The 77th Golden Globes red carpet felt extra star-studded this year, with some of Hollywood’s most famous A-listers coming out to play in their beaded gowns, Chopard jewels, and sky-high stilettos.
But with all that glamour comes a lot of ensembles that should have been left in the closet — or on the runway. Here, I break down the best and worst dressed starlets from this year’s Golden Globes. Let’s go!
Renée Zellweger in Armani — Best Dressed
She’s the actress I’ve been thinking about ever since I watched Judy, the film which Renée Zellweger plays icon Judy Garland in her best performance to date. For her press tour, Zellweger has been more cohesive than any other actress on the media circuit this season — keeping to a look of leather pencil skirts, cozy cashmere turtlenecks, pointed stilettos, and her blonde hair slightly swept back.
I just knew Zellweger would turn it out and keep that cohesiveness for an award season that she is destined to sweep (She won Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama on Sunday evening). To begin her major red carpet comeback, Zellweger chose this powder blue, sleek Armani number with all the right touches: A shade resembling Garland’s 1969 wedding dress, subtle sex appeal with a thigh-high slit, and a single cross-body trim of jewels that square off the gown’s neckline and hem.
On her wrist is a single gold bangle and her heels are merely an accent to this exquisitely fit gown, a pair of powder blue satin pumps. This is the Zellweger many of us have always admired and adored. She may be coming back after many years off the red carpet, but no actress this award season feels more like a breath of fresh air than Zellweger.
Jennifer Lopez in Valentino — Worst Dressed
Popstar Jennifer Lopez is seemingly the most overrated actress this award season after she stunned critics in Hustlers. That media hype, though, comes with the price of being a highly anticipated arrival on the red carpet.
Undoubtedly, Lopez was the worst dressed by a landslide Sunday evening in this Valentino piece. For one, the dress quite literally looks as though it was made from my mother’s leftover Christmas wrapping paper — the thick, expensive kind from Hobby Lobby, not the cheap Dollar General brand. The enormous bow protruding from Lopez’s breasts does her no favors and, just like wrapping paper would, the ivory skirt crinkled across the carpet rather than draping.
Moving on from the dress, one of Hollywood’s most beautifully aging darlings does not need all the makeup Lopez chose to wear. Bronzing on the forehead, bronzing on the hairline, bronzing on the cheeks, highlighter on her nose, the spider-like lashes, the giant oversized cinnamon bun braid on her head, the overly drawn thick eyebrows.
I stopped myself while seeing her walk the carpet and asked: “Where is JLo behind all that fuss?”
Laura Dern in Saint Laurent — Best Dressed
Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello (The Belgian designer at the head of the famed Parisian fashion house whom feminists love to hate) is shaping up to be one of the red carpet’s most impressive dressmakers. For this gown designed for actress Laura Dern, colorful beadwork is stitched to black bohemian chiffon with a plunging neckline.
Dern kept her blonde hair in beach waves and wore one gold bangle. The look could almost be considered an ode to Stevie Nicks, but that may be too obvious. Perhaps it is more simply a beautifully effortless gown that isn’t trying all too hard to be anything really. Does it shout “Best Supporting Actress winner!” Not necessarily, but why does it have to? Can’t clothes just be beautiful?
Gwyneth Paltrow in Fendi — Worst Dressed
There are not many words to describe what Little Miss Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow, wore to the Golden Globes. Let’s start with the upper-half, which features a frayed ruffle bra, bulging transparent poof sleeves, a necklace that isn’t really a necklace, and craft store sequins glued to a ruffled turtleneck. Got that? Keep up with me now.
Now to the bottom half: A pair of frilly brown panties underneath a striped ruffled skirt with enough fabric to make dresses for all of Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughters.
There are so many questions I have about this look, but one thing is for sure — Karl Largerfeld, the former head of Fendi, is in fact dead.
Cynthia Erivo in Thom Browne — Best Dressed
Harriet‘s Cynthia Erivo was breathtaking as she walked the red carpet in a custom Thom Browne gown that took about 800 hours to make. That kind of handmade, attention-to-detail, of course, cannot really go unnoticed but it’s truthfully the way Erivo carries this frock that turned my head.
Made to appear as a men’s suit, in typical Thom Browne fashion, the gown perfectly cinchers Erivo’s waist in while keeping her from spilling out the off-the-shoulder neckline. The white suit lapel (How fun?!) brings all the attention up to exactly where Erivo should want it, her glowing neckline adorned with gems and blue pendant fit for a princess.
This number is American craftsmanship at its finest.
Taylor Swift in Etro — Worst Dressed
As if the musical CATS was not traumatic enough for moviegoers, Taylor Swift decided to really twist the knife by wearing this Etro ballgown to the Golden Globes. Imagine, you’re a tall, thin, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter with the world at your fingertips. What to wear? I know, mom’s curtains!
The colors of this gown, alone, are excruciating against the red carpet aside from the giant floral print (the flowers themselves are literally larger than Swift’s waist) and random below her breasts. When Swift arrives at award shows dressed this way, I often wonder, is this girl ever going to grow up? Are we ever going to have a moment where the biggest country-pop star realizes she is no longer 15-years-old?
