Hollywood’s Homecoming Dance was last night! I was pleased to see that my guess about the Stump Everybody theme is going strong, even though I spent a lot of my time with my hand propping up my dismayed face.
For the Golden Globes, many people decided to keep the baffle in the details, so mostly-lovely garments are supplanted by a single rogue element that was clearly designed to make my heart hurt.
And no one was immune from Baffle Fever. Not even Tilda Swinton. NOT EVEN TILDA.
I could not love 80% of this more — the shoulders, the sleeves, the tailoring, the silhouette of the skirt are all great. A case could even, maybe, be made for the color, though I would have liked to see it a greyer, less Easter Egg pale. But something about the skirt-matching sash disaster make her look like a mother of the bride from SyFy’s Children of Dune, and that is no place you want to be, Tilda. Trust me.
Other people’s attempts to baffle me with their outfits under the cut!
But lest you think the whole red carpet was flooded with tailoring issues last night, it’s not true!
LOOKING AWESOME DIVISION, where everyone’s a winner!
Connie Nielsen, who manages to look like every movie where a lady in a dressing gown has excused herself for two minutes and come out casually saying, “Will this be all right?” and the strings section goes batshit with glee.
Kelly Macdonald. The sequins had such depth of color, and I am a sucker for this silhouette (which Amy Poehler also wore to great effect last year).
Viola Davis! This is a very strange pose (as if people were shouting, “But does your dress have a slit in it? IT’S IMPORTANT, WE NEED TO KNOW” until she gave in), but in normal poses this was a great goddess dress.
Julianna Marguiles, who is wearing a gorgeous smoky-purple dress, amazing emerald earrings, and exactly the expression I would be wearing if I looked like Julianna Marguiles.
Taissa Farmiga! I could do with a slightly more purple shade of fawn (I bet this looked lovely in person but photographed a little flat), but there’s texture in the bodice, she’s not standing in a puddle of her own skirt, and it looks like she can breathe. Proceed!
This could be any photo of Kate Beckinsale from the last seven years, when she discovered light neutrals and her makeup artist, but why fix what’s not broken, I guess!
See also: Sofia Vergara, who I have rarely seen without this silhouette. However, the skirt has gorgeous texture and movement, which is what a skirt like that is for, and the color is great, so it works.
However, many more ladies this year received Bafflement Memos than not, and most of the rest of the dresses had something about them that made me tilt my head like the RCA dog.
In fact, there’s an entire division that we should just get out of the way.
I have nothing against yellow. Michelle Williams wore mustard in one of my favorite Oscar dresses ever. Cate Blanchett wore a daffodil yellow once that was lovely. However, this year, the only yellow dresses to be had came in Tweety Bird Delight, and that was it. And the Tweety Bird lobby was powerful enough that it was EVERYWHERE.
As much as it pains me to say it, I think Maria Menounos did it best — a color like this should probably speak for itself, and keeping the lines clean was a nice call.
I also like how Lauren Miller handled it:
I enjoy the detail at the bodice, though her little standee flap in front was a Stump Everyone entry, because surely in your dressing room you turned from side to side, saw that it looked ever so slightly like the prow of a ship, and went, “You know what? Perfect.”
Paula Patton looks like the prettiest half-melted crayon in the box!
Missi Pyle saw what was happening from the glitzy hotel room in which she was getting ready, looked at her own yellow dress, and said, “I’m going to look different from those other yellow dresses, dammit!” Then she yanked the gold sheer curtain right off the window, twisted a rosette in the limo, and wandered in front of a thousand cameras.
I actually think I might have liked that dress best right up until it imploded. But Missi Pyle was far from alone in this; many a dress last night was playing a game of One of These Things is Not Like the Others.
THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS DIVISION
Laura Linney. The color is gorgeous, the folding in the bodice looks interesting and not like the dress wilted, which can be tricky on this kind of dress, and the bell shape works with the fabric, but the fold at the waist that runs down part of, but not all of!, the skirt looks like every seventh-grade sewing proejct where you accidentally sewed your sleeve to the skirt when all you were trying to do was hem the collar and now you have to pick out eight thousand stitches.
