The Best Dressed List (and the worst) at the 2011 Golden Globes

Long before the real envelopes were opened last nite to reveal the winners of the Golden Globes, one got the definite feeling that there was some  proverbial envelope  being pushed as well.

No, not  just because the host, the brilliant Ricky Gervais, was brutally irreverent–and spectacularly funny–as he ruffled the feathers of some attendees and viewers who are used to kid glove treatment from American talk show hosts who usually coast through such events.

No, it started before that– on the red carpet.

If you paid enough attention to the variety of dresses being worn, you could conclude, as I did, that designers are indeed pushing the envelope in hopes of proposing a new paradigm of evening dressing for the new decade.

In the brave old world, a serious red carpet dress almost always meant something strapless or one shouldered, usually a floor length column. As for color, black, white and neutrals have been the standard bearers, with the occasional splash of red.

As of last nite, suddenly almost every dress had a train.

Pink and  coral looked refreshingly ladylike. And emerald greens made a giant splash on the scene (almost literally, judging by Catherine Zeta Jones). At least three fashion horses wore a dress with a print (Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and Heidi Klum).

Most dramatically, dresses suddenly appeared with– get this–sleeves. Yes, sleeves.

Long sleeves (Anne Hathaway, Katie Segal, Anette Benning), short sleeves ( Eva Langoria), cap sleeves (Melissa Leo, Hellen Mirren), puffy sleeves (Leighton Meister), one arm sleeves (Julianne Moore), shirt sleeves (Tilda Swinton) and batwing sleeves (Scarlet Johansen, Jeniffer Lopez, Sandra Bullock).

Some of the sleeves came with exaggerated shoulders bringing to mind unfortunate references from the past just as they sought to push the envelope forward: from Dynasty era types ( Angelina Jolie), Princess Diana wedding gown types (Anne Hathaway), Star Trek types (Jane Fonda).

Heretofore matronly sleeves were offset by cutouts in the backs of some dresses (Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway).

And then there was Halle Berry, in a league all her own: a corset top black mini with a floor length asymmetrical sheer overlay.

Here is a list of my hits and misses:

The Best Dressed

Emma Stone Flawless in a minimalist coral Calvin Klein short sleeve gown with geometric back cut out. The hair and makeup were perfect, something that could not be said of the other Calvin Klein dressed celeb, Claire Danes.

Emma Stone Pictures, Images and PhotosEmma Stone Pictures, Images and Photos

Halle Berry As I said above, in a league all her own wearing Nina Ricci. She looked sexy and ethereal unlike January Jones who looked desperate.

Eva Langoria Count on her to be both on trend (sleeves with cutout back) and still true to her signature style.

Olivia Wilde She was sporting none of the trends mentioned above,  but the secret to her look was the simple beautiful long hair which had the effect of making this Marchesa princess dress look thoroughly modern.

Melissa Leo My favorite black dress (but she needed a better hairstylist and makeup artist).

Catherine Zeta Jones and Mila Kunis Both looked stunning in the color and the hair and makeup were perfect.


The Worst Dressed

There’s no point in criticizing someone like Helena Bonham Carter for looking spectacularly awful because she’s doing it it on purpose. The following actresses were actually really trying and really missed the mark.

Julianne Moore A one arm, one shoulder dress looks as bad as it sounds.

Angelina Jolie The beautiful color could not make up for the dowdy cut of the dress and the careless hair made matters even worse.

Michelle Williams If you’re going to wear a print, make sure it doesnt look like something you see on grandma’s housecoat.

Jeniffer Lopez Even she could not make this dowdy frock come alive.

Jeniffer Love Hewitt A complete mess. And what’s up with the hair?

January Jones There’s such a thing as trying too hard.

Leighton Meister Burberry makes plaid scarves not evening gowns. Now we have proof positive.

Scarlet Johansen A completely age inappropriate dress paired with a cognitively dissonant updo.

Jane Lynch It’s just a really ugly dress. It’s that simple.

Jane Fonda It’s just a really ugly dress. It’s that simple.

Unfortunately the site which allowed me to access licensed photos has shut down. Until I can find an alternative, you can click below on the Yahoo gallery as well as the gallery from The New York Times.

Yahoo photo gallery

NYTimes photo gallery

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