When women who aren't famous dress for a black-tie event, they often haul out whatever black dress fits, slap on their good jewelry and head out. We expect more of actresses who are courted by world-class designers, and fortunately a number of stars at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday didn't disappoint, notably Uma Thurman, Charlize Theron, Sarah Jessica Parker and Marg Helgenberger.
Of course, winner Theron would want to go glam again, the better to erase memories of her as an overweight hooker with bad skin and worse teeth in "Monster." Her canary yellow, ruffled gown by Christian Dior did the trick (no pun intended). Theron's feminine confection and Diane Lane's strapless, tangerine flowered chiffon gown by Bill Blass were in tune with the sweet, flirtatious spirit that dominated designer runways for spring.
Sometimes, a generous view of unadorned cleavage isn't enough. A big coral flower bloomed in Lane's bosom. The low decolletage of Helgenberger's fuchsia satin Giorgio Armani column was rimmed with ruffles, and a delicate rhinestone buckle at Jennifer Aniston's sternum appeared to hold together her black Valentino jersey gown.
The short dresses were refreshing, including those of Sofia Coppola, who wore a black Azzedine Alaia sheath, and Mary-Louise Parker, who strutted in sexy high heels and a plunging neckline. Meryl Streep's full-skirted black coat and skirt and Sarah Jessica Parker's charcoal tulle strapless Chanel couture dance dress showed how flattering small-waisted, flouncy silhouettes can be. All four won awards as well.
The danger of wearing silver, gold or bronze to an awards ceremony is a woman can wind up looking more like a statuette than a human.
Nicole Kidman said she chose her champagne chiffon flapper dress decorated with golden coins to acknowledge the contribution of Tom Ford, who has not renewed his contract with Gucci and Yves St. Laurent. Scarlett Johansson in a shimmery peach Stella McCartney with a corset bodice also risked statuette confusion.
There are creative alternatives to glitz such as Maria Bello's tall choker of delicate white beads by Reavaver for Louis Verdad. Thurman, in a narrow purple Versace gown with ruffles, was a rebuke to anyone who thinks Hollywood glamour is a thing of the past.
Men have figured out that accessories are the annoying part of a tuxedo. Tom Cruise and Kiefer Sutherland wore Windsor-knotted ties, Kevin Costner didn't bother with a tie at all. Johnny Depp accessorized his brown Dolce & Gabbana tux with an oversized fedora that looked like a chimneysweep's hat.