Jodie Foster. What a lovely color on you! I like this silhouette! I am a fan of sequins! The bead trim is…okay, I guess, if I don’t have to think about it long! But what, exactly, are you trying to draw the curtain back on?
Kelly Osbourne. I love the hair, and I actually love the bodice, too (hopefully those darts are only unfortunate from this angle), and there would be nothing wrong with the skirt except that, when you have a stiff fabric and the dress is six inches too long, you are standing in a puddle of what instantly looks like upholstery.
Freida Pinto, this color is lovely. Does it come in dress fabric?
Octavia Spencer. Good length, good fit, good amount of glitzy on the front without being overwhelming. Wish she’d pulled the sleeves a little more off the shoulder.
Emily Watson, this necklace is lovely. Are you shitting me with this dress color?
Nicole Ritchie, who has great herringbone texture on this dress, and a swimsuit neckline that ruins it.
Morena Baccarin would like to remind everyone that she has breasts.
Zooey Deschanel would like to remind everyone that she’s a retro darling.
Nayta Rivera, stop trying to make smocked turtlenecks happen. They’re not going to happen.
Amy Poehler, the next time Emily Watson gives you dress advice, don’t listen.
Elizabeth McGovern, wearing the top of a nice dress, and the bottom of a very questionable one.
Local medalist in the “Too Much of a Good Thing” subdivision, Dianna Agron, whose bodice is AMAZING OH MY GOD, and whose skirt is a semi-transparent performance piece about the Christmas decorations at the Norwegian Cultural Center in Springfield.
Michelle Williams, this is a lovely dress that looks great on you. Whoever told you to wear that headband is not a real friend.
Emma Stone. I like this dress, actually. I like it a lot! I just question the engineering of side of the bodice where the material is just randomly unsecured and getting scrunched up everywhere. Did she need ventilation?
Tina Fey, in a lovely color, demonstrating Too Much Skirt in about three ways.
In thumbnail, I loved this for the same reasons I loved Kelly Macdonald and Sofia Vergara’s dresses. But when I opened it up, all I could picture was Evan Rachel Wood desperately plucking enough exotic birds to give as gifts to the many PR people keeping her career afloat, and then looking at the pile of feathers and thinking, “I might as well do something with these, I guess.”
KateWinslet, in two great colors for her, and a bodice that literally looks like the sleeves ripped along the top seam when someone yanked the front shut for that awkward knot.
Julianne Moore, who liked the hem of her skirt so much she asked if they could repeat it, and is, in this photo, wishing she had been more specific.
Rooney Mara, who looks like she was one fitting short of a great dress. (You’re in a puddle of your own skirt, Rooney, and unless those tulle poufs are pockets, let them go.)
Love this right up until the skirt. Accordion chiffon is nobody’s friend, Glenn Close.
THAT SKIRT IS NOBODY’S FRIEND, HELEN MIRREN. WHAT IS THIS. The rest is great.
THE MASTER POSERS DIVISION
Winner, and still champion:
Lea Michele, who you can just tell walked the entire length of the red carpet with teensy steps, her chin surgically taped to her shoulder to make sure her angles were good all the way into the building.
Trying a different tack, Angelina Jolie:
Still, at least there’s nothing wrong with that dress in and of itself, which is more than these people can say!
TOTAL DISASTER DIVISION
Madonna. “Yes, perfect, I wanted all the Basketcase puns I could get, excellent decision, make this dress something that I wear outside the house in front of a thousand photographers, that will work well.”
Meryl Streep, who could have saved this whole outfit by not having the world’s worst cutouts. No such luck.
Oh, Charlize Theron, I needed that laugh, thank you.
Piper Perabo, it’s great you had fun. In a translucent tarp dress, not everyone would!
I’ll just leave this here.
SHAMELESS HEARTSTRINGS DIVISION
Uggie, you adorable jerk.
Believe it or not, this is only a sampling of the horde of celebrities that descended on that carpet last night. A more extensive photo gallery is over at Yahoo, from whence these photos came.