One can hope. For now, I won’t hold my breath. You shouldn’t either.
Rachel Brosnahan in Michael Kors Collection — Best Dressed
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, whose real name is Rachel Brosnahan, had her greatest red carpet ensemble to date at this year’s Golden Globes in this plum shade of purple gown by Michael Kors.
What better way to begin the new decade, 2020, with a nod to the roaring 1920s? Here, Brosnahan updates a flapper dress with a deep neckline, a fully beaded bust, and a skirt of fringe with glittery stones peeking through.
And it’s not just Brosnahan’s dress, it’s the details of this look. Her hair, in a caramel blonde color, parted to the side in brushed-out loose finger waves and deep red lips are old glamour at its best time. Her choice to match her nails to her dress and wear a long, slim diamond pair of earrings is what completes this ravishing red carpet moment.
Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture — Worst Dressed
I wanted to love whatever it was Charlize Theron decided to wear this award season. If this Dior Haute Couture gown is any indication of what’s to come, I — like so many others — will be sadly disappointed.
Remember, it was Theron who thrust glamour to the forefront of red carpet fashion back in 2004 at the Academy Awards when she arrived in a beaded spaghetti strap gown by Tom Ford for Gucci and a platinum finger wave cropped bob. It’s a moment that very few have ever been able to replicate. Nonetheless, we can’t judge Theron forever against that Gucci gown nor should we.
This Dior piece, though, is such a miss because with the right tweaks it could have soared to one of the best looks of the evening. Take, for instance, if the shade of green was shifted to a pale lime color. Now shorten the gown a bit and throw out the black chiffon asymmetrical cape. Take off the necklace, remove some of the skirt fabric so the dress falls into a column shape, and voila — this poorly fitted garment is now a showstopper.
Zoë Kravitz in Saint Laurent — Best Dressed
Actress and model Zoë Kravitz sticks to a certain style that Saint Laurent has mastered with the help of Anthony Vaccarello. In this bold polka dot black and white gown, Kravitz keeps her favored column dress silhouette but adds prints that Janelle Monae only wishes she could make look classy.
God willing, chic polka dots are back.
Salma Hayek in Gucci — Worst Dressed
Let’s cut to the chase with Salma Hayek: This is a poorly constructed bathing suit top with a satin sarong attached and silver stripper heels. Yes, it’s Gucci, thus proving that even Alessandro Michele makes mistakes.
Saoirse Ronan in Celine — Best Dressed
Little Women’s Saoirse Ronan was certainly one of the most effortless actresses on the red carpet in this glittering slinky spaghetti strap dress by Hedi Slimane for Celine. To be fair, there is not any one thing that is remarkable or exceptional about this dress. It’s a gorgeous gown made from gorgeous crystals sort of hanging on a gorgeous young actress.
It’s rather the attitude of Ronan’s look, juxtapositioned against many trying-too-hard actresses and their overpaid stylists, that makes it one of my favorites. In an award season where you’re competing for attention against blonde bombshells, popstars, and Academy Award-decorated nominees, why not arrive at the Golden Globes in Carrie Bradshaw’s “Naked Dress” with your hair in a single wave?
Dresses like this, oftentimes, are bolder than the most boldest gowns.
Margot Robbie in Chanel — Best Dressed
Sharon Tate doppelgänger Margot Robbie has formed a reputation for herself on the red carpet these days. She’s likely to wear Chanel, bound to stun, and will do it all without looking contrived. In this strapless Chanel, Robbie continues that fashion streak even looking more comfortable than usual with her hands tucked away in pockets. What woman doesn’t love pockets in a dress?
The top of this gown is particularly mesmerizing with its galaxy-like multicolored flames splashed across in couture-like beadwork which is paired to a white column skirt that could have easily photographed better as a jumpsuit.
Scarlett Johannson in Vera Wang — Worst Dressed
Before you comment that I’m wrong to put Scarlett Johannson on my worst dressed list, let me explain. It’s not that Johannson looks terrible or even bad — she doesn’t. She looks beautiful, she’s ScarJo, how could she not with genetics and bone structure like that?
The issue here is that this red Vera Wang gown and this slicked-back chignon are a decade old. This old-meets-new Hollywood aesthetic was huge between 2005 to 2010 and it’s a good look, but it is a tired look. When I saw Johannson arrive, I thought ‘Wow, Sandra Bullock’s 2010 red gown looks better on Sandra Bullock.’
This award season, Johannson has been clear that she’d like to leave her “hyper-sexualized” movie typecasting in the past. What I’m left wondering is how can you move forward in a new professional direction wearing last decade’s trends?
There were a handful of other best and worst looks I was considering for this list but for one reason or another, they didn’t make my top 13.
Here are some of those honorable mentions:
Nicole Kidman in Atelier Versace — Best Dressed
Kerry Washington in Altuzarra — Worst Dressed
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Ralph and Russo — Best Dressed
Cate Blanchett in Mary Katrantzou — Worst Dressed
Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte — Best Dressed
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.