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At the Golden Globes, a Red Carpet Comeback

After the SAG strike put red carpets on pause over the summer, the Golden Globes — an event that’s battled controversy in recent years — ushered some much-needed glamour back to Hollywood.
Margot Robbie at the 81st Golden Globe Awards.
Margot Robbie at the 81st Golden Globe Awards. (Getty Images)
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The SAG-AFTRA strike may have ended in November, but it wasn’t until Sunday night that Hollywood felt truly back to normal.

The Golden Globes, which aired on Sunday evening, marked the first major red carpet since the end of both the actors’ strike, which began in July, but also the writer’s strike, which ran from May to September. In that time, many movie premieres, film festivals and awards shows were postponed, cancelled or at the very least, lacking in their usual star power.

But despite taking a reputational hit in recent years — its former parent organisation the Hollywood Foreign Press Association battled multiple scandals, including allegations of bribery and a lack of diversity in its membership — the Golden Globes decidedly brought an end to that glamour drought.

The guest list was about as star-studded as it could be — Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, Jared Leto and even Taylor Swift were among those in the audience. The attendees brought plenty of sparkle to the carpet. Continuing her Barbie-inspired style streak from the film’s cut-short promotional tour, Robbie wore another look inspired by her character in the film, a sequined pink Armani gown with a matching fishnet boa. Swift, nominated for the newly introduced cinematic and box office achievement award for her concert film, wore a green sequin Gucci ensemble. Nominees Natalie Portman and Emma Stone both wore embellished gowns; Portman in Dior Haute Couture and Stone in Louis Vuitton. Even Streep’s skirt-and-blouse Valentino ensemble was covered in black sequins.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Taylor Swift attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 07, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Silver was also a major colour of the night for a number of A-listers. Elizabeth Debicki, who took home the Golden Globe for her performance as Princess Diana in “The Crown,” in Dior Haute Couture; Julia Garner in Gucci and America Ferrera in custom Dolce and Gabbana all sported silver-sequined, crystal-encrusted and pearl-embellished chrome gowns, a colour trend revived by Beyonce’s Renaissance tour.

“The world is dark enough, and that we wanted to bring some shine in, especially after being away for so long,” said Elizabeth Saltzman, who styled Debicki and Garner for the ceremony.

Louis Vuitton was behind some of the most daring men’s looks including “The Color Purple” actor Colman Domingo, who wore a custom black suit with a high neck collar, golden encrusted buttons and brooches. “Saltburn” actor Barry Keoghan wore a cropped red blazer and red trousers in the house’s signature damier print, a runway look from Pharrell Williams’ first collection for the house, worn with a brooch and pearl necklace instead of a tie.

The Red Carpet’s Return

All that star power was likely a welcome sight for the Golden Globes’ new organisers, the Eldridge Industries and Dick Clark Productions, a Penske Media entity, who acquired the assets of the Golden Globes in July 2023 from the embattled HFPA, which was dissolved in the process. In recent years, the HFPA’s many scandals had damaged not just the event’s credibility but also its viewership: Last year’s ceremony brought in an audience of 6.3 million, a far cry from 2020′s 18.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Colman Domingo attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards wearing custom Louis Vuitton.


The Globes aren’t alone — even the Academy Awards have suffered from declining interest in recent years. With fewer eyeballs on awards shows, brands have increasingly distributed their attention and marketing spend to smaller events such as the Venice or Cannes Film Festivals, which now, thanks to social media, have just as much potential to go viral.

But with new leadership and the status as the first major post-strike red carpet, it seems the Globes’ years of turmoil may be over.

“Actors and brands alike [are] vying to get that air time since everyone has been home for so long,” said stylist Jennifer Austin, who dressed Angela Bassett and nominee Danielle Brooks for the ceremony.

Stars and stylists, of course, didn’t just spend the strike at home. Saltzman said this year’s red carpet was “extra special” as actors, unable to film or promote their projects, instead turned their attention to deepening their relationships with fashion brands and designers during the strike.

“This past year has really shown us that everything and everyone matters, these industries are inextricably linked. It really takes a village,” she said. “We’re grateful to be back at work.”

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