Monica Corcoran is contributing to Deadline’s Golden Globe coverage.
It wasn’t the best of dresses or the worst of dresses. Rather, this year’s red carpet at the Golden Globes felt more like a Baltimore debutante ball than a ribald Hollywood awards show. Updos didn’t crest like tsunamis, diamonds seemed to be hibernating, and the only cleavage worth ogling came compliments of Sofia Vergara and Salma Hayek.
If nothing else, a nude dress contrasts well with the red carpet. But a bevy of blush gowns hardly induces fashion envy. Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Kristen Wiig and Kate Beckinsale all chose the tame epidermis hue, though Jolie’s slash of crimson at the neckline of her Atelier Versace gown — like a gash to her clavicle — certainly added Shakespearean drama. Purple, too, made a popular showing among nominees like Octavia Spencer, Shailene Woodley, Julianna Margulies and Emma Stone. (The royal color has been heralded as the “it” shade for spring.) Metallics, an awards-show favorite and a shortcut to glamour, turned up on Diane Lane (pictured right), Madonna, Lea Michele and Nicole Richie. Lane’s gilded Reem Acra aced best dress; Michele’s risque molten silver Marchesa didn’t work because the young actress tried to outshine it. Shades of blue — from navy to cerulean — also proved a popular choice. Jodie Foster, bedecked in a beaded teal Giorgio Armani gown with a strapless corset and a cinched waist, looked feminine and unflappable.
As for skin, there were few plunging necklines. Sigh. Jolie, Jessica Biel and Viola Davis relied on center or side-slits to bare a bit of gam, and it was much appreciated. Rooney Mara’s tough-girl-next-door black Nina Ricci offered glimpses of her skim milk torso, with its bondage-like chiffon cut outs. Glee’s Dianna Agron and Michele competed for squint-worthy exhibitionism with their laser-cut gowns, but neither quickened my pulse. When it came to jewels, oversized earrings stole the show. FYI: If the unemployment rate hovers at 8.5%, stars tend to wisely eschew the quail egg-sized diamonds and blinding ruby chokers. Then, there’s Madonna. The best original song in a motion picture winner wore $2.5 million worth of Neil Lane gems, including half a dozen diamond and platinum cuff bracelets. Material girl, indeed.
In the end, I say, “all hail Tilda Swinton.” The statuesque fashion-forward icon — with the arm span of a yeti — didn’t disappoint in an ice blue Haider Ackerman skirt suit with strong, sharp shoulders. The red carpet always seems to part for Swinton and she deserves it.
Here’s the list of who wore who:
Beaded, cap sleeved purple and fuchsia chiffon Lanvin with a jeweled belt.
Reem Acra dress with a metallic bodice and forest green skirt, one perplexing fingerless glove and Neil Lane gems.
Pale purple Gucci gown with a beaded overlay and fish tail; Bulgari jewels.
Navy blue velvet Giorgio Armani Prive gown with crystal-embedded bust and matching bolero jacket.
One-shouldered bordeaux chiffon gown, custom-designed by Emilio Pucci.
Teal beaded, custom-designed Giorgio Armani gown with crescent-shaped bustier and side ruffle.
Art deco-inspired black and gold Gucci gown.
Midnight blue David Meister dress with Lorraine Schwartz jewels.
Canary yellow Monique Lhuillier gown with Kwiat diamond earrings.
Dove-grey Grecian Versace with gold stud inlay and Fred Leighton jewels.
Prada bustier strapless silk gown with a duchess satin belt.
Emerald and black glass beaded Prada dress with an ivory pearl embroidered collar.
Reem Acra peach tulle dress with beaded cap sleeves.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Tie-dye cobalt blue and white Monique Lhuillier gown with Bulgari jewels.
Reem Acra gold beaded gown.
Silver mesh Julien Macdonald gown.
Blush Dior Couture gown with a bow on her right hip; diamond headpiece and jewels from Cartier archives.
Midnight blue strapless silk organza Gucci gown with Chopard jewels.
Lilac Marchesa gown with jeweled bodice.
Purple, long sleeved Naeem Khan dress.
Olive green, long sleeved Badgley Mischka gown with jeweled neckline.
White high collared Givenchy gown with Harry Winston pearls.
Jason Wu long sleeved burnout velvet gown with vintage Fred Leighton head band.
One-shoulder black chiffon Dior dress with Cartier jewels.
Blush, beaded Roberto Cavalli dress with Lorraine Schwartz jewels
(Photos: Getty Images)