The Golden Globes are known for being a bit looser than other awards-season shows—with dinner and drinks, the evening is more of a party than a sit-down ceremony. On Sunday night, a good number of the stars in attendance dressed accordingly, with cheeky bows and puff sleeves, the stuff of festive party frocks, competing for space with traditional gowns.
Jennifer Lopez wrapped herself up in the colors of a Christmas present topped with a gigantic plaited bun, as though her Hustlers performance weren’t gift enough. With her impeccably tailored ankle-length gown, Natasha Lyonne brought the serious side out of her comically large bow. Scarlett Johansson’s backside bow topped a dramatic train, her own portable red carpet.
It takes a presence like Olivia Colman’s to wear a blunt red train and balloon sleeves without letting them wear on you. Also in puff sleeves: Beyoncé, in clouds of gold, and The Morning Show’s Janina Gavankar in a texturally-rich gown. Dakota Fanning’s tulle sleeves complemented her refurbished, streamlined Renaissance Faire look. In forest-green satin that descended in almost a perfect cone shape, Jodie Comer was a testament to the power of a good steamer.
There were several bits of lingerie and lingerie-adjacent accessories on the red carpet this year, with Charlize Theron, in a stunning corset and a teeny-tiny belt, setting the tone (as always). Kerry Washington had the ultimate day-to-night look going on, with a blazer over some jeweled rope bondage.
In accordion pleats and intricate appliqué, Cate Blanchett wore a bullet bra with butterfly wings. The Farewell director Lulu Wang wore a deceptively complex all-black outfit that combined elements of a button-down shirt, a tie, a corset, and a sheer blouse over a pair of jeweled pants.
Taking inspiration from black-and-white tuxedos and classic menswear were Harriet’s Cynthia Erivo, in a bead- and pearl- and sequin- encrusted masterpiece; Greta Gerwig, in a cuff collar and sparkling racing stripes; and Hustlers writer-director Lorene Scafaria, in shimmering houndstooth.
Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein wore an extraordinary headband that was both bold and subtle enough to evade the headband cutesiness trap. Other notable headpieces: Lucy Boynton’s on-brand barrette and Rooney Mara’s glam earmuffs.
Allover sparkle is a red-carpet staple, and these were Sunday night’s best entries in the genre: Gugu Mbatha-Raw was statuesque in chartreuse and a strange-in-a-good-way double-breasted cummerbund. Also in a noteworthy belt: Amy Poehler, in the sharp shoulders that have become a signature look for her. Knives Out’s Ana de Armas shimmered like the ocean under moonlight in a sprawling skirt of midnight blue sequins.
Other dresses used sparkle as a texture or print: There was slinky chainmail on Saoirse Ronan, dueling jewel patterns on Naomi Watts, sequin and pearl-bead pinstripes on Christina Applegate, and meticulously distributed rhinestones on Ellen DeGeneres.
Amid all the sumptuous sequins and solids, a few graphic designs stood out. The Act’s Joey King wore an outfit unlike any other on the red carpet—an organic, sculptural sea slug of a dress. Kaitlyn Dever was awash in loads of a gorgeous, stained-glass Valentino print. Shailene Woodley went retro in an op-art print and built-in pendant.
In sugar-sweet ruffles, bows, and lace, Bel Powley and Kirsten Dunst embraced the aggressively feminine. Gwyneth Paltrow did something a little less one-note with her floofy prairie dress—the lingerie boning and drab color offset its treacle.
Juicy spring colors suited Michelle Williams, in melon and what looked like an iris in bloom; Dolemite Is My Name’s Da’Vine Joy Randolph in a magnificent swath of fuchsia; and The Politician’s Zoey Deutch, in a sunflower yellow one-piece.
Sophie Turner was the queen of sophisticated asymmetry, in a chic mélange of textures and shapes. Gillian Anderson and Reese Witherspoon joined her in well-tailored white gowns.
Only Billy Porter, in an open jacket and collar, could make his zip-off feathered train—carried down the red carpet by assistants—look casual. “This is not a sitting outfit. This is a standing outfit,” he told E! in a pre-show interview. The Morning Show’s Karen Pittman had a better shot of sitting through the awards show in her feathers, which were arrayed in sunset colors in a simple silhouette.
Fleabag “hot priest” Andrew Scott shed his vestments for a heavenly ivory tuxedo jacket, matched by the ivory buttons on his shirt. It’s the details that count! See also: Bong Joon-ho, whose clever double-layer jacket you’d miss if you didn’t look closely. Eddie Murphy dressed down a flamboyant velvet-and-satin jacket with a turtleneck—or did he dress up the turtleneck with the jacket? Either way, it was a blessed meeting in the middle. Succession’s Nicholas Braun cleaned up nice, and found his color, in a dusky cerulean tux.
The other best suits of the night were patterned: Karamo Brown’s double-breasted brocade, which was uncharacteristically understated for him; Kate McKinnon’s sparkling florals; and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s heavily adorned Ralph & Russo lace, which had the look, from afar, of a Chanel boucle suit.