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Golden Globes 2018: women wear the pants as red carpet a sea of black

If the all-black dress code at the Golden Globes contained a message about equality, actress Alison Brie probably put it best when she said: “Tonight is about wearing the pants so I have chosen to literally wear the pants.”

And if the call to wear black on the red carpet was intended to defuse the focus on “Who are you wearing?” and instead concentrate on “Why are you wearing what you’re wearing?”, it partly succeeded.

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Tonya Harding threatens to walk out

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Harassment scandals hang over Golden …

Harassment scandals hang over Golden Globes

With the cloud of sexual harassment hanging over Hollywood’s award season, many actresses are expected to wear black to the Golden Globes in support of women who have come forward.

Tonya Harding threatens to walk out

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Tonya Harding threatens to walk out

Tonya Harding threatens to walk out

The movie I, Tonya has meant former figure skater Tonya Harding is getting a lot of publicity, but an interview with Piers Morgan saw her nearly pull the plug.

Amanda Muggleton describes theatre harassment

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Amanda Muggleton describes theatre …

Amanda Muggleton describes theatre harassment

‘Things have happened to me in the wings’ says veteran actor Amanda Muggleton describing her treatment in the theatre. Courtesy ABC Radio Melbourne

Entertainment news highlights

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Entertainment news highlights

Entertainment news highlights

Oprah Winfrey’s stirring Golden Globes speech, Nicole Kidman’s fourth triumph and Craig McLachlan’s sexual harassment allegations.

Oprah ‘actively considering run’ for President

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Oprah ‘actively considering run’ for …

Oprah ‘actively considering run’ for President

Actress and media mogul Oprah Winfrey has ignited buzz about a possible presidential run in 2020 with a stirring speech at the Golden Globes.

Golden Globes and the #metoo campaign

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Golden Globes and the #metoo campaign

Golden Globes and the #metoo campaign

In the first awards show following the #metoo campaign, the movie and television industry acknowledges a year of film and a shift in perspective.

Nicole Kidman nabs fourth Golden Globe

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Nicole Kidman nabs fourth Golden Globe

Nicole Kidman nabs fourth Golden Globe

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Debra Messing gives E! a serve

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Debra Messing gives E! a serve

Debra Messing gives E! a serve

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Harassment scandals hang over Golden Globes

With the cloud of sexual harassment hanging over Hollywood’s award season, many actresses are expected to wear black to the Golden Globes in support of women who have come forward.

The debate over how to cover the “uncoverable” red carpet swung widely from “play the dress, not the woman” – a policy Fairfax Media has long advocated – to playing down the arrivals altogether.

The consensus seemed to be that to rank or judge was to misinterpret what this year’s red carpet was about. But fashion still featured on the red carpet, albeit in more subtle ways than usual. 

Alongside Brie, other actresses including Christina Hendricks and Laurie Metcalf​ also incorporated pants into their all-black ensembles. Debra Messing, who called out red carpet broadcaster E! over pay-gap issues, also wore a pants and top combination.

Octavia Spencer, left, and Jessica Chastain arrive at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Octavia Spencer, left, and Jessica Chastain arrive at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards. Photo: AP

Black embellishment was also a strong trend, with embroidery, contrast sleeves and texture featuring prominently.

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And despite many posts on social media in the day leading up to the red carpet, no-one opted to wear their Time’s Up t-shirt to the black tie event, although several stars sported Time’s Up pins and at least one Time’s Up purse was spotted.

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Golden Globes 2018: Red Carpet

Sarah Jessica Parker added a Planned Parenthood pin to the Time’s Up pin on the waistband of her Dolce & Gabbana dress.

And some stars took the message further. American Horror Story‘s Connie Britton sported a “poverty is sexist” jumper with her black full skirt.

This year’s Golden Globes red carpet was always going to be a tricky one to cover and commentate, given the #TimesUp/post-Weinstein subtext and the reluctance of anyone to appear flippant or superficial by focusing on the clothes.

And yet, on social media there was just as much criticism for women only being asked about activism and men being asked about their film projects.

Christina Hendricks arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Christina Hendricks arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

So basically, it was damned if you do and damned if you don’t when it came to the fashions.

Bloggers Tom & Lorenzo noted that despite less attention being given to the dresses, the designers still deserved credit for creating the on-message looks.

“If E! doesn’t want to ask about the designer of the dresses everyone’s wearing, they should get the info pre-interview and credit them on screen,” they tweeted.

In response, New York Times fashion editor Vanessa Friedman wrote: “Interesting suggestion. Because it’s true: they’re still working the fashion.”

Proving fashion and activism aren’t mutually exclusive, Calvin Klein issued a release pledging a donation to Time’s Up, and also highlighting the actresses it dressed for the event: Sarah Poulson and Millie Bobby Brown.

HFPA President Meher Tatna arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards.

HFPA President Meher Tatna arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards. Photo: AP

While about 90 per cent of celebrities were in black, including many male stars who wore black on black on black, there were some notable exceptions.

Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Meher Tatna arrived in all red but maintained she stood “totally in solidarity” with victims of sexual abuse.

The call to wear all black was sparked by the founders of Time’s Up, a coalition of about 300 actresses and Hollywood executives headed by the likes of Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria. Time’s Up has already raised in excess of $15 million for a legal defence fund for women who are victims of sexual abuse.

Isabelle Huppert arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Award.

Isabelle Huppert arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Award. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

This year’s red carpet was also marked by the appearance of several female activists, who attended as dates of eight leading actresses. The guests included tennis great Billie Jean King and Tarana Burke, founder of the #metoo movement against sexual harassment.

It is not the first time black, the colour of mourning, has been used to make a political statement on the red carpet. Black suits were worn by actors – including Jennifer Garner and Edie Falco – to the 2001 Emmy Awards, in memory of those who lost their lives on September 11.

with Mary Ward

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