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The women of Hollywood turned to the boldest reds and the blackest blacks to evoke a bygone era of sultry sirens on the red carpet at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards.
"Poppy red," a trend color for spring, was the tone chosen by stars like the night's award winners Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings Playbook") and Claire Danes ("Homeland") along with Marion Cotillard, Zooey Deschanel and Jennifer Garner.
"Red is classic and celebrates Hollywood's heyday when all the most glamorous sirens often wore red," said style expert and TV host Sam Saboura. "It's regal and strong, but this new poppy hue for spring feels fresh, youthful and modern."
With the unusually chilly California weather, Saboura said the blacks worn by Globe winners Julianne Moore ("Game Change"), Adele ("Skyfall") Salma Hayek, Julianna Margulies and Rachel Weisz "felt right on this cold January night, not to mention elegant and chic."
Contrasting with the reds was a smattering of pale colors, in what Entertainment Weekly's senior editor Bronwyn Barnes called the "the fire and ice effect." Those included Anne Hathaway's "white hot" Chanel Haute Couture gown and the blush tones preferred by Amy Adams, Megan Fox and Hayden Panettiere.
"No matter what the color, practically every gown featured sparkling embellishments like crystals, sequins, beading and pailettes that created a glitter effect," Barnes said.
Stylist Elshane, who goes by that single name and works with singers like Carly Rae Jepsen and comedienne Rebel Wilson, said the prevailing style on the red carpet was a romantic one. She described the looks as having a "feminine innocence, nothing too revealing, but still body conscious in all the right places.
"It was refreshing to see romanticism without the tulle, ruffles and rushing that normally comes with it," she said.
Although the Oscars will always be considered the biggest and most important night in red carpet fashion, churning out the most high-end designers on the biggest of A-listers in film, the Golden Globes are important in their own right. It is the first major award show of the new year and showcases designer gowns worn by both film and television stars.
WARM-UP FOR OSCARS
"The Golden Globes is the first (nationally broadcasted) red carpet of the awards season so it's the first time these actresses can make a statement and show their styles," said Elshane. "And this year, it was a great night for fashion. The stars really stepped it up this season and took a lot of risks."
Additionally, the Oscars' more formal theater-style seating compared to the Globes' roundtable dinner set-up also influences the type of fashions that will be seen.
"The dress code, like the ceremony, is more relaxed, which is why we see everything from traditional couture gowns to edgier looks, such as Nicole Kidman's Alexander McQueen dress to shorter styles like those worn by Marion Cotillard and Thandie Newton," said Barnes.
While the carpet was missing high-wattage fashion icons like last year's stars Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron, Saboura said Lawrence might be the strongest contender to take this year's fashion crown.
"Jennifer is definitely fashion's new darling," Saboura said. "She came out wearing strong designers when she was first nominated for 'Winter's Bone (in 2010), but since her 'Hunger Games' debut, she's become the one to dress in young Hollywood."
Saboura called Lawrence's Dior Haute Couture dress "stunning" and felt it was refreshing to see the 22-year-old star wearing a gown from the prestigious fashion house. He credits the company's new designer, Raf Simmons, whose take on the label has resulted in "a more youthful, modern collection."
However, Saboura panned the soft jade green dress worn by Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain ("Zero Dark Thirty"), despite it being another big color for spring 2013.
"The dress was ill-fitting and looked messy," he said. "It did nothing to showcase this beautiful and super-talented star."