Actors and designers all love an award show red carpet, don’t they? After all, it’s a chance to show off their finest outfits knowing they’re being seen and gawped at by millions of people. And at the Golden Globes – an event generally considered more casual than the Academy Awards – the fashion often gets fantastically weird. So, let’s run down some of the best “Are they really wearing that?” moments…
40. Cynthia Garrett – 2002
Don’t have a gown handy for the Golden Globes? Wrap yourself in a giant flag instead! To be fair though, that’s not quite what Cynthia Garrett actually did at the ceremony in 2002. Her Stars and Stripes dress was form-fitting and she actually looked pretty good in it. Still, would’ve been more appropriate for the Fourth of July.
39. Lady Gaga – 2019
Of course Lady Gaga would wear something OTT to the Golden Globes! In 2019 when she was nominated for A Star Is Born, the singer wore a blue Valentino dress with a colossal train. Many thought it was tribute to Judy Garland, who wore a similar dress in the original A Star Is Born. Mind you, the latter didn’t dye her hair blue to match like Gaga did.
38. Alan Cumming – 2015
Men tend not to push the envelope on the red carpet as often as women do, but Alan Cumming is one of the major exceptions there. He arrived at the 2015 Golden Globes in a beige-colored Calvin Klein suit matched with the curious and much more casual choice of Louboutin high-tops. Was he planning to play sports afterwards?
37. Sarah Michelle Gellar – 2012
You either loved or hated Sarah Michelle Gellar’s dress at the 2012 Globes. She wore a tie-dye-style Monique Lhuiller number which raised a couple of eyebrows. But Gellar proudly said on the red carpet that her then-two-year-old daughter had picked out the dress so she’d agreed straight away. That kid might well have a career in fashion ahead of her!
36. Goldie Hawn – 2003
In 2003 Goldie Hawn wore what appeared to be a sexy white Victorian corset to the Golden Globes. The star got to show off how well she’d aged, sure. But it just wasn’t a good design for her. Sadly, it was more than enough to get the actress onto “worst Golden Globes looks of all time” lists for years to come.
35. Julia Roberts – 1991
Julia Roberts was one of the world’s biggest stars in the ’90s and could wear pretty much whatever she wanted to awards shows. So, that’s just what she did at the 1991 Golden Globes! Instead of a dress, she wore a big blocky pinstriped suit – complete with shoulder pads of course – over a miniskirt and tights.
34. Jackson Lee – 2021
Jackson – Spike Lee’s son – joined his sister Satchel to serve as the Ambassadors for the 2021 Golden Globes. And he also dressed to impress, of course – wearing a bright and stylish ensemble quite unlike the standard for men on the red carpet. He had on an almost all-Gucci outfit, but the shoes were Jordans and the sunglasses were actually by Magic Johnson’s daughter Elisa.
33. Cybill Shepherd – 1988
Actress Cybill Shepherd appeared to dress as actual royalty when she showed up for the 1988 Golden Globes Awards. The dress itself was quite over-the-top already, but then she paired it with the sort of bright pink sash usually seen on princesses. It was all a bit silly, but she looked like she was having fun!
32. Dan Levy – 2021
Dany Levy made fashion history at the virtual 2021 Golden Globes. According to GQ, his eye-catching, sequin-covered outfit marked the first time Valentino had ever created haute couture for men. The magazine declared at the time that Levy’s look “was a lesson in how to upstage even the coveted Golden Globe awards themselves.”
31. Cate Blanchett – 2002
Cate Blanchett is usually pretty darn good at looking glamorous on the red carpet. So, what on Earth happened back in 2002? She wore a sort of pinstriped, patterned jumpsuit that didn’t look right on her at all. It’s been years and people still bring it up to illustrate how even the best of us can have fashion fails.
30. Janet Leigh – 1957
What was Janet Leigh wearing to the 1957 Golden Globes?! It looks like, erm, she’d forgotten to put something on over her admittedly very nice lingerie. It’s hard to imagine that outfit didn’t massively raise some eyebrows back in the ’50s. In fact, even in the photo one of the background people looks pretty shocked!
29. Joey King – 2020
Actress Joey King wore something absolutely stunning to the 2020 Golden Globes – practically a wearable art piece. It was a 3D-printed dress created by Iris van Herpen and it caught the eye like nothing else on display. Vogue announced once the party was over, “Joey King was the breakout star of the Golden Globes red carpet.”
28. Emma Thompson – 1993
Even the great Emma Thompson isn’t always fashionable. In 1993 she appropriately wore gold to the Golden Globes, but the dress itself didn’t look good on her at all. In fact, it looked a little bit like she was wearing a shiny sofa throw! Oh well, it did at least match the award she won that year for Howards End.
