Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style

Andra Day, left; Jackson and Satchel Lee; Tiffany Haddish.
Andra Day, left; Jackson and Satchel Lee; Tiffany Haddish.
Photo: Myriam Santos, Joshua Kissi for Gucci, HFPA Photographer

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to have Al Pacino on your biweekly Zoom meeting, you likely found out Sunday night. In addition to all the woker-than-thou snide remarks about the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the 78th Annual Golden Globes, were, in a word, awkward.

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While we’ve all become well-accustomed to the awkwardness of virtual meetups in the past year, the format has thus far proven hit-or-miss for awards ceremonies. With confirmation of the long-suspected fact that Black journalists are missing from the voting committee (amid an era of “racial reckoning,” no less)—and a milquetoast statement from HFPA leadership on its plans to do better (as if they haven’t had plenty of time to do so), there was a definite pall cast over a ceremony ripe with Black excellence.

But still, we rise—and like our mamas taught us, we look good doing it. While some took the awards-ceremony-from-home theme a little too literally (we’re looking at you, Jason Sudeikis’ hoodie), the handful of Black nominees and presenters were styling and profiling as only we can. It wasn’t a traditional red carpet, per se—but in a year largely devoid of reasons to dress up, it gave us something to look forward to, other than the Zoom ceremonies of the future (because, no thank you). With that in mind—and Don Cheadle signaling for us to wrap this up—let’s get to the best of the fashions, shall we?

Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo may be tiny in stature, but has a huge voice and makes even bigger style statements. After giving us glam as a nominee last year for Harriet, for this year’s Golden Globes she put a pop spin on a classic silhouette, wearing a neon green reversed-seam Valentino Couture ballgown, paired with ivory leather opera gloves and frankly Frankenstein-ish black platforms.

Illustration for article titled Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style
Photo: Christopher Polk/NBC

For the afterparty, Erivo flipped the look but kept the color story, losing the platforms and about a yard of skirt for a complementary miniskirted look she showed off in InStyle magazine’s iconic Golden Globes elevator. Considering that the afterparties were virtual this year too, we applaud the commitment.

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Keke Palmer

Speaking of commitment, Keke Palmer may have not attended the ceremony, but she never misses an opportunity to stunt on ‘em, donning a Dior romper for her ride on the virtual elevator, accessorized with a carved African cane.

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Viola Davis

While we’re referencing the motherland, we stan an African print—and we stan Viola Davis, who gave us diasporic glamour (and a very sleek post-Ma Rainey silhouette) in a gown by Lavie CK, captured for the occasion by Shamar Benoit.

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Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox’s career remains red-hot—which made her ethereal beaded custom red chiffon gown by Thai Nguyen appropriate—shoutout to legendary hairstylist Kim Kimble for Cox’s medieval-inspired braided updo.

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Jackson & Satchel Lee

The children of Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee are now all grown up and making their way in Hollywood, serving as this year’s Golden Globe ambassadors. They were also serving major looks in Gucci, giving us a glimpse of what next-gen Hollywood glamour looks like...along with some healthy and playful sibling rivalry.

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Angela Bassett

When it comes to Hollywood glamour, Angela Bassett never disappoints. In an unconventional season, Bassett gave us classic awards season style in plum-colored and plumed Dolce & Gabbana, bringing us a virtual slay with a thigh-high slit.

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Illustration for article titled Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style
Photo: Jennifer Austin

Regina King

Another number one stunner on the red carpet and big screen alike? Regina King, who complimented her history-making moment as the first Black woman nominated for Best Director (for One Night in Miami) with a Louis Vuitton gown by Nicholas Ghesquiere that she quipped had her “feeling like a bottle of champagne.” Styled by Wayman and Micah and snapped by Juan Veloz, we declare both King and her gown winners.

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Jon Batiste

How did Batiste feel about winning a Golden Globe for Soul? One look at him in the InStyle elevator should tell you—and shout out to that Gucci suit for being so accommodating.

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Celeste Waite

British singer-songwriter Celeste Waite was also riding the Gucci wave, adding to the overall vintage vibe of the night in a velvet-and-patterned sequin gown with acid green satin gloves and a couture-level natural coif.

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Illustration for article titled Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style
Photo: Zoe McConnell

Leslie Odom, Jr.

The star stayed true to the midcentury style of Sam