Red Carpet season continues, with the awards show that decides it’s time to introduce a ManiCam so we can intensely scrutinize even the cuticles of our chosen royalty! It’s the awards show that dares to ask, Who will award actors if actors don’t award actors? And last night, the Screen Actors Guild answered that call, in an awards show for which actresses and stylist teams seemed determined to look fancy, yet confused and weirdly uncomfortable!
However, after a brief misstep in a particularly haute-couture velvet lump at the Golden Globes, Marion Cotillard manages to buck both the Confused and Weirdly Uncomfortable trends by pulling off a dress that, on anyone else, would look like a white bustier and hastily-gathered curtain, and looks insouciantly chic on her. “Oh, this old thing?” she’s asking, slipping her hands into those pockets. “It’s just a casual waterfall of blue-tinged green ballgown silk that brings out my eyes and somehow sells the high-low hemline despite all the odds against it.” Welp, fashion case closed.
However, the case against some of these other dresses is ongoing.
Odd that there are enough to deserve a division; even odder than they mostly look really good!
Melanie Lynskey doesn’t look thrilled to have been poked and prodded into this green number, but it’s a lovely color and the lace is very millifleur, so I’m in.
Mayim Bialik. This pattern skews a bit tablecothy, as happens a lot with allover lace, but it’s a great color in a great cut, so I dig it!
Elisabeth Moss, in a cocktail dress that’s an interesting yet legitimate choice for this event, I’d say (SAG awards is below Golden Globes on the Gown Scale), and for a dress made of two things that tend not to look great together, her lace-and-sequins here are used for texture, shape, and depth. Very striking look.
And Edie Falco, whose dress (while a great color) is not my favorite, but whose expression is definitely also my expression when looking at the red carpet.
Veronica Lake Division
In which there are actually enough Veronica Lake looks on one red carpet to qualify for their own division.
Amanda Seyfried, who warmed up for this in her L.A. Confidential cosplay at the Golden Globes, goes for the Veronica Lake jugular with this puppy.
But right behind her is Naomi Watts, who is doing a more modern and seemingly low-key interpretation that handily evokes L’Esprit de Lake.
And Jennifer Lawrence, in a nice dress that also manages to look like an articulated tube for an action figure, who had pneumonia and was probably so hopped up on meds she wouldn’t have known who Veronica Lake even was.
Black and White Division
Black and white were big this time! Black is actually not a particularly popular red carpet color because you have to make sure details will photograph well, but one of the benefits of having awards shows at something like 11am Pacific time is that the sun is your ally, and sometimes it’s just time for a black dress! (Or a white dress.)
Tina Fey, in a nice black dress with 85,000,000 backup watts of light behind her.
Amy Poehler, lookin’ boss.
Michelle Dockery, in a dress whose bodice would completely escape me except that this is like a million words of free press and a guaranteed front-pager, and so someone knew what they were doing when they said, “How would you like to put on three-quarters of a black dress?” (The sheer around the neckline in front is actually nice, though clearly not the focus of this dress.)
Julianne Moore, who is secretly hated by all the people who told her that the embellishment on this dress was a good idea.
Morena Baccarin, in another Project Runway disaster that someone inexplicably let her leave the house in, and some nice earrings.
Kiernan Shipka, who always looks her age in a really great way, and also looks effortlessly put together in a really chic way.
Kerry Washington, in a dress that has big jewels and lace at the bodice and hem and just a bunch of stuff happening and I will just admit I think this dress is a mistake for a lady who is a lot more stylish than this dress.
Julianna Margulies, who looks so thrilled to be on red carpets that it’s like she has no mirrors at home and when she sees herself in the hotel room just before she heads out she’s still gasping, “Can you believe how AWESOME I am?!” as they shove her out of the limo. And it infuses her outfits with a certain delight that not even her Fran Fine headband can deflate.
Anne Hathaway, whose dress, like Anne Hathaway, is trying too hard.
Jaimie Alexander, whose dress was so precarious that she installed safety straps.
And Jenna Fischer, who often blends into the background, stands out this time in a really understated way – this drapes well, has sparkle without looking at all pageanty, and manages a chic evening sleeve.
And defying any division, Rose Byrne, who decided to come as a 1930s Hollywood Garden Party Jellyfish:
And, in all fairness, we’ve never seen 1930s Hollywood Garden Party Jellyfish done so well.
Red carpet season will continue as we ramp up to the Big Guy, and while my favorite emerging trend is Amanda Seyfried in a one-woman campaign for Hypothetical Veronica Lake Biopic 2014, I think that the SAG awards are an interesting blend of coasting on classic styles or trends, and beta-testing silhouettes for later in the season. (See Marion Cotillard’s dress, which took the ballgown idea from the Golden Globes and added a midi-low hemline that I promise we’ll be seeing again.) Onward, red carpet! I’m right behind you, in my pajamas.