27. Charlize Theron – 2020
Charlize Theron wore a dress featuring a black bustier and a glaring green drape on the 2020 Globes red carpet. Though maybe it was a little too bright? Either way, fashion fans absolutely loved it, since it was something new and unusual. Theron’s stylist Leslie Fremar told Vogue magazine, “[Theron] gravitated towards it immediately. It spoke to her personal style.”
26. Cher – 1984
When Cher won a Golden Globe for Silkwood in 1984, she told the audience, “Look at my dress until I think of something.” Granted, it was more of a blouse-leather skirt-tights combo than an actual dress. But the sheer oddness of it probably was enough to keep the audience looking for a long while!
25. Elizabeth Taylor – 1958
The 1958 Golden Globe Awards went down in entertainment history. Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack buddies crashed the stage after a lot of drinking and began handing out the awards themselves. Sadly, most footage of this amazing event is lost now, but we still have some photos. Elizabeth Taylor, it turned out, wore a literal tiara, massive earrings and an ahead-of-its-time floral dress. And she turned 26 while the wild party was still going on!
24. Cameron Diaz – 1999
It’s generally agreed that the ’90s were a bit of an odd time for fashion. Cameron Diaz demonstrated this nicely in 1999 when she arrived at the Golden Globes wearing a kimono-style dress over a black trouser suit. The hair looked as though she hadn’t even tried to style it, too. Even now, it’s still remembered for all the wrong reasons!
23. Riley Keough – 2017
Actress Riley Keough – the granddaughter of Elvis Presley – wore an Art Deco style dress to the 2017 Globes. It was hard to tell at first glance, but it was embroidered with a multitude of bling. Yep, according to Vogue, the piece boasted at least 35,000 crystal and glass beads. Keough’s stylist Jamie Mizrahi told the magazine, “We wanted to go Old Hollywood, classic movie star, while still letting her look young, fashionable, and cool.”
22. Jennifer Lopez – 2020
J-Lo’s Valentino dress at the 2020 Golden Globes spawned a thousand memes. It was, people thought, a little more Christmassy than you’d expect for that time of the year. Twitter immediately compared it to a wrapped present, Ryan Reynolds’ famous Christmas sweater, a Macy’s display and a particularly ridiculous outfit worn by Phoebe on Friends.
21. Sophia Loren – 1977
Sophia Loren won her fourth World Film Favorite Award at the Golden Globes in 1977. But perhaps even more amazing than that was the dress she chose to wear – a silver and black shimmery number that revealed just enough. Do we have Loren to thank for all modern-day metallic dresses on red carpets?
20. Diane Kruger – 2005
Diane Kruger herself regretted this outfit from the 2005 Golden Globes. Six years later she told Stylist magazine, “I remember my very first Golden Globe Awards dress by Marchesa. They’d just started out and were really good friends of mine. I loved the dress they made but it was so wrong for that occasion.” Yeah, no kidding.
19. Jennifer Aniston – 2004
Jennifer Aniston absolutely loves black. She’s worn gowns featuring that hue to countless red carpets and awards ceremonies. Though the one she wore to the 2004 Golden Globes deserves a special shout for its plunging neckline. It’s considered by many to be a very good Globes dress, but maybe it showed a bit too much of the, er, globes.
18. Regina King – 2019
Regina King was nominated for not one, but two performances at the 2019 Golden Globes. So, she went all out with her red carpet outfit. The star wore a spectacular strapless Alberta Ferretti dress covered in thousands of pink sequins. Even if King hadn’t walked away with a Best Supporting Actress award, she would have stolen the whole show.
17. Sharon Stone – 2003
For the 2003 Golden Globes Sharon Stone wore a black dress which appeared to have been through a paper shredder! She was clearly going for an edgy look, but, alas, it just came off as bizarre. Believe it or not, that wasn’t even the most headline-grabbing thing about Stone that day. She also went down in Globes history for interrupting Richard Gere during his acceptance speech.
16. Fran Drescher – 1996
Fran Drescher’s dress wasn’t the problem in 1996 – it was the headpiece. Drawing the eye away from the simple white gown was the massive pile of flowers balanced on her head. The star of The Nanny actually rocked the weird look, to be fair. But surely she’d have been swatting away bugs all night as well!
15. Lois Maxwell – 1948
Lois Maxwell was the original Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise. And she really knew how to wear unusual-but-classy outfits at awards ceremonies. Back in 1948 she won the Golden Globe award for Most Promising Newcomer (Female) while wearing this impressive patterned cape. Can we bring these accessories back, please?
14. Gwyneth Paltrow – 2000
Gwyneth Paltrow’s red carpet outfit in 2000 qualifies as outrageous simply because, well, it isn’t much of a red carpet outfit! She pretty much just turned up in a yellow top and trousers. Sure, Paltrow looked nice, and the star tried something different with her hair. Though without that necklace you’d think she was just going to the mall!
