The red carpet is clearly no longer a place just for glamour.
Sunday night’s red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards made a powerful statement, with many of Hollywood’s most powerful ladies donning all black. (Men joined in, as well, choosing black shirts instead of white to go with their tuxes. Many wore red lapel pins in solidarity.)
The women were supporting the Time’s Up campaign, which since Jan. 1 has raised $15 million for its Legal Defense Fund. The money will help working women fight to bring sexual harassment cases and equality parity.
But the black-on-black fashions weren’t homogeneous: By 6 p.m., the Beverly Hilton was a sea of sheer, floral, and off-the-shoulder gowns and pantsuits.
Black as a fashion color is inherently easy to wear, but when I heard about all the black, I thought, “This is going to be boring.” But the women pulled it off, and by wearing all black, they made sure the message was front and center.
The women never looked objectified. They looked powerful, even in shimmers and sheer, even almost naked, like Jessica Biel. The black carpet turned out to be a sartorial way for Hollywood’s biggest leading ladies to take back their power, whether they were sexed up like Catherine Zeta Jones or covered up like Alicia Vikander.
Michelle Williams was among the first to arrive with #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, a former Philadelphian.
Michelle Williams arrives with #MeToo founder @TaranaBurke in the first appearance of many expected actress-activist pairings on the #GoldenGlobes red carpet. Story: https://t.co/32lCNw5sr9 Full awards coverage: https://t.co/R1BPK3gl4k pic.twitter.com/1ClVS07eV0
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) January 7, 2018
“I mean, it is deeply humbling. This is something I started out of necessity, something I thought my community needed,” Burke told Ryan Seacrest on E! “It grew over the years. This moment is so powerful. It’s a collision of these two worlds, a collaboration between these two worlds that you don’t see too often together, but are pitted against each other.”
Meryl Streep, in a deep, off-the-shoulder gown and black glasses, looked very Miranda Priestly, her character in The Devil Wears Prada. She arrived with Ai-jen Poo, director of National Domestic Workers.
Instead of being asked which designer they were wearing — although it was revealed that Kelly Clarkson’s gold-sleeved black ball gown was designed by Christian Siriano — the red-carpet question of the night was, “Why are you wearing black?”
Their answers were moving and raw.
“It’s about power and balance,” Streep said.
Debra Messing’s black pantsuit was peculiar, but her message was clear.
“I’m wearing black to thank and honor all of the brave whistle-blowers who came forward,” Messing said. “It’s an incredible initiative. Time is up.”
Messing also called out E! while speaking to host Giuliana Rancic, referencing former E! News host Catt Sadler, who quit the network after she said she was being paid less than her male colleagues.
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) January 7, 2018
“I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female cohosts the same as their male cohosts,” Messing said. “I miss Catt Sadler. “We stand with her. … Women are just as valuable as men.”
Black may sound boring, but the actresses were creative in their glittery interpretations of protest.
Allison Williams managed to add a pop of color to her slinky black gown. Her message was clear, but the gold and orange metallic reminded us that the red carpet is still about the business of fun.
Jessica Biel, nominated for lead actress in The Sinner, took all the parts of fairy-tale gown — sheer over nude, sweetheart neckline, velvet detailing — and turned her black gown into one fit for a princess. Good look.
The Oscar-winner didn’t let the protest stop her sexy. Sheer, sparkles. Lots of décolletage. The choice was both fun and serious.
Nominated lead actress for Netflix’s Glow, Brie rocked a crisp ball … wait a minute. That’s not a gown! That’s pants. And that makes us love it even more. “It’s important to me to stand with all the women who are coming forward to stand up to sexual harassment and abuse,” Brie told E!. “I’m in awe of their bravery.”
Tracee Ellis Ross
I always want to love Tracee Ellis Ross’ looks. Yes to her all-black dress. But a turban? Tracee, why the turban? Why?
— THE FASHION LAW (@TheFashionLaw) January 7, 2018
The Scandal star’s strapless dress was beautiful, with aluminum foil-type gloss. (And she’s got her pre-baby body back!)
— ExtraTV (@extratv) January 8, 2018
Mariah Carey is so unimaginative that she would look the same if the signature color were black, silver, or red. I wish she would just sit down.
— Complex Style (@ComplexStyle) January 8, 2018
I like almost everything about the Insecure star’s gown except the shoulders. Is she trying to do cap-sleeved? Does she want them to tie-up? This is where a decisive decision would have been better.
I love Outlander, but I hate Caitriona Balfe’s dress. Way too S&M for my taste. This is a red-carpet loser.
Sarah Jessica Parker
A Sarah Jessica Parker/Carrie Bradshaw crossover moment. pic.twitter.com/YAEGH33ElD
— Brenda Chenowith (@JordanStam) January 8, 2018
I always want to like Sarah Jessica Parker’s dresses. And she always disappoints me. An Addam’s Family ball gown? Not so much. But her message was clear: “It’s about women in all industries and men, equality, parity, safe work environments in this country,” Parker said, echoing Messing.
Alicia Vikander’s choice was of black was demure, but didn’t stop her from looking very pretty — even if some say she looked as if she were going to an 1898 funeral.
Mandy Moore gets my vote for best use of splash of color. That red sash complemented her halter gown excellently.
Heidi Klum in feathers. But cocktail length? Tea length? No, it’s high-low. Oh no!
Samira Wiley’s dress would have been the most boring except for her statement bodice — a halter fashioned from golden triangles. And just like that, Wiley’s dress was fire!
The Crown star’s double-breasted suit was simple, sophisticated, and fabulous! I’m thinking this will be the new princess power suit. Thank you. Loved it.
13 Reasons Why‘s Katherine Langford’s sleeved, goddess gown was underwhelming, even with the silver sunburst along the waistline.
“There's no prerequisite to worthiness. You're born being worthy. The women who are still in silence because of trauma, because of shame due to assault, they need to understand it's not their fault,” Viola Davis at the #GoldenGlobes #TimesUp pic.twitter.com/bB5uCuDjpv
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 8, 2018
We’ve come to expect Viola Davis to look phenomenal on the red carpet. And Sunday night’s slinky velvet number was far from a disappointment, but it paled in comparison to the bombastic message of beauty her Afro sent. If her hair doesn’t say Time’s Up, nothing does.
The off-the-shoulder. The high bun. The goddess look. Rachel Brosnahan channeled the early aughts. And it kinda worked in a dated sort of way.
Alexis Bledel appeared as if she’d wrapped her black-and-white color-blocked ensemble with a vine. That was weird. Her cigarette pants, however, kept her look current and on the right side of trendy.
Jamie Chung’s biker-chic gown didn’t work for me, because it missed an important element: class.