A few weeks ago I awoke to several messages from my friend Sarah From The Pub* offering her thoughts on the procession of evening frocks unveiled overnight at the Golden Globes. Admittedly this was the start of awards’ season but since she doesn’t do this usually and I was stuck at home unexpectedly with an ill child, I was thrilled. I settled myself down with a cup of tea and had a scroll through the globe gallery of gorgeousness. I could immediately see why this year’s red carpet had provoked a reaction – instead of neat columns of black and nude, there was flounce after flounce of floral frill.
For years now at these occasions we’ve seen beautiful but yawnsomely safe designs which refused to break the mould or put it out there. I’ve pounced on the occasional jumpsuit or cape attachment worn by an Emma Watson or a Gwyneth Paltrow so exciting did it appear in the crowds of plunging necklines and spangled see-through mesh. But then eventually even those became ‘done’ and the red carpet readiness was suddenly so dull I longed for someone to get out of their limo clearly not ready at all, or wearing something they had to borrow at the last minute from their mum.
Well this year, it has all changed – the gowns we are now seeing on the most camera friendly of the species are girly, fussy and frankly completely over the top – I love it! And it’s fascinating because as we know, fashions are a reflection of our time; the designers’ reactions to what is going on around us. Whatever your political inclinations or thoughts about the loss of the most feted male pop stars of the seventies, eighties and nineties, we can agree there has been some seriously hefty stuff going down in the world. It’s a fact that hemlines lower in times of economic hardship yes, but this has gone several stages further; it’s as if the Hollywood memo to award nominees said ‘Dresscode: Upbeat and Colourful. #DisneyPrincess #windowboxes #Quality Street’.
There is so much going on (what we might at any other time, refer to as ‘too much going on’) this season that we’re too distracted to even notice the cut or shape of the gowns. The trend is think of embellishment, any embellishment… and wear it… preferably lots of embellishments all at the same time. So, ruffles, corsages, sparkles, stripes, bows, lace trims, even pretend trims at Gucci (as seen on Clare Foy), are all on the menu. Try looking at this page with your eyes half shut and it looks more like a line up for Strictly Come Dancing doesn’t it? I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, as you know I love the Strictly exuberance, but what can it all mean? We are living in worrying times for sure but there is probably worse to come and what then for our wardrobes? I can’t help thinking if the red carpet displays any more colour and froth, the bottom is going to fall out of the accessories industry. This look may be full blown frou-frou but no stylist worth their Choos is going to advise further adornment – you can have a clutch bag for your lippie and that’s your lot.
This girlyness, this soft sugary dressing is refreshing in its unexpectedness. It’s in keeping with La La Land and raindrops on roses and Beyonce being pregnant with twins – it may not be your thing, you may not give two hoots, but it’s something positive, a bit of frivolity with your breakfast. It’s women in their forties dressing like 6 year olds and breaking all those stupid rules. Now that’s progress…
*In fact I met Sarah in the building we both lived in… which wasn’t a pub.