13. Jessica Biel – 2017
Jessica Biel’s 2017 dress was just… A lot to process. Basically, it was a big mishmash of elements that didn’t work together at all. The plunging neckline and the thigh slit, cool. But the tiny belt at the waist? And the strange assortment of flowers all over the skirt? It was a fashion miss, for sure.
12. Tracey Ullman – 1989
Tracey Ullman’s fashion is never dull. For the 1989 Golden Globes she wore a very bright and colorful pink and orange mini dress with flowers around the neckline. She must really love those hues because the earrings and even her eyeshadow were matching. Also, check out the leopard-print fur coat visible in this photo – was that supposed to go over the top of the dress? If so, wow.
11. Geena Davis – 1992
Geena Davis did something super daring in 1992 and wore a see-through lace bodysuit. It wasn’t a case of her revealing too much, though – the blue wrap around her neck and waist spared her blushes. And yet despite all the thought that clearly went into the outfit, it just didn’t quite work.
10. Jayne Mansfield – 1961
Jayne Mansfield was essentially Marilyn Monroe’s rival – though she was bolder, brasher and blonder. The former was a reality star before it was even a thing, and people waited on tenterhooks to see what she was doing to do – or wear – next. For the 1961 Golden Globes she turned up sporting an outfit similar to what Monroe had worn the previous year. Though this one was black and very sexy.
9. Sarah Jessica Parker – 2017
It takes guts to wear an actual wedding dress to a red carpet event. Yet that’s exactly what Sarah Jessica Parker did in 2017. Her white gown was from Vera Wang’s Fall 2017 Bridal Collection. And her hair ended up being a tribute – albeit an unintentional one as she admitted on the red carpet – to Carrie Fisher and her famously white-clad Star Wars character Princess Leia.
8. Renée Zellweger – 2009
Poor Renée Zellweger: very few people liked her choice of outfit at the 2009 Golden Globes. Her Carolina Herrera dress was all sheer at the top and it showed her underwear underneath. Sure, it was supposed to, but fashion fans still turned their noses up. The unusual hairstyle didn’t help either. But all the same – at least it wasn’t boring!
7. Björk –2001
The ’00s queen of outrageous fashion didn’t disappoint at this Golden Globes ceremony. In 2001 – the same year she wore the infamous “swan dress” at the Oscars – she wore a Michael Jackson gown to the Globes. Yes, really. The singer’s face was emblazoned in sequins across the skirt. Oh, and Björk’s bag was in the shape of an owl for some reason.
6. Nicole Kidman – 2004
It was hard to pin down what Nicole Kidman was going for in her 2004 outfit. Was she making a nod to the fashion of the roaring ’20s, or did she just want to try out the plunging neckline trend? Either way, people weren’t impressed with the golden Yves Saint Laurent dress and some claimed that Kidman was too old for it. She was only in her 30s, though…
5. Cynthia Erivo – 2021
Cynthia Erivo wore a spectacular neon green number to the 2021 Globes. Her stylist Jason Bolden raved about it to E! News, saying, “[Erivo] knew nothing about this dress, but she trusts me and allows me to be creative. The shoes are like skyscrapers; the color and the shape is so bold – and why not?! – to add some much-needed fantasy. The neon green tea-length dress reminds me of scuba fabric.” It shouldn’t have worked, but it did.
4. Helen Mirren – 1997
Is that really Helen Mirren?! Yep, you bet. Before she became what she is today – the beloved and fashionable Dame – the star appeared to be a bit of a style rebel. For the 1997 Golden Globes Mirren wore this bizarre all-black outfit, complete with something – it’s rather hard to tell what – perched on her head.
3. Billy Porter – 2020
Where would men’s red carpet fashion even be without Billy Porter? In 2020 he outdid himself with this bright white angel-inspired Alex Vinash creation. Assistants had to carry the long feather train as Porter walked up the carpet. But luckily, it turns out that this part is removable seeing as he needed to sit down!
2. Courtney Love – 2000
The dress Courtney Love wore in 2000 was from the Christian Dior “homeless” collection, which is weird enough in itself. Yes, it was controversial. Love remembered to The Guardian newspaper in 2019 that upon first seeing the dress she thought, “This dress is crazy looking, but I’ll make it work.” Opinions are divided as to whether she did.
1. Lara Flynn Boyle – 2003
One of the most infamous Golden Globes outfits ever was worn by Lara Flynn Boyle in 2003. It was a ballerina’s outfit, complete with tutu and shoes… And that was it. No one understood the choice at all. It was designed by David Cardona, and in 2014 he pointed out to Yahoo Movies, “People are still talking about it ten years later.” Fair enough.