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“The Golden Globes: 80 Years of Red Carpet Fashion” Panel at the 76th Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival isn’t only famous for its films, but also for the fashion on display on the red carpet. For this reason, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association organized a panel at the American Pavilion on May 22nd to discuss the evolution of red carpet fashion over the course of the last 80 years.




Before the panel started the President of the HFPA, Helen Hoehne, introduced the moderator, international journalist from Brazil Miriam Spritzer. Spritzer warmly welcomed panel participants Bronwyn Cosgrave – a best-selling author who has worked as the Features Editor of British Vogue, and has written for NYT, Architectural Digest, international editions of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair – and Rhonda Richford, the financial and sustainability reporter for WWD, who has also written for outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter and InStyle Magazine.




The panel opened with a video of the best moments of the Golden Globes red carpet, featuring images of Marilyn Monroe, Michelle Yeoh, Barbra Streisand, Halle Berry, Donald Glover and many others. All of them are remembered not only for their amazing contributions to television and cinema, but also for their gorgeous looks.


After admiring red carpet fashion that stretched back eighty years, Spritzer started the discussion by noting the fact that The Golden Globe Awards opens awards season and with that, the red carpet season. She then invited Cosgrave and Richford to talk about the relationship between fashion and the entertainment world.




Since the Globes are the first awards show of the season, Spritzer asked, were Cosgrave and Richford able to see a correlation between Paris fashion week and what celebrities were wearing on the red carpet? “I think even the stylists come to Paris Fashion Week in January to pick the things right off of the runway if they can, and to get those out as soon as possible,” Richford said. “It impacts what happens down the line, but I think that you are really looking at the trends as soon as they come out, the colors, whatever they’re seeing.”


Cosgrave remarked that since the Golden Globes’ format is a sit-down dinner, the looks lean more into a fun party vibe than that of other shows with more formal theater seating arrangements. “Stylists, I find, get a little bit over eager and they’re putting ball gowns on these women going to the Globes where back in time you would see, say, Annette Bening in a fabulous tuxedo, Gwyneth Paltrow in leather pants.


“And I think that is better for the retail business, that it’s not just about these huge gowns and these overwhelming dowager jewels that you see weighing down these young actresses. And I would love to see a more eclectic mix at the ceremonies and bring it back to what it was, and potentially the pandemic should have been that leveler.”


They also discussed how over eighty years of the awards show, the aspect of the red carpet that has evolved the most is that of men’s fashion. Men are branching out from the usual black tie and tux to now using colors, considering accessories, and sometimes expressing their gender in ways that suit them. To illustrate the latter, one of the first names that comes to mind is that of Pose star Billy Porter, who arrived on the red carpet for the 2023 Golden Globe Awards wearing a statement-making outfit: a custom-made Christian Siriano tuxedo overlay gown with a dramatic train in bright pink.


The conversation moved to how the fashion at the red carpet in general can be a way not only to promote a film but also to reposition an image and to establish new social norms. When Andie MacDowell walked the red carpet at Cannes in 2021 with her grey hair au naturel, it became a trending topic. And that gave a lot of women permission to embrace their grey hair.




At the end of the panel, the participants talked about how the diversity of the international festivals such as Cannes can promote different cultures, not only through films, but also through international fashion on red carpets by utilizing different designers, accessories and even standards of beauty. All these impact the retail market and encourage people to experiment with their own personal expression.


Spritzer pointed out that the Golden Globes, much like the Cannes Film Festival, is composed of an international body of voters and organizers and that this is consistently shown at the red carpet. This diversity among the guests is reflected in the fashion ensembles from around the world. “We are a very international forum and how these things are organized impacts the red carpet as well, and the people attending it. And by seeing different designers from different countries, from different backgrounds, the same way as we’re seeing the performers, the directors, the crew members, everybody walking that carpet from a different background in a different way, different culture, that also impacts the fashion that we’re having access to.”


When Spritzer asked Cosgrave and Richford what they’d like to see more of on the red carpet, Cosgrove said, “I love this sort of flavor, flamboyance, individuality. Let’s get more distinction on the red carpet at the different awards. The festivals are better at that actually than the awards.” Richford agreed and continued: “I would love to see younger designers have a chance. If you go back to what Halle Berry did with Elie Saab, when she won, he was just an unknown Lebanese designer. Now, he’s massive.”