However. I admit. I was wrong. Very wrong. Looking at the scrolling feeds of women dressed in their black gowns and tuxedos, I realised their tonal uniformity did make for a powerful statement. By rejecting the typically flamboyant, sparkly, colourful and spangled red-carpet looks in which they tend to look like paid peacocks, they actually looked like real people. And although the dresses were still designer, and highly individual, they worked in a collective sense. Even the fact that many of the actresses “accessorised” their looks with female activists, whom they brought as their dates, was not as completely nauseating as I had imagined it would be. In fact, the arrangement looked authentic and rather charming.
More striking yet was that, having been liberated from the ghastly Baby Jane pastel tulles, the hideous florals and metallic mermaid-skirts, these women looked happy to be there. Ordinarily, the red carpet is a rictus of fear and self-doubt. Possibly, their joy was the simple relief of not having to endure the attentions of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced film producer who must have regarded the awards season as a slave owner might have eyed an auction in the antebellum South. Was it a corollary of his influence that his Hollywood accession coincided with the extreme sexualisation of red-carpet dressing, where an actress’s worth was measured in her ability to pull off a flesh-baring gown or an infantile fairy frock? Instead, the new Globes dress code afforded women the same status as the men, and even while they looked elegant (it was by far the chicest red carpet I’ve seen), the clothes never upstaged the women inside them. They were taken seriously. No commentator even dared ask “about the dress”, as is the norm at award dos. Which was kind of a shame because, for the first time, the dresses had something to say.