As the first major red carpet event of the year* the Golden Globes are usually a harbinger of trends to come. Just as last year at this time we were treated to peplum overload, certain trends have already clearly emerged for 2014.
This year's recap is structured in order of the various trends I noticed on the red carpet last night. Some of them are real trends that there is an actual fashion term for. Some are . . . not. We will start with an example of the latter--one of the most visible trends of the night. Like, really visible. Yep, I'm talking about . . .
*The People's Choice awards are dead to me
TREND #1: DRESSES WITH RANDOM SHIT ON THEM
First, a true story: for my high school graduation party, my mom requested a cake with black and gold icing since those were my school's colors. The resulting confection said "Congrats" in bright yellow icing, bordered by approximately 30 extrremely creepy black flowers. It looked like a really poorly worded funeral cake.
What I am saying is, yep--this is a thing. Dresses with random stuff hanging off them is happening, and Brigid Coulter (above) is modeling the most restrained version we were treated to last night. Suggestion: when the lowest-key look in a particular fashion category rips off my accidentally creepy Graduation Cake of Death, it might be a bad trend.
On that note, I guess the best thing I can say about Drew Barrymore's dress is that it makes for a much better cake concept.
TREND #2: THE MULLET DRESS
I did not come up with the term "mullet dress," but the shoe fits. And speaking of shoes, that is one good thing about high/low hemlines--if you are wearing $500 shoes, it's nice if people can actually see them. Here, Michelle Dockery looks elegant and sophisticated and owning-of-feet:
So it's possible to do this trend nicely. But when it's done wrong, it takes things in a comically bad direction, like with Caitlin Fitzgerald:
This dress was already channeling Spock a little too hard up top, and with the hemline it just becomes a ridiculous mess.
See also: Zooey Deschanel
If the styles above are a nod to the mullet, Emma Watson's look presents a reversal:
Much like a well-run Chuck E Cheese, this look is party in the front and business in the back. And I like it! Granted, I'm not super sure it will work on people who aren't LITERALLY LISTED ON THE WIKIPEDIA PAGE FOR GAMINE, but kudos to Emma on taking an intriguing fashion risk that somehow didn't look insane.
TREND #3: OFF-THE-SHOULDER ODDITIES
This was the only dress last night that I had an actual, visible, physical reaction to. THE STRAPS. I mean, are they even straps? The whole point of straps is that they . . . strap something. These are just droopy vestigial fabric strips with no function whatsoever. Except making me cringe. They're doing a nice job of that. (P.S.: the other 98% of the dress is also ugly.)
Elsewhere in the Land of Strapless Abominations, we have Megan Mullally's Tudor Sleeves to Nowhere:
But lo, lest we think it is impossible for curiously contrived strapless garments to look cool, we have a spot of hope--Lupita Nyong'o's strapless cape:
Functionally, I'm not sure what a strapless cape brings to the table. (Pretty sure shoulder warmth is a major priority of your average cape-wearer.) But visually, it's working--she looks cool and the lines are interesting. This look ended up on many best-dressed lists--and deservedly so.
TREND #5: BLACK AND WHITE AND QUESTIONABLE
Black and white is fashion's home base: a safe, foolproof way to look elegant and timeless. Usually. Last night had more misses than hits in this area. We'll start with the (relative) highs, like Laura Carmichael:
I admittedly didn't love this at first (hello, arbitrary hip panel), but it has grown on me a little more every time I've looked at it. (Like every old dude on Downtown Abbey has grown on Lady Edith, amirite?!)
And while J-Law's parceled gown was not everyone's cup of tea, I landed more towards liking it than disliking.
Nor will I excuse Julia Roberts, Olive Garden manager, for not bringing breadsticks for everyone:
Aditionally unforgivable is Allison Williams in "animal print that does not actually occur in nature on any animal:"
Enough black and white for you? Time to overcorrect with . . .
TREND #6: COLOR BLOCKAGE
Let's be real clear: I do not hate colorblocking. In fact, I love it. I'm drawn to it. It never gets old. But taking this trend into formalwear territory? PROCEED WITH CAUTION. Cases in point:
Julie Bowen tops a deep purple skirt with red velvet and a Nutcracker belt. Woman to the left says, "ummmmmmno."
"EXCUUUSE ME, is that 2014 PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR, RADIANT ORCHID?!?!" Said no one. I'm a fan of Aub's hair but the purple-purple pink is a little too Twilight Sparkle. (Yes, I do correspond frequently with a kindegartener.)
Speaking of My Little Ponies, the beautiful Sandra Bullock wants us to cry ourselves to sleep at night asking whygodwhyyyyyyyyyy.
Perfect hair. Perfect makeup. Dress made from black satin and unicorn skin.
I'm placing Amy Adams in this category as well, with a look I gave a B-minus:
Kinda liked the dress; kinda hated the hair.
ODDS AND ENDS
Those were the major trends I noticed, but here are some other notes.
Kerry Washington has an interesting sense of style. She tends to mix it up and I can usually appreciate most of her choices. And if I could look half as professional at work as Olivia Pope looks just ga-lugging vino in her jammies, I'd be happy. But. Did not like this dress and strongly felt that she looked like an oyster. STRONGLY FELT.
Re: Paula Patton, it's a time-honored rule: if you can't be the best dressed, be the most dressed.
And if you can't be the most dressed . . .
BE MARIO LOPEZ!
Finishing up: I'm in agreement with those who called this one of the very best looks of the night. (Also enjoyed Kate, Amy, Julianna, and both Emmas.) So we'll end on that.
As usual, I'll conclude by asking--who/what did I miss?!