The arduously designed lighting and makeup on Hollywood red carpets makes sure the stars shine with light bouncing off them. But the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, finally ushering in the much-missed escapist glamour we’ve been craving was even more sparkling. With shiny fabrics like lame’, metallics and high shine satins, all combined to make stars look—well, glistening—from head to face to cleavage to legs to toe. (yes, “leg cleavage!”). We’re talking women and men, who if not polished enough with champagne, silver and gold tones with equally glowing skin, were modeling deep pigment-rich colors of pink, mauve, lavender and burgundy with woven fabrics that contained metallic threads and textures.
Many stuck to classic black, but like Cate Blanchett, spun it on its head by pairing a sleek and chic black Armani Prive’ sheath with deep, deep cleavage. Cleavage is back, ladies and gentlemen. Serious cleavage. Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe had nothing—well, not nothing—on many of these voluptuous SAG ladies. SAG may have been the word of the evening, but it was definitely not the look.
Any actress going for red carpet champ at an awards show that includes Lady Gaga—well, we feel for you. Perhaps the all-time arrivals champ outdid herself (after all, she’s not going to the Oscars). So she worked every SAG trend of the night: strapless shiny cream satin with a structured (cleavage baring) bra/bustier in silver glitter which slinked around her body in modified mermaid style. It included not one but two shades of ivory, one deeper than the other, on each side of a dress divided down the middle. However, Gaga, star of “House of Gucci,” cheated on Gucci by wearing a competing Italian label: Armani Prive, its haute couture division. We can only imagine the drama going on in the real House of Gucci in Milan tonight, following its blockbuster fall runway show this week.
Runner-up for best dressed female was White Lotus star Alexandra Daddario, new to the red carpet, but clearly not to fashion. She played a fashion writer on the HBO hit, but was dressed like a fashion magazine editor-in-chief. She wore an Atelier Versace silver-gold-champagne colored hybrid liquid-looking dress with an Old Hollywood bias cut, a shoulder scarf, and the deepest V-shaped cleavage of the evening. The look contrasted with her dark wavy 1930’s hair and a deep Rita Hayworth red lip. Somebody give this girl a major movie role, please.
More champagne-silver-gold hybrid metallics: Juno Temple wore a high necked gold Versace gown and her “Ted Lasso” co-star Hannah Waddingham donned a silver strapless (more cleavage). SAG winner Jessica Chastain wore a cleavage baring Dior Haute couture suit. Faith Hill in another high necked big shouldered glowing gown, this one, Dior Haute Couture. Sandra Oh’s unfortunate silver Carolina Herrera multi-tiered giant ballgown look was so overwhelmingly big, it dwarfed her. Some ladies are just not cut out for frou frou.
The black-is-back set (did it ever really go away?) included the amazing Blanchett and her black jewel surrounded cleavage. In fact, most of the babes in black paired most of the funeral tones with a generous showing of skin. Even Meryl Streep donned the rare strapless gown at age 72, and looked spectacular. Rosario Dawson, fresh from her supposed breakup with Senator Corey Booker, was ravishing in a strapless Oscar de la Renta black gown. She was working another of the evening’s trends: giant shoulder action. Selena Gomez also wore black Oscar de la Renta with big shoulders in black. Another brand that brandished the SAG red carpet was Louis Vuitton, who’s black and silver simple column on Squid Game winner Jung Ho-Yeon matched a scarf tied in her long braid. Hailee Steinfeld’s black cut-out Miu Miu gown included an inset bra—a big 2022 black-tie trend. Maggie Gyllenhaal ‘s strapless stark black gown had absolutely no necklace. (The biggest jewelry trend was hanging diamond earrings or a simple diamond choker or no necklace at all.) Nicole Kidman was one of the rare female stars who covered up, in her black long sleeved velvet Saint Laurent gown with a wide Peter Pan collar. It was a surprisingly innocent look for Kidman. Reese Witherspoon wore a black strapless Schiaparelli midi with ice blue satin sash. She looked so schoolgirl that is harkened back to her Tracy Flick in Election days. She could have been going to the prom—the high school prom.
We’ve never seen a Hollywood awards show with such a showing of Hilary Clinton-friendly pantsuits in bright colors, no less. But then again, the suited-up-lady-look is huge for spring, and even huge-er for fall. At least, judging by the fall 2022 runway shows happening now. Lisa Kudrow’s was fuschia and Mira Sorvino’s was bright blue for their Romy & Michelle High School Reunion recreation. Meanwhile young Elle Fanning rocked a Gucci black sequin wide pants and a white, shiny satin tux shirt. Women wearing pants on the red carpet? To us, it looked fresh, fun and more than a little bit irreverent.
The other big trend we saw was delving into deep color. Kirsten Dunst’s off shoulder sequin ruffle Erdem combined scarlet with shine. Caitriona Balfe’s deep V (yes, cleavage) lipstick colored Saint Laurent had sharp shoulder action. Cynthia Errivo, one of the boldest red carpet queens, matched a cherry red furry Louis Vuitton cape with a matching red strapless patent leather column. Kerry Washington pretty much outdid herself—I know, hard to do—in a Rihanna-worthy yellow tight gown that ballooned into a ballgown at the hip, designed by Greek couturier Celia Kritharioti. SAG winner Jean Smart looked pretty damn smart in her burgundy long sleeved Christian Siriano jersey gown with shoulder ruffles that enveloped her face. The pink posse included winner Ariana DeBose in deep pink Valentino, lifetime achievement award winner Helen Mirren (with matching pale pink headband), and Salma Hayek’s Gucci halter with tiny pleated and a shoulder scarf was a mix of pink, red, almon, shrimp color, whatever. “I don’t know what color this is,” she laughed on the carpet. It was matched with long pink fishnet gloves with tiny dot detail. Vanessa Hudgens stood out in a slinky celery green satin Atelier Versace—only outdone by a super sleek straight bob haircut. Yes, finally straight hair is back. Just don’t tell Nicole Kidman.
The SAG brigade of bros also ponied up to the shine and deep color trend. Javier Bardem’s plum-burgundy hybrid—eggplant perhaps—punched up the classic tux silhouette. Jeremy Strong’s peacock pink suit was actually mauve velvet, contrasted with a milky grey shirt. Of course, real House of Gucci guy Jared Leto modeled his loyalty to the brand in an ice blue satin suit with a deep purple velvet scarf in lieu of a tie. The Hamilton trio of Lin-Manuel (silver dinner jacket, black t shirt), Daveed Diggs (silver and black brocade) and fashion dandy Leslie Odom Jr. in a black and white polkadot jacket over a white polka dot shirt proved that print and metallics take the humdrum out of the tux look. The cool guys rocked trendy eyewear: Will Smith in tinted aviators, Leto in same. Kevin Costner arrived incognito in what looked like dark black Ray Bans. But where does that reflection come in? Many of the stars spoke on stage about the people suffering in Ukraine. One the most touching tributes of the night was a fashionable one: the blue and yellow pocket square in the suit of Michael Douglas.
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