The moment the Golden Globe nominations are announced, the clock begins ticking for celebrity stylists tasked with outfitting their clients for one of the world’s biggest red carpets in just under a month. And given that designers universally close shop over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, 27 calendar days between noms and the show end up amounting to only about two weeks of actual prep time.
“Every year the turnaround time is getting shorter and shorter, and it’s a real Catch-22 for us,” says Cristina Ehrlich, whose clients include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Greta Gerwig, Laura Dern, Alison Brie, Allison Williams and Tina Fey. “A lot of our actresses don’t even want to have the dialogue until they’re officially nominated. So we’re just having to work double-time.”
Ehrlich begins dialogues with designers to plant seeds right after the Emmys, attempting to get as organized as early as possible. Still, the days leading up to the Globes will inevitably be hectic — particularly since these past few years brought unexpected hurdles.
“Last year at this time, a lot of my clients were ever so distraught for week upon week after the election, and if you said, ‘Well did that affect how your fittings ran?’ Absolutely!” says Ehrlich, who had to return gowns and reschedule appointments. “And it feels a little bit trickier this year, because [with] the climate in Hollywood, women are the topic and the discussion. People aren’t using words anymore like, ‘I want to look sexy.’ It’s more about, ‘I want to look like I’m a woman of power. I want to look like a woman who is standing my ground.’”
Following the announcement that this year’s SAG Awards will feature all-female presenters, both actors and actresses have said they may wear black to the Globes in silent protest of sexual harassment.
Ehrlich’s clients are really thinking about “why they’re wearing what they’re wearing” this year, and several have requested to wear female designers. As always, Ehrlich will try to tell a unique fashion story for each of them. “Because [the Globes] is international and it’s the Hollywood Foreign Press, you really want these women to have a moment that is going to strike as many different audiences as you can,” she says.
Some of her favorite past looks include Williams’ red Armani Prive in 2015, Priyanka Chopra in last year’s gold beaded Ralph Lauren and Margot Robbie in the white Gucci dress in 2014. She says Louis-Dreyfus “has it down to a science,” and she also works with vets such as Penelope Cruz — who she says has an “Old Hollywood but modern vibe” — and former Globes co-host Fey — whose many outfit changes during the 2014 show were coordinated with Amy Poehler and her stylist.
“The Globes is the big opener so it’s nice to open with a splash,” says Elizabeth Stewart, stylist to Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Gal Gadot and Julia Roberts. “It’s also a crowded red carpet because it’s television and film.”
Stewart’s all-time favorite look is Blanchett’s black lace Armani dress from 2014, the year she won lead drama actress for “Blue Jasmine.” (“It was fabulous from the back as well!” she notes.) Another favorite is the pale pink Givenchy Blanchett wore in 2016, which Stewart calls “another fabulous Riccardo Tisci moment out of many.”
Last year, Stewart dressed Davis, supporting actress winner for “Fences,” in a yellow Michael Kors design. “Viola’s dress was meant to telegraph hope and optimism, as well as be an example of our style directive for that season: bold, strong, bright!”
Stewart feels there’s no way to prepare in advance of the nominations, though she’s still been able to achieve results. Last year, she put a pregnant Gadot in a sequined Mugler gown. “I met her for the first time the day before and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” she says. “It’s nice to know things can work out last minute.”
The Globes ceremony is only one of several winter awards events talent might attend, kicking off a season that includes SAG and concludes with the Oscars.
“We’re generally working on the entire awards season promotion and press tour of [a] film, and there is a natural sort of momentum that you build,” says Micaela Erlanger, who’s worked with Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Michelle Dockery, Jared Leto, Winona Ryder and Common. “I take into consideration what the film is about, what their role is within the film, are they a lead or supporting actor?”
She also considers the nature of the awards show. “I feel like there’s a little bit more levity and ease to the red carpet [at SAG],” she says. “For Golden Globes, it’s a more traditional black-tie expectation of dress code and the glamour that comes along with it. And then of course the Oscars is just like the crème de la crème.”
Among Erlanger’s favorite Globes looks is Nyong’o’s 2014 debut on the awards circuit in a red caped Ralph Lauren. She also loved Dockery’s 2013 dress from Alexandre Vauthier, an emerging couturier. And Streep in custom Givenchy last year was “about as cool as it can get.”
“That was obviously a very special moment, not only because of the speech that she made,” she says. “To be a part of it in such a small way was so exciting for me.”
Erlanger would love to see women reinvent glamour this year, and Ehrlich thinks actresses will go one of two ways. “It’s either going to be a little bit more subdued, or women are going to be like, ‘This is our time, this is our moment, let’s go for it.’”