The Blackout on The Red Carpet

Want my very honest opinion on wearing black on the red carpet? You may not like it but you may read the italicized paragraphs below.  Want to skip the deep thoughts and just get to the good, the bad and the what were they thinking part? Scroll down to below the italicized font. 

In an effort to show solidarity among women, last nights female, and many male attendees chose to wear black. The color black is strong, no doubt, but it also feels serious, sometimes even sad, after all it is the color we associate with death and funerals. I am all about bringing awareness and opening up conversation to the sexual harassment scandal that has besieged Hollywood and beyond. What confuses me is that there were requests made by some women to take the focus off of fashion during the Golden Globes, an event that is typically known for what people wore as much as, sometimes even more than, whom actually won. That, in my opinion, is bullshit. 

I get that I will be of the minority and will certainly face some backlash for my opinion but nonetheless I am going there. Freedom of speech works on both sides of the fence and I’d like to say something about fashion and females. A celebrity is not created, achieved, or sustained in a vacuum, especially when it comes to women. There are agents, stylists, makeup artists, hairstylists, publicists and many others who are supporting the pyramid that builds up to a celebrity. While I appreciate that they want to use their spotlight to bring attention to a topic long kept in the dark, what I don’t appreciate is the disregard for acknowledging that they still want to look fabulous while doing so. What I am referring to, specifically, is an actress who wears a one of kind, hand beaded couture dress that is slit down to her navel and up to her thigh, skin-tight, in flawless makeup and with perfectly cascaded waves in her hair, dripping in borrowed diamonds and jewels, who then says don’t look at my body and don’t ask me about my clothes. No, you don’t get to be righteous and then shit on the fact that you are still using fashion to do so. 

Fashion is power, as is being female. Yes, we need equality in the workplace and yes we need to stand up to people who say and do inappropriate things that we allow to make us feel like less. But we also have the power, we always have. Women have the ability to seduce, to use their feminine wiles to their advantage. Have you ever flirted with a man just to get him to buy you a drink, maybe even brushed up against him or touched his arm? Nowadays he could come right back at you and call you out for inappropriate comments and touching, which, is kinda true if you had no real interest in having any further conversation or interaction with that man who just paid for your drink. Have you ever batted your eyes to get out of speeding ticket? Have you ever used your looks, or your sexuality in any way, implied or otherwise, to get your way? Your body has the power to be used for good and evil and it’s totally up to you on how you want to use it. I don’t care how it’s used as long as you are the one in control of that decision. When the control over your body is taken away by someone else? That’s where I have a problem. 

Sexual assault, crime and workplace misconduct that threatens your career, or your safety is a serious matter. But let’s sort that out from the back and forth innuendoes shared by men and women for years, both in the workplace and beyond. Banter and flirting, whether innocent or proprietary in nature, can be a one way or a two-way street. But one thing is for sure, an individual has a right on either end of the conversation to let the other end know that things have crossed a line or gone too far. Speak up and then move on. My fear is that some of the major violators of sexual harassment are being lost in the noise of a witch hunt on the entire male race. Also lost during last nights ceremony was the fact that men too have been victims of many of these horrible Hollywood monsters. Kevin Spacey hasn’t been accused of targeting women, he has been accused of targeted men, specifically some who are so young they would actually be classified as boys. Being a gay male in Hollywood is still kept a bit of a secret because it can sometimes limit an actor’s marketing ability to a female audience. How many men have remained silent in order to keep their careers, and, like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the careers of all of the people they employ, in order to keep their celebrity status up and running?

I’ve said it so many times but it was never so true as it was last night on tv. Fashion speaks with a very loud voice. Even if you missed the awards show last night I am sure one of the first things you heard with regard to news coverage of the event wasn’t who won what category, but about how every woman wore black. Those black dresses, most of which are custom-made and designed for that particular actress, are not created out of thin air. From the garment workers in the textile factory to the administrative assistant who works for the fashion design house to the janitor that cleans the building, there is a complete industry working behind the scenes to create that statement making black dress. Many of those in that particular industry are, in fact, women themselves. I don’t think I heard Ryan Seacrest ask anyone who they were wearing last night out of fear of getting his head bitten off. Yes, let’s acknowledge the solidarity of woman. Let’s also acknowledge the men out there that are good, the ones who stand up for us, treat us like women and take care of us. Sure, we are equipped to do it ourselves but isn’t it nice to be shown some chivalry?  Let’s acknowledge the designer who worked countless hours sketching, pinning, draping and building their own personal work of art for you to wear, and don’t forget the seamstress with arthritic hands and who sewed each and every bead on your dress by hand and let the dress in and let it back out again as she adjusted for every little half a pound you gained or lost. Let’s acknowledge the stylist that brought more than 20 dresses back and forth to your home while you hemmed and hawed over which one you wanted to be given for free to wear. Let’s acknowledge that fashion is, and always has been, the strongest suit of armor we as women have to use in this epic story called life. Men can’t effect change with what they wear, not in the same way an entire room of women can. Oh and next time? How about something that celebrates women and their beautiful curves instead of sobering them? Let’s wear red and sparkles and sequins and gold. Let’s acknowledge the power of our appearance and how good it can make us feel, how a cashmere robe can envelope us in care and comfort or a couture gown can make us stand tall and feel regal and confident. But don’t, please don’t, say that what you are wearing doesn’t matter when it is literally the very fabric that wove together a diverse group of women last night. Be grateful for the power to instigate change by using your wardrobe.


