A year on from the Golden Globes’ red carpet blackout, stars grabbed the sartorial freedom of 2019 by going for dresses with plenty of oomph and plenty of fabric.
The bottom line? Like a suburban bridezilla with her one shot at glory, Hollywood’s leading ladies went nuts for trains.
Alison Brie, Danai Gurira and Lili Reinhart were among those who sported trains – some more discreet than others, but all of them undeniably of the ‘Make Way, Make Way’ variety.
The other big trend was the bow. From a string of skinny ones down the back of Dakota Fanning’s Armani Privé gown to the giant silk version on Charlize Theron’s dress (which also had a train), stars looked like they were auditioning for a job at Darrell Lea.
The queen of them all – very deliberately so – was Lady Gaga. The A Star is Born winner’s divisive sky blue Valentino came with oversized puffy sleeves and a train that was so long Gaga needed a wrangler whenever she left her seat.
The stonking dress was accessorised with a $5 million Tiffany & Co necklace, matchy-matchy blue hair pulled into a bun, and an earnest demeanour.
The full effect was kitsch Disney princess rather than old-school Hollywood royalty, except for the ugly Gianvito Rossi platform boots, which were pure Kiss Army.
Julia Roberts. Were you conflicted – pant or dress? Why not a valet parker’s pant with a homemade calisthenics skirt and sheer top with no bra? Done.
The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil went for newly crowned colour of the year, coral, but anchored the softness of her Monique Lhuillier gown by wearing a jean underneath. Now, that’s a Golden Globes first.
An experienced woman wears jeans under her golden globes gown because it’s forking COLD. pic.twitter.com/M9erhxbJC3
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) January 6, 2019
Dakota Fanning was another faux Disney princess in Armani Privé with a ballgown skirt in bridal satin and her row of bows. Elegantly boring.
Riverdale‘s Lili Reinhart made her Golden Globes debut in fabulous Khyeli Couture with a floaty train. A teeny bit like a doll on the toilet roll, but in a good way.
Australian Extra host Renee Bargh rocked a vaguely Grecian vibe in backless, plunging J Andreatta (designer of Jasmine Yarbrough’s wedding dress), which showed lots of skin but was still classy.
Alison Brie toughened up her girly gown with a metallic bandeau bra. We get what she was doing. Not sure if it worked.
Host Sandra Oh’s first look of the night was glamorous slinky Atelier Versace with grown-up lady hair and a beaming co-host, Andy Samberg.
Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe was somehow contemporary and old-fashioned at the same time in strapless burgundy velvet with tulip skirt. And bobby pins! Did herself no favours but very Vogue.
Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer (co-star Oh’s date for the night) killed it. It’s a lot – ruffles! spangles! high neck! – but her air of mystery made it high fashion.
Love you, Amy Adams. Hate this. Or at least, I will when I wake up.
Eighth Grade star Elsie Fisher went for head-to-toe red in a velvet suit by Kenzo, which was a touch Sergeant Pepper’s. She’s 15. She’s original. Keep doing you, lady.
Anne Hathaway played against type in mismatched animal print with generous skirt where someone else might have gone pencil. Love.
Halle Berry has been playing the same card forever: Peekaboo panels, statement bit coming off her skirt, hair extensions. Next.
Black Panther’s Danai Gurira pulled off the bow and train combo in runaway style.
Jamie Lee Curtis was sexy in a Celine Dion way but needed to rethink the puzzling high school principal shoes.
Bohemian Rhapsody’s Lucy Boynton had a podium finish for best dressed in metallic gold with great sleeves, perfect shoes and unfinished hair. Chic squared.
Jessica Chastain channelled a bedside lamp from a prairie brothel.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s winner Rachel Brosnahan went for a dressed-up variety of the dress you take to wear at the Club Med buffet.
Rosamund Pike looked Photoshopped. Dramatic skirt and halterneck and the only cutouts to pass muster on a red carpet. Smile next time.
There’s always someone who wears the dress you love and hate in equal measure. Lucy Liu put her hand up at the Globes, in an embellished one-shouldered dress with shower curtain cape.
“I feel fabulous,” said The Handmaid’s Tale Yvonne Strahovski, in Alberta Ferretti. “It’s just fabulous.”
Penelope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) chose a shimmery deep purple halterneck Ralph & Russo dress that could change the course of bridesmaid dresses in 2019.
And the winner is Sofia Carson. Cool, fun, daring, modest, hypnotic.
Model Irina Shayk and A Star is Born supremo Bradley Cooper were couple goals. At least he looked a winner, and she nailed her audition for Victoria’s Secret.
Catherine Zeta-Jones borrowed something from Melania Trump’s pre-White House wardrobe.
Regina King wasn’t just a winner on the stage. Simple silhouette, flashy sequins, understated accessories, terrific colour.
Crazy Rich Asians’ Constance Wu in demure Vera Wang. Pretty but meh.
Calling Professor McGonagall! Had Melissa McCarthy come fresh from Hogwarts?
Taraji P. Henson tested the Hollywood Tape most on the night.
Nicole Kidman was vaguely reptilian in ox blood Michael Kors with semi-matronly heels. Cute bag.
Kate Mara wore what appeared to be a bejewelled nightgown from Elizabeth Taylor’s deceased estate.
The Favourite’s Rachel Weisz was both fussy and simple. Fabulous.
Olivia Colman (The Favourite) had a mini train and maximum charisma, in a dress with 2019 chain mail neck and sleeves.
Lupita Nyong’o chose a shimmering sea anemone Calvin Klein sheath worn with $63 Aldo sandals. Divine.
Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) pushed the envelope with a handkerchief hem – almost as terrifying as a mullet dress – and spider web lace.
Sharp Objects’ Patricia Clarkson was the human embodiment of a tequila sunrise. That’s a good thing.
Claire Foy (First Man) wore a divine 1940s-style dress with sunburst embroidery that swamped her a touch. Next time, let’s go modern.
Charlize Theron wore sophisticated black and white with the night’s best bow.
Amber Heard was Charlize Theron two hours after the after party.
Covered in 63,000 twisted glass tubes to create a scale pattern, Emma Stone’s Louis Vuitton Atelier gown took 30 embroiderers more than 800 hours to make. And it still washed her out.
Allison Janney had faith in gravity in a body-con duck egg blue dress.
Janelle Monae appeared to have come back from the Crusades via a Paris atelier. Literally nobody else could wear this.
Despite overtones of a stage curtain, Saoirse Ronan’s metallic dress was both modest and racy and was styled perfectly with irreverent platforms.
But even among the celebrities, the woman who made the biggest splash on the red carpet was an until-now complete unknown who quickly became The Fiji Water Girl on social media.
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 7, 2019
The at-first unidentified woman, wearing a tiered royal blue dress and holding a tray of water bottles, photobombed a heap of red carpet shots including Idris Elba, Jim Carrey and Judy Greer.