Fashion at the Golden Globes 2021: pets, diamonds and sofa style

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At-home glamour was the surprise winner of the night. Dressing up is back, even if most of us aren’t going anywhere quite yet. Golden Globes’ nominees served up some serious fashion, even – in fact, especially – if they were Zooming into the ceremony from a sofa and posting selfies on Instagram rather than attending in person.

Carey Mulligan was wearing high heels for the first time in eight months, she said in a pre-show interview from her London hotel room. “To have something to celebrate and get dressed up for … is nice,” said fellow nominee Elle Fanning, who told Vogue that Grace Kelly was the inspiration for her custom-made ice blue Gucci gown, which she wore with a full suite of vintage Fred Leighton diamonds and pearls, in order to watch the ceremony in another hotel room.

This was a red carpet of two halves. Presenters attended in person and were photographed on the traditional red carpet, albeit adhering to strict social distancing rules, while most nominees stayed home and made appearances via video call. The surprise was that it was the virtual attendees who made the bigger fashion splash. Those walking the red carpet played it safe – mindful, perhaps, that being photographed knocking back champagne in show-stopping couture at a fancy awards ceremony might look out of step with the times to an audience watching in their sweatpants. Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler wore long-sleeved black dresses. Renée Zellweger in a classic sweetheart neckline Armani and Margot Robbie in Chanel ruffles both went with respectfully formal rather than exuberantly flashy. Cynthia Erivo, who walked the red carpet in a neon lime-green Valentino trapeze-shaped neoprene gown, accessorised with a nose ring and elbow-length gloves, was the exception.

It was those stuck at home who really went to town. When your dog photobombs your big red carpet moment by settling in for a nap behind you while you dial in to the pre-show talk shows, as Regina King’s dog Cornbread did, even a dazzling floor length column of silver Louis Vuitton sequins looks down-to-earth. Emma Corrin, fully extra in her Pierrot-collared Miu Miu gown, had an on-screen cuddle with her cat as she waited for her category to be announced. Rosamund Pike posted a video that showed off the combat boots she was wearing with her pink Molly Goddard tulle, as she high-kicked her way down a deserted hotel corridor. Fanning was photographed eating takeout sushi pre-show, diamonds teamed with a bathrobe.

Rosamund Pike shows off her combat boots prior to the Golden Globe awards ceremony.
Rosamund Pike shows off her combat boots. Photograph: Rosamund Pike/Getty Images

Viola Davis, who used the spotlight of nomination to call out the Globes’ failings in diversity – not one member of the 87-strong voting body is black – used her “red carpet” moment to update Hollywood glamour for the age of inclusivity with a dress by Claude Lavie Kameni, an LA-based designer who makes gowns in the vibrant prints of Cameroon, where she was born. Nicola Coughlan wore her Bridgerton-signature shade of lemon, in more Molly Goddard tulle, and contrasted it with stripes of pink eye makeup. Julia Garner backed the hyped return of the roaring 20s in exquisite flapper-style Prada. Josh O’Connor posed under a flower arbour in a two-tone Loewe suit with ivory silk cravat, while Dan Levy added a matching, sequined turtleneck sweater to his chartreuse Valentino tailoring.

But no virtual event of this pandemic is complete without loungewear. The award for most relatable outfit of the night goes to Jason Sudeikis, who accepted his award on his sofa in a tie-dye hoodie.