Okay, back to your regularly scheduled segment of The Red Carpet Review –

In a sea of black dresses celebrities had to up their game when it came to makeup and accessories. Some of them met this challenge and knocked it out of the park. Some, chose not to wear any makeup, essentially never even showing up to play ball. To each his (or her) own. In any case when you put everyone in black there are quite a few similarities and trends that stand out.

Also, just to keep it really real, here is what I was wearing while being oh so critical of these celebrities. This is why this critique is meant for fun, and not to harm or insult. My look was minnie mouse meets the Flyers meets the back end of my  dog, so clearly I am not really in a position to judge.  Comfort is key kids!

The Dress Over Pants Look.

This one is tricky, always. Tricky because you really have to have no hips to have an exaggeration of fabric come outward at your hips without looking, well, hippy. I also personally think this look looks best on someone a bit younger and more on the petite side overall. Which one of these ladies got it right? In the last picture I love the proportion and the fabric used in this outfit as worn by Alison Brie. The clean classic stiletto finishes off the look just right.


The I Think I Want You To See My Underwear Look

While Beyonce has pulled off this look in the past, and mostly because she is Beyonce, I don’t know that I really like it. It sort of looks like a bathing suit meets coverup meets bedroom lingerie look that I’m just not following. I end up focusing on if they are wearing boy shorts or granny panties as opposed to looking at the overall dress. And while pretty much everyone can agree on the flawless, ageless perfection known as Halle Berry, I’m not sure I’m on board with this Victoria’s Secret castoff. A fitted black velvet sheath would have sealed the deal on Halle and looked much more elegant than this lace frock. And Kate, dear sweet Kate, please show us something else besides your sternum. I know it’s been hard rocking the short hair but the plunging neckline is not the right kind of distraction. I couldn’t find a pic of Ashley alone so Selma is in there looking confused by both of their outfits. As for Angelina I’m kinda wondering if I could wear that dress and use it like a sexy swiffer at the same time.



The Imma Gonna Wear The Suit Tonight Look

Some women said it was their turn to sport the tux. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it works it is usually because they kept something super sexy but subtle instead of going full on “I raided my sons/brothers/husbands closet.” Here’s to you Kyra Sedgwick for getting that cut on those pants so perfect and a jacket tailored in all the right spots.

Susan – this just looks sloppy and it makes me sad because you are such a knockout.


This look is so close to being fabulous but the pants are literally making me nervous that she is going to trip and the severity of the hair and makeup is too close to the Robert Palmer backup dancer video look.

claire-foyPoor Hugh Grant’s date looks like he literally told her in the car that they were going to stop by the Golden Globes while she’s all like “Wait, I thought we were just going out to Nobu for sushi!”


Is it me or is Kevin Bacon morphing into William H. Macy?


The Go Big With Tulle Or Go Home Look

Well if you have to wear black you might as well wear a lot of it. I kinda like Heidi’s dress but I kinda don’t, probably because it wants to kinda be short and it kinda wants to be long but it’s kinda not sure. IMG_2104I actually don’t mind Mariah’s dress but I am confused by the strap up top – maybe it is there to hold the big girls up and prevent a peekaboo sesh? Doesn’t she have a personal handler for those kinds of things? And how does she sit in this? Waddle like a mermaid?

IMG_2096While I’m still trying to figure out why the Kardashians are celebrities I have to give it to the one K child who has a legitimate career in modeling. Kendall wore this dress without it wearing her, not easy to do in a dress that size. The dress was so big that appears to have latched onto the ivy display in the background of this photo. I pity the assistant that had to pry it out of there without any damage.


The Let’s Mix In Some Silver Look

I love that these ladies threw in a bit of celebration. Rita Wilson has metallic fireworks sewed into her dress , while Margot rocks shoulder pads like nobody’s business, tying it all up with a fantastic bow and floral thread detail. Dove Cameron (Disney chick for those of you without tweens in your house) also went for a delicate metallic bow accent while Jessica Chastain slayed it with pops of silver beading and drop dead perfect hair, makeup and earrings.



The Unfortunate Look

Whether this was a statement against looking pretty or just an accident, these lovely ladies missed the mark. Alicia looks like she is going to a funeral on the little house on the prairie followed by an Amish wake. The severe hair, the solemn look, it all just felt very sad.

IMG_2085Amanda Peet clearly has a stylist that hates her.  Either that or she lost a bet and someone said she had to wear a 1980s maternity bridesmaid dress with one side hiked up to show off some knee action.


Diane Kruger always goes on the edge a bit but I kept stressing out last night that someone was going to step on that train, namely her date Norman Reedus who might just get his hair fixed if he did happen to fall.

