Carla Gugino on Importance of Staying True to Herself Over Style Trends

The Haunting of Hill House” star Carla Gugino worked with costume designer Lynn Falconer on portraying her matriarch character’s mental decline. “The flowing gowns were a big part of revealing that she was losing her sense of the outside world,” says Gugino, who personally loves a chic tuxedo as much as an elaborate dress. “I don’t tend to gravitate to what’s trendy. It’s much more about what makes me feel good in my skin.”

“The little girl in me will never tire [of], nor take for granted, getting to play dress up professionally,” says Gugino, who received a SAG ensemble nom for 2007’s “American Gangster” and has been a part of hit shows including “Californication” and “Entourage.” She was enamored with the dusty rose Douglas Hannant gown she wore this Globes night. “This look was really an homage to the golden days of Hollywood: Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Tierney, Ava Gardner and the stars of their time whose style has always resonated for me,” she says. “Probably because I have curves and feel more akin to that aesthetic.”

2013 (Golden Globes)
This Rami Al Ali dress that Gugino picked when USA miniseries “Political Animals” went to the Globes was a different choice for her. “I don’t generally gravitate toward silver — I’m more of a gold jewelry girl,” she says. “But I loved that this dress had a regal quality while being completely sheer on both sides — a wink of playfulness.” Greg Berlanti’s series about a former first family also starred Ellen Burstyn and Sigourney Weaver. “I’d loved doing that show and all the folks involved, so it was a great night just getting to be together celebrating an experience that had been such fun for all of us.”

2013 (Emmys)
For Gugino, choosing an awards look is a collaboration with her longtime stylist, Jessica Paster. It’s “a combination of what I’m feeling like at the time and her inspired take on that,” she says. This Georges Chakra Emmy dress was an immediate favorite. “Once I put this on, it was a done deal:
I love red, the shape was exquisite and it was actually surprisingly comfortable. Any woman who has been at these awards knows comfort is worth its weight in gold many hours into a long night!” Also worthy of gold was Burstyn — whose win for “Political Animals” was “especially gratifying.”

“I flew to L.A. the day of ‘The Haunting’ premiere and we tried this gold-and-black checkered Safiyaa dress on and tailored it only hours before,” she recalls. “The playful, sexy nature was perfect for a balmy L.A. eve.” Gugino, who’d worked with director Mike Flanagan on the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “Gerald’s Game,” found it fascinating that her character Olivia Crain’s warped actions were rooted in her love for her children. “The horror genre often allows you to reveal the human condition in a more profound way than a straight-up naturalistic drama can.”

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