Fashion Winners & Sinners

This year’s Golden Globes was a suitably lighthearted affair that seemed infinitely more enjoyable than last year’s broadcast namely because host Ricky Gervais struck just the right tone with the Hollywood crowd. For all his talk that he wasn’t going to hold back, it was clear that this was going to be a kinder, gentler Ricky when he chose to take not one but two shots at a safe target — Kim Kardashian — within the first ten minutes of the broadcast. When Gervais introduced Johnny Depp, the evening’s first presenter, he cleverly managed to signal all was forgiven(at least by Depp)for his full-frontal attacks like the one he deployed on The Tourist last year. If you happened to have forgotten, Gervais basically called out Depp for making one of the worst movies of last year with costar Angelina Jolie. Tonight, he told the audience that Depp had taken such a hit for making the film that he was now reduced to starring in a film with him. When Depp took the stage Gervais asked Depp if he had yet to see The Tourist to which Depp sheepishly admitted he hadn’t. It was a funny bit and it worked to set the right tone for the night.

From there on in, the stars knew it was pretty much safe to come out on stage and those that did endured fairly benign ribbing which made for a relaxed evening that has always made the Globes the best of the award shows to watch. Full disclosure: I switched to PBS for my weekly fix of Downton Abbey from 9 to 10 pm (moments after it won its own Globe for Best Mini-Series. Hurray!) so I won’t be doing my usual minute-by-minute recap. Instead, here’s my fashion scorecard from the evening. Let’s face it, that’s what you want to read about anyway. (For those do who care, I will be doing my usual minute-by-minute recap of The Academy Awards next month)

Okay, let’s talk fashion.

The evening’s big winner? Zac Posen who dressed so many women I finally lost count including Reese Witherspoon, Kelly Osbourne (never looked better)and glamazon Elle Macpherson.

So who was Best Dressed? Hard to say, I have to give it to Angelina Jolie. While she contends she isn’t particularly fond of doing the whole red carpet thing, no other actress is doing it better right now. Sure, she looked a little ice queen-ish but like my mother always said, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it and Angelina owned that red carpet. No question. Her choice of the one shoulder ivory satin stunner accented with a touch of red is sure to be one of those images that we see over and over again forever. Everything was perfect: the understated hair swept into a chic chingnon, the scarlet lips and the red clutch were to die for. If we were scoring points for best dressed couple, however, we’d have to deduct some points. We like the clean, shaven classic Brad a lot better than the scraggly one.

Charlize Theron

There are several runners-up for the night’s top fashion honors. My three favorites of the night: Charlize Theron in pale pink Dior couture (I have to say I really loved the black Azzedine Alaia she wore to the Critic’s Choice Awards), Natalie Portman in a sumptuous crimson and fuchsia Lanvin (a glorious way to return from maternity leave!)and Kate Beckinsale (the best body in Hollywood) in a strapless beaded Cavalli gown in the evening’s surprisingly popular shade of greige.

George Clooney

Stacy Keibler’s looked beautiful in her red Valentino gown(loved the bow in the back!) She and beau George Clooney are my pick for the night’s best looking couple. Big surprise, I know.

Other actresses who dressed and impressed: Sofia Vergara in a strapless navy Vera Wang fishtail gown that showed off her twice a day visits to the gym in preparation for tonight perfectly. An elegant Jessica Alba in a lavender beaded Gucci gown that reminded me of another dress in a similar hue that first got her notice on the carpet several years ago. Alba has taken a page from Halle Berry’s playbook and began dressing like a movie star long before she became one.

And a round of applause for two of my favorite Hollywood vets: the ageless Michelle Pfeiffer looked absolutely flawless in her navy strapless Armani with its flowing tiered skirt. At 73, Jane Fonda showing off her still killer bod and beautiful face (so what if it’s been helped along, she looks good) is my hero.

I bet Reese Witherspoon is having a lot of good sex. How else do you explain her temptress bedhead tresses and skintight red fishtail gown? Contrast this look, if you can, with that frumpy 1960’s debutante ball gown she wore when she won her Oscar one husband ago. The transformation is striking. It’s not that she didn’t look good, but it was just a little too much. I much preferred her revenge dressing looks that she wore from Nina Ricci when she and Ryan Phillippe first spilt.

What a difference a few years make, Madonna. I was frankly shocked that she chose to wear a completely boring Reem Acra (really?) on the red carpet after such a long absence in the limelight. Meh. And the crucifix and gloves? Haven’t we moved on from that?

Rooney Mara has one of the most gorgeous faces I’ve ever seen. I liked her black Nina Ricci dress but it felt it was a little too much of an expected choice given we’ve seen her in so much black of late. Time to let go of the goth girl.

What was with all those matronly dresses? I love Michelle Williams (who happened to give one of the evening’s loveliest speeches) but her penchant for frumpy frocks is disappointing. Remember that dreadful burlap sack adorned with daisies she wore to last year’s Globes? This year’s panne velvet number by Jason Wu was an improvement but not by much. She is too lovely for these heavy dresses that overwhelm her petite frame.

Jessica Biel looked like she was wearing Sandra Bullock’s wedding dress from The Proposal before Betty White altered it. Draping that gives you a third breast is never a good idea. I stood next to this beautiful creature on the red carpet this fall when she was wearing a gorgeous Giambattista Valli. When she gets it right, she’s flawless. This was not one of those nights.

Another Jessica, The Help’s Jessica Chastain, missed by a mile in a too tight, strangely styled Givenchy. I didn’t get the turtleneck, all those pearls or the belt. And her fussy hair aged her. This beautiful young actress, who is really having a moment, needed a statement making dress to suit the stellar year she’s had. This was not it.

And what was up with Mila Kunis? You get a contract with Dior and you show up looking like you’ve put on ten pounds and you’ve been up all night? I love this actress and anointed her as a new fashion star at last year’s Oscars when she wore that dazzling lace dress in lavender by Elie Saab, but tonight she looked awful.

Memo to Lea Michelle: please stop trying so hard. She was literally the last person left on E!’s red carpet and was posing for anyone with a flash. And that lace Marchesa, which would have looked more at home on a professional ice rink, was as overwrought as the actress who wore it.

Now it’s on to the SAG Awards!

Leave a comment and tell me who you thought was the night’s best and worst dressed.

Diane Clehane

Diane Clehane is a leading authority on celebrity and royalty who has written for Vanity Fair, People, and many other national outlets. She is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Diana: The Secrets of Her Style and Imagining Diana. She appears regularly on CNN.

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