Golden Globes fashion both unexpected and mundane

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Sarah Jessica Parker's Princess Leia hair. Ruth Negga's space-age silver gown. Evan Rachel Woods in a boyish-yet-feminine tuxedo.

While largely a snooze, the red carpet fashion from Sunday's Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, California, did have its unexpected moments, along with some classic Hollywood style with modern twists.

Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams stole the heart of Rickie De Sole, the fashion market and accessories director for W magazine.

Portman wore marigold, a yellow Prada 1960s retro gown that directly channeled her "Jackie" role.

"The color was unexpected. Prada has done that retro-meets-modern fashion so well. The fact that she's pregnant and still looks that knockout is incredible," De Sole said.

For Williams, it was Louis Vuitton in girly off-the-shoulder gray, her platinum pixy hair perfect with her black velvet choker tied in a bow at the front.

"It was sort of old world meets new world, a Victorian nod with the accessory of the season, the choker," De Sole said. "It was trendy without feeling trendy. It proves you don't have to wear the brightest, boldest colors to stand out on the red carpet."

Fashion insider Hal Rubenstein, a designer himself, said the lead-up to big awards fashion nights has raised the bar so high that it's difficult to stand out these days.

"Look, they're dresses. They're not ugly people. No one's going to look awful. One major thing I noticed is ornamentation is everything. That world of sleek slip dresses or minimalism or just gorgeous easy slip on, that's done," he said. "Sofia Vergara, you could have probably seen her from space."

By that he meant the embroidered Zuhair Murad Couture gown the bombshell wore in gold with long sleeves and cut out shoulders, the latter an element worn by Nicole Kidman, Angela Bassett and others.

Vergara went with a tight slick 'do — tight being the operative word. Jessica Chastain also wore her hair headache-inducing tight, paired with a blue Prada gown adorned with sequin flowers down one side.

Rubenstein WAS a fan of the Altuzarra tux worn by Woods.

"I thought she looked sensational and I'm not somebody who loves women in men's tuxedos, but the hair and the styling was great," he said. "There were just enough feminine touches in terms of the tailoring, where it was pinched at the waist, in terms of the width of the lapel, in terms of the beautiful blouse with the great bow. It was just enough."

Rubenstein also liked Negga's bedazzled look, a silver short-sleeve column gown that she, too, wore with sleeked-back hair, along with a ruby-and-diamond cuff bracelet in 18-karat yellow gold from Fred Leighton.

"It's incredibly intricately put together," he said of the dress. "There's wonderful tailoring going on."

Emma Stone earned a nod from Rubenstein, along with Joe Katz, a Beverly Hills stylist. She wore Valentino in pale pink with silver star embellishment.

"She looked so elegant and perfect. It was a perfect 'La La Land' twinkle moment," Katz said.

Parker was a red carpet comeback kid as a nominee for her HBO series "Divorce." She didn't win, and neither did her dress among some critics. It was white Vera Wang Collection with cut-out shoulders that fell to bunchy long sleeves. The dress, paired with a Leia-worthy twist around her head, had a fitted waist and fell to a short, ample train.

Joyann King, editor of, said the blacks, grays and whites on the carpet, offset by shows of pink and yellow, might reflect the more polar elements of Hollywood's mood at the moment after a year of celebrity deaths, often premature, and the results of the presidential election, soon to be realized in Donald Trump's inauguration.

"In general, America's attitude right now is a little bit more mundane. Some people were trying not to be, 'Hey look, we're Hollywood,'" King said. "The opposite of that is the Cinderella effect, the soft pastels and florals and people just trying to give the world a little bit of that optimism that we're all sort of craving."