Golden Globes Fashion: Shoulder Details Have a Moment at the Virtual Show

You might even say shoulders are the new boobs

There was no red carpet. In fact, there wasn’t a carpet at all. There was very little there there besides Tina and Amy and a handful of presenters in L.A. and New York. But that didn’t stop the 78th annual Golden Globe awards nominees and the people handing out the trophies from breaking out of the old sweatpants they’re sick to death of—stars, they’re just like us—and getting glammed up. Many of the stars who showed off their Golden looks—seated during the E! pre-show—talked about how long it had been since they’d dressed up, worn heels, or even combed their hair. Finally the Hollywood and New York City glam squads got back to work!

Since nominees knew they’d be sitting for their big-moment Zoom shots, actresses and their stylists wisely figured out that shoulder detail on a gown would be the smartest fashion move. Many had of them had that same idea, as did the designers. Could shoulders be the new boobs? Certainly, for the duration of the pandemic and virtual awards shows, anyway. On top of shoulders—or perhaps below them—a lot of fabulous color and satin: orange, aqua, purple, champagne, and, on a few ladies, a whole lotta sequin goin’ on.

amanda seyfried

Courtesy Forevermark

One of the most outstanding dresses of the night was Mank star Amanda Seyfried’s orange (mango?) sorbet, off-shoulder silk Oscar de la Renta, with orange handmade flowers that function like a floral silk boa or a really big Hawaiian lei. With her wavy hair pushed to a deep side part, Seyfried channeled the same kind of 1930s movie star she played in Mank. From a hotel room in Savannah, Seyfried was the very picture of spring—and this spring’s optimism.


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A post shared by Regina King (@iamreginaking)

Regina King’s startling Louis Vuitton gown was a beautiful mishmash of black stretch fabric that rounded her neck and one short-sleeved shoulder, and popped off the other shoulder in a thick strap around her upper arm. Most of the front of the gown was encrusted in silver sequins, in an almost Joan of Arc heavy metal moment. The contrast of the black matte fabric and against the shiny silver glitter, one shoulder covered, the other shiny and bare—hey, that’s some real gold(en) shoulder there.

Christopher Polk/NBC

Angela Bassett’s plum Dolce & Gabbana gown would have been a simple, sexy sheath—except one shoulder was fluffily covered in purple feathers, snaking all the way down to line the leg, exposing a side slit.

margot robbie


Presenter Margot Robbie—also a producer of Promising Young Woman and a Chanel ambassador—donned a black-and-white print ruffled and belted Chanel gown, with cutouts to bare her shoulders. For more upper torso interest, the dress had tiny spaghetti straps.

tiffany haddish

Rich Polk/NBC

Tiffany Haddish was giving all shoulder, in a strapless gold chainmail paillette Alberta Ferretti gown that matched her now gold cropped hair. And there was plenty of gold dust on her neck, décolleté, and shoulders, to match.


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A post shared by Andra Day (@andradaymusic)

Andra Day’s off-white two-piece Chanel that featured a lace top halter top and tulle skirt that had both cleavage and shoulder action.


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A post shared by Elle Fanning (@ellefanning)

The Great nominee Elle Fanning absolutely outdid herself—and that’s saying a lot. Her custom Gucci mint-green satin draped gown had one cap sleeve, and a long scarf piece draping off the shoulder as well—it looked like the Greek goddess Aphrodite was paying a visit to Old Hollywood.


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A post shared by jane levy (@janeclevy)

Nominee Jane Levy had detail all over her deep green Oscar de la Renta fishtail gown that you could only really see in photos. But there was no missing the fun cutouts from head to toe that still managed to look rather innocent while giving the dress a lot of texture.

Courtesy Wempe

And while she had a normal sleeveless bodice to her fit-n-flare, tea-length neon green Valentino spring 2021 couture gown, Cynthia Errivo looked so fabulous that she deserves a shoutout just for that amazing color, gown shape, and all-out nerve to wear such a striking, fashion-forward gown.

Hollywood wags are always wondering if the Golden Globes are truly the prognosticators of the Oscars. And in this case, if the Oscars—which are seven weeks away—are still virtual, which is highly likely, we expect shoulder detail to rise to the occasion for at least the rest of pandemic season.

RELATED: How the Golden Globes Addressed the Total Lack of Black HFPA Members

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