecessary bulk in all the wrong places? Words almost fail me, other than the overwhelming question: What. Was. She. Thinking?!

But some did get it all right on the night and here are my top 10 favourites.

Taylor Swift is certainly emerging as one of the absolute stars of 21st century style. She never puts a foot wrong in my opinion and her ensemble for the Golden Globes was another fine example of her immaculate taste. Wearing her bronze coloured hair up in a chic pin-curled coiffe was the perfect way to emphasise the fabulous decadence of her Carolina Herrera gown. Combining a plain black boned bodice with a dazzling rose pink taffeta bustled skirt, she swept in and demanded attention like a true movie star ... even though (as a singer) she technically isn't one.

Amy Adams is so naturally beautiful she was an absolute treat to watch in the film American Hustle and her choice for these awards really did do her justice.

Her auburn hair was twisted into an elaborate Roman braid, allowing full attention to the gorgeous two-toned Valentino gown with matching floor length cape. This combined a deep claret halter neck bodice and a floor-sweeping skirt in bright ruby red and complemented her complexion and colouring to perfection.

English rose Kate Beckinsale literally dazzled in a sequinned dress by Zuhair Murad. This was moulded to her hour-glass figure with such precision, it gave the impression she'd been dipped in molten silver. Absolutely exquisite and completely flawless.

Cate Blanchett was one of the few who opted for good old traditional black lace and, although a safe choice in many ways, its plunging backless design did give it the edge. Cate is another star who rarely makes a fashion faux pas and this lingerie-inspired Valentino number was another real winner.

Naomi Watts chose a Grecian column dress by Tom Forde in a sparkling and shimmering pale gold crepe which hung elegantly from thick gold choker straps, combining integral jewellery very effectively. This looked stunning against her creamy skin and flaxen locks. Meanwhile, across the red carpet, Robin Wright wore a very similar creation, but hers looked drab and dull in comparison, simply because it was ill-fitting and under accessorised. Go figure!?

One of the many coloured confections that stood out on the evening was the elegant aquamarine gown by Calvin Klein, as chosen by the demure Reese Witherspoon. This was one example where the boldness of colour was simply enough to capture the attention without any fuss or detail to distract the eye from the perfect cut of the cloth.

Other favourites of mine included the brilliant scarlet cape and gown by Ralph Lauren on the African newcomer Lupita Nyongo; the sumptuous crushed black velvet by Givenchy, as chosen by Jessica Chastaine; Dame Helen Mirren's sparkly mint green number and Julianna Marguile's black and gold leaf baroque ballgown.

THUMBS DOWN

Boy, were there some horrible outfits too on Sunday night! Epic fails abounded and at one point seemed to outnumber the swish and sophisticated, as one after another the fashion catastrophes lined up for the world's relentless scrutiny.

Julia Roberts. We all love you, through thick or thin, but who ever told you to wear a crisp white cotton shirt under a svelte black velvet column dress should be sacked on the spot.

Ditto Emma Thompson. I love her and always will, but Emma, for the sake of middle-aged women everywhere, enough of the old-lady hair do and mis-matched, mid-calf ensembles. You just look MUMSY!!

Sandra Bullock: Pink, blue and black satin colour blocks were a clever idea, but it just didn't work. I'm guessing that's both hello and goodbye to the designer Prabal Gurund in one fell swoop.

Zooey Deschanel's cream milkmaid outfit with floral headband would have looked lovely for a bridesmaid at a mid-summer wedding, or a maypole dancer on Mayday, but just looked naïve and childish amid the true glitterati at the Globes.

Paula Patton appeared to have got into a tussle with a tablecloth in her all-white ensemble by Stephanie Rolland. She's definitely got the figure to carry off a real statement gown, but here she just looked daft.

Zoe Saldana is another real stunner who could have done so much better if she hadn't gone into kooky overdrive. Just look at this concoction. What a mess! Sack the stylist!

Drew Barrymore... yes, you're heavily pregnant and deliriously happy. We're all delighted for you but as for the dress?

Did you learn nothing from Kim Kardashian's maternity mistake? Floral when you're big just looks blooming humungous!

And for the ones who beggar belief? Emma Watson? I have but one word: NO. Er, the hair's lovely. The make-up's perfect. The poise is faultless. There's just one thing missing: The back of your dress. We can see your stretchy everyday leggings. They're quite noticeable actually. It's like that nightmare where you go outl half- dressed, except this is real and the entire world is looking at you, wondering if you have even realised. Wake up Emma!

And as for Girls' star Lena Dunham? That canary yellow Zac Posen number didn't flatter her skintone ...or her figure.

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