IMG_2080 Sarah Paulson may have tried to be creative by pulling separates out of her closet but it just didn’t jive together. Did you know that her and Amanda Peet are besties? Maybe they shouldn’t get ready together. Or maybe they drank alot of wine and were just like “eff it, this’ll work!”


Congratulations to Eva Longoria on her first baby, as the deep plunge and high center slit let us know that all signs were pointing to her first baby on board. I’m glad that she’s not further along because I’d be worried that they baby would show through that slit.

IMG_2086And then we have Sharon Stone – still as gorgeous as ever, with her cutie pie son as her date. While she is still rocking the hell out of this dress I just kept imagining her telling her son to warn her if he sees her areola pop out. I love how he proudly has his hand around her hips like “Look Ma – you don’t have any panty lines!” And do you think they did their hair together?


The I Am So Cool And You Wanna Hate Me But You Can’t Because I Am Awesome Looks

These looks can only be pulled off with complete confidence with girls that know how to slay all day. Zoe Kravitz – you were boho beautiful in Big Little Lies but you brought out a fierce and feminine look firmly grounded by heels that are like skyscrapers. And those earrings with the red lips are simply gorgeous.


Also on the “only they can pull it off “list is those booties worn by the always awesome Kerry Washington. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of shoe on the formal red carpet. And she paired it with this dress that has total downtown cook chick vibes all over it. And that hair!!!! The cut is sexy and simple and the smoky makeup is on point. This does have this “I just pulled this out of my closet look” that only girls who are truly chic can mix up, mash-up and make it work.


Millie Bobby Brown is all of 13 years old but her cool girl status is planted firmly. She was age appropriate in the dress, shoes, hair and jewelry. And the dress has pockets! Always love me some pockets.


Naomi Campbell is all like “You ladies want all black? Let a supermodel show you how it’s done.” Flawless at 47 years old.


My Favorites – From The Front, Back and Side

Oh Penelope how I’ve missed you! You are classic Hollywood glamour with a dose of chic and sexy. I love the soft waves and how they echo the soft wave of the satin bustle in the back. This is a movie star and this is a gown.


Dakota Johnson. I’m gonna be honest in that I really haven’t seen her act. I saw the first 50 Shades of Gray and it made me uncomfortable how the two leading actors looked like they didn’t even like each other. But when it comes to the red carpet she has the sexy girl next door thing all ready to go. I love the casualness of the pony and the bangs, which, let me tell you after having bangs, they are a lot harder to do than they look. The velvet dress looks rich and sophisticated and the drop earrings add just enough without competing with the belt detail. I love that her makeup was kept simple and soft.


The BFF Accessory

Oprah was honored with the Cecil B. Demille Award last night and if I am being totally honest I don’t even know what that is for. But it’s Oprah and she talks in sing-song voices and makes us feel like we can eat carbs, get a hug and have an aha moment. There is something a little smug about her at times but I’d be a total nightmare if people fawned over me the way they do over her. But what I love most is that she brought steady Stedman AND she brought her BFF Gayle. Because we all know if we were going to one of these things and getting a big award we’d all be like can I bring my bestie too??? An award is great and all but it’s not the same without my best friend there to enjoy it with me. Plus in my mind I imagine them discussing what they were going to wear “too much silver O?” (in my mind Gayle calls her O and can’t be bothered with the whole Oprah thing) “which bag do you like best O? black? or silver? And can I still wear my watch? I like wearing my watch ” And O is all like ” Gurl go ask Stedman – I am still stuck on figuring out which eyeglasses to wear with this dress! And I have to make a speech that changes the lives of little girls foreveerrrrrrr!” And did they plan on Oprah’s boobs being so high up and Gayle’s being so low? You know you wanna know too.


*Insider Tip – Fashion is under YOUR control

What you wear is powerful. It can make so many statements without you ever having to say a single word. While fashion is important, it only gets us so far. Whether we use it to set the tone in someone else’s mind or within our own is up to us. Don’t ignore it but don’t take it too seriously. What we wear is one thing and what we say and do quite another. I love that there is a movement to get all this dark stuff out into the light. I don’t care if women wear their pajamas to an awards show if it means it makes more room for more shows like Big Little Lies that showcase complex, complicated and can’t look away type characters. In our fight for the females lets not forget to fight for everyone. My favorite quote of the night, ironically, was not from Oprah, or from a female, but from Sterling K. Brown, the actor who plays Randall Pearson on This Is Us. I’d like to see Hollywood continue to make more roles written for all the many different people who make up our beautiful world.

After thanking his family, his castmates et al, Brown turned his focus to Dan Fogelman, This Is Us creator and showrunner. “Throughout the majority of my career, I’ve benefited from colorblind casting which means, you know what, hey, let’s throw a brother in this role, right? Really cool,” Brown said. “Dan Fogleman, you wrote a role for a black man. That could only be played by a black man. And so what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I’ve been seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me.

Thanks for reading,


Published by suziegaffney

owner at Suzie Gaffney Styling

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