Part One: Best of the Red Carpet

This week, ‘Musings on Menswear’ columnist Jonny Mckinnell gives us his take on this Awards Season’s hottest fashion statements….

For most of the world the start of the year can feel like a depressing time. The festive period with all its holidays, present giving and copious amounts of alcohol drinking imbues the cold weather with a magical sense of joy, but without it, the midwinter can be a truly bleak affair. However for the fashion world January only brings with it further treats. The start of the year marks the onset of the first round of the biannual fashion weeks in London, Paris, New York and Milan, where the world’s most celebrated designers reveal their creations for the coming Autumn/Winter season. But that’s not the only reason fashion lovers have to celebrate at this time of year, as it also marks the start of the awards season in the film, music and television industries, and with them come the endless parade of jaw-dropping (for both good and bad reasons) red carpet looks.

At this time, I often think it’s futile for any of my tutors to expect me to do any work as a solid 95% of my time will be spent pouring over these looks and mentally issuing my decrees on whether they were successful or not, as if I was Joan Rivers’ successor on Fashion Police. However this year I have decided to give the world a much-needed gift and share with everyone my (definitive) list of the best dressed celebrities on this year’s red carpets.

Hailee Steinfeld @ Golden Globes in Vera Wang

My first best-dressed celebrity is in my eyes an overlooked one. Hailee Steinfeld’s lilac custom Vera Wang gown struck the perfect balance between elegance and youthfulness. While the colour accented her skin tone perfectly, helped out by the flecks of purple in her make-up, the cut and the material of the gown brought a level of sophistication to the carpet, without drowning her frame in heavy fabric. Unfortunately for Sarah Jessica Parker, who also wore Vera Wang, Steinfeld blew her out of the water with this dress.

74th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Olivia Culpo @ Golden Globes in Zuhair Murad

If you asked my why the former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo was attending the Golden Globes I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I am certainly glad that she was. On the red carpet many celebrities tend towards the safe, and often boring, choice of a simple tight fitting silhouette. However Culpo brought high fashion drama to the Golden Globes with her graphic Zuhair Murad ball gown. The intricate and bold print was a risky choice and the dress could have easily overwhelmed her but the beauty queen’s dramatic makeup and classy up do allowed her to triumph as a true winner, even if she wasn’t a nominee.


Lily Collins @ Golden Globes in Zuhair Murad

Though Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2017 is ‘Greenery’, the 2016 trend of light pink is still going strong and Lily Collins’ Zuhair Murad dress from the Golden Globes is a perfect example of this. The colour stood out against her alabaster skin incredibly and gave the look of young femininity without reading as sickly sweet. The combination of the intricate floral embroidery and the delicate fabric gave Collins the vibe of an ethereal fairy-tale nymph but her strong red lip and braided hairdo kept her looking sophisticated.


Taraji P Henson @ SAG awards in Reem Acra

Despite her being a favourite to win in many award categories, Taraji P. Henson’s look received a more mixed reaction. Some thought that the sheer top of the gown was too revealing for a red carpet runway and others stated that the small bows at the neck and navel spilt the look. I however loved this look. At this point, I’m fairly bored of the sheer dress trend but the combination of the minimal top half and voluminous skirt provided a fantastic balance between elegance and sex appeal. The pink hue of the gown also worked brilliantly, not only hitting a key trend, but accenting Henson’s flawless skin as well.


Janelle Monae @ SAG Awards in Chanel (SAG)

Singer-turned-actor Janelle Monae has always had a strong sense of style. Though her signature black and white aesthetic may anger colour lovers like Anna Wintour, Monae knows what looks good on her and has built a reputation for taking high fashion risks. Her Chanel dress was fun and feminine but also ornate and intricate, demonstrating Monae’s daring in her approach to red carpet style. For some reason, other commentators put Monae on their worst dressed list, stating that the ruffling around her torso was a bad choice. However in my eyes, this sort of styling shows that fashion doesn’t have to be sleek or sexy to be impactful and the way a great gown can build an artful new silhouette on top of the wearer’s body.


Claire Foy @ SAG awards in Valentino

A relative newcomer at the big award ceremonies, Claire Foy’s looks have the additional pressure of having to mark the actress as a significant player on the red carpet. Foy’s look at the Golden Globes unfortunately fell somewhat flat, coming across as dowdy and boring – but her look at the SAG awards was one of the highlights of the night. The layered Valentino gown was whimsical and impactful, making Foy stand out amongst the crowds of traditionally elegant fellow attendees. The floral embroidery of the outer layer combined with the pink of the underdress and collar created a feeling of girlish frivolity, while the sheer black fabric gave Foy a maturely stylish edge, perfect for one of the night’s award winner’s.


– Jonny McKinnell

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