When is a dress more than a dress? Can a dress make a political point?
On Sunday night, if anything was refreshing about the Golden Globes red carpet, it was what was said, not the widely-hyped what was worn.
The talk, as repetitive and halting as it was—and sometimes focused on E!’s own shortcomings as Debra Messing, Sarah Jessica Parker and Eva Longoria took aim at the network over the circumstances of the departure of Catt Sadler—was of the need for political and cultural change.
Actresses and actors were dressed in black to signify support, along with pins, of the “Time’s Up” movement, targeting sexual abuse, assault and harassment in the workplace. People said “Time’s Up” a lot. Sure, the viewer thought at home: we’re agreed on that, now what?
If you were expecting revolution, the sight of dresses still costing thousands of dollars and expensive diamonds draped around perfectly proportioned necks should have provided a cooling corrective.
This was, in many ways, a very traditional red carpet. There was nobody in black T shirts, sweaters and jeans. No-one came in Bermuda shorts. The fashion statement was of the most conservative kind: the celebrities attending were wearing exactly the same kind of expensive dresses and tuxes that actors and actresses wear to awards ceremonies. They just happened to be black.
Rose McGowan who has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and is the subject of E!’s new documentary series Citizen Rose, observed the parade balefully. “And not one of those fancy people wearing black to honor our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so. I have no time for Hollywood fakery, but you I love, @AsiaArgento #RoseArmy” she wrote to her friend Asia Argento.