Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Golden Globe Trends--belts

I never really thought of a belt as an accessory to an evening gown, but there were belts aplenty at the Golden Globes this year.

Laura Linney--who is a fabulous actress and whom we love unabashedly, has a jeweled belt which keeps her gown from looking too much like a toga, and adds some evening bling to what might otherwise look like an overly long sundress. It might not be fair to even call this a belt, since it so defines the dress shape--maybe a "jeweled waistband?"

Olivia Wilde has a highly pleated and ruched dress, with a sort of "self-belt" added in. Does it really add anything to the line of the dress? It does emphasize her waist, at least in this close-up, and gives her somewhere to wear a diamond brooch, since she hasn't got any shoulder to pin it on.

Even the English thoroughbreds are wearing belts--Kristin Scott Thomas and Kate Winslet. Kate's is--again--not really necessary except as a way to define her waist. No harm, no foul on this one, other than as an instance of a trend we may need to nip in the bud.

Kristin's is kind of, how do you say, matronly? I am not at all fond the contrast between the taupe satin and the black belt. Maybe it's just that I think the combination simply repeats the unfortunate color of her too dark hair and her washed out complexion. Or maybe it's that the dress itself is so meh that all there is to look at is her too dark hair and her belt.

Even her make-up is just meh. This is what I think of whenever somebody mentions "a middle-aged woman."

The whole thing is just too Mother Of The Groom for a red carpet, don't you think?

Maggie Gyllenhal--one of my favorite actresses since "Secretary." I thought that was a tremendously brave performance and she sold it. She is also capable of selling me on this gown which most critics didn't like. But here a belt makes sense--it constructs the shape of the dress, which would probably otherwise look like a muu-muu, it's a coordinating color, so it doesn't overwhelm the dress, but is an integral part of it.

Maybe it's just her unusual (for Hollywood) looks, but this dress gives off a 40s vibe for me, with the single big ruffle on the shoulder, and the narrow and tailored line of the rest of it--the kind of gown you'd make if you had fabric rationing to keep the Boys at the Front supplied with uniforms.

Kyra Sedgewick's may be my least favorite belt. For one thing, it looks like those cheesy belts that used to come with just about everything--self-fabric or something, where somebody glued the remnants of the dress to a slightly-more-supple-than-cardboard backing and called it a belt.

Plus, there is no point for a belt there--the dress doesn't really have a focal point at the waist, as Olivia Wilde's does, and the belt just makes the dress look like a geometry proof on isoceles triangles. The dress is obviously tailored to her body, and wouldn't have billowed around her without the belt (as Kristin Scott Thomas' threatens to do). In fact, without the belt, the dress would have projected more of the old 1930s glamor than it does. I think the belt actually reduces the dress's ability to make a statement.

Finally, the end of the belt just dangles in the air. There is no loop to keep it close to the body so it just reinforces the image that Kyra just couldn't leave the house without a belt--to keep her gun in, perhaps?

There were more examples of belts, but let's just declare this a trend that shouldn't continue, shall we?

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