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80th Golden Globes: Look Back – The House of Chanel and Hollywood Through the Years and on the Golden Globes Red Carpet

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” – Coco Chanel 


Coco Chanel finally succumbed to the call of Hollywood in 1931 when the iconic French designer got acquainted with Samuel Goldwyn, a Polish-born American film producer who offered her $1 million (approximately $75 million today) to bring her to Hollywood twice a year to design costumes for his stars.


The woman who was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel immediately went to work on Palmy Days, whipping up dresses for Barbara Weeks.


Chanel designed dresses worn on screen by Gloria Swanson in Tonight or Never (1931) and Ina Claire in The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932). Both Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich became her private clients.

Gloria Swanson in "Tonight or Never" (1931) Ina Claire, Madge Evans, and Lowell Sherman in "The Greeks Had a Word for Them" (1932)

Having done her work, Chanel left La La Land.


But the fashion legend continued to work in cinema. Alain ResnaisLast Year in Marienbad (1961) is an artistic revolution driven by a sophisticated allure, developed by Chanel around the idea, central to her, of freedom of movement. Chanel’s mark is evident in the French-Italian movie, which starred Delphine Seyrig and Giorgio Albertazzi.

Delphine Seyrig in "Last Year at Marienbad" (1961)

The movie was the main inspiration for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Spring-Summer 2021 collection. Later, Chanel designer Virginie Viard reused Lagerfeld’s idea of basing a collection around the film for 2022’s fall Paris Fashion Week.


Many years later, Coco’s legacy and presence continues in Tinseltown. Fashions from the house of Chanel are staples on the Hollywood red carpet and top-tier events. Costumes inspired by timeless creations of the only fashion designer included on Time magazine’s list of 20th century’s 100 most influential people have adorned the screen for decades.


Young Hollywood actresses continue to wear Chanel.


Fifty Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson attended the 2015 Golden Globe awards in a glistening sequined strapless gown first seen on the runway at Chanel’s autumn 2014 showcase.

Dakota Johnson, 72nd Golden Globes

Actress Margaret Qualley of The Leftovers wore a black Chanel muslin dress with a white camellia brooch at the 2020 Golden Globes. The Chanel dress was inspired by the Paris-31 Rue Cambon 2019/20 Métiers D’art Collection.

2020 Margaret Qualley, 77th Golden Globes

In 2004, actress Nicole Kidman, who portrayed the cabaret actress and courtesan Satine in the Baz Luhrmann-helmed musical romantic drama Moulin Rouge!, was reunited with her director when they did the alluring Moulin Rouge-inspired Chanel No. 5 fragrance commercial, Le Film.

Nicole Kidman in "Chanel N°5: The Film"  (2004)

At the 2021 Golden Globes Margot Robbie chose Chanel. The Suicide Squad star wore a ruffled gown from Chanel’s Spring 2021 collection of black and white crepe de chine. The look featured a high slit, logoed double C belt and off-the-shoulder sleeves. The accessories? Chanel jewelry and bag.

2021 Margot Robbie at the 78th Golden Globes

Andra Day, a Golden Globe winner for her performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, wore a fairytale dress by Chanel – a gray silk tulle for the dropped waist skirt accompanied by the macrame and sequin embroidered bodice. The gown, from the house’s Spring/Summer 2021 haute couture collection, had embroidered handiwork that required more than 1,000 hours. She paired the outfit with diamonds by Chanel Fine Jewelry.

Andra Day, 78th Golden Globes

English actress, Daisy Edgar Jones of Normal People, chose a romantic Chanel guipure lace dress with three-dimensional flower embroidery for her 2021 Golden Globe appearance. The wide-sleeved short dress finished with a long skirt stopped at the waist by a black bow. She accentuated it with Chanel jewels.


Making its appearance again on the red carpet was the little black dress of Chanel and worn by Israeli actress Shira Haas of Unorthodox who showed up at the 2021 awards show in a black tweed bandeau dress with a transparent silk skirt. She also had a Chanel bag and jewels.

2021 Shira Haas, 78th Golden Globes

For Chanel’s designer Viard, Spencer and Crimes of the Future star Kristen Stewart is its most faithful incarnation. She was quoted in Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week press release as saying, “Whether it’s her, or the other women I dress, I need to feel that they like the clothes anyway. But, of the people around me, she is the closest to Gabrielle Chanel, at least to my idea of her. She understands Chanel, its clothes. And with her, it becomes even more modern. This collection (Chanel Spring-Summer 2023 Ready-to-Wear), it’s also her.”


Chanel may have worked briefly in Hollywood but her influence on its denizens continues to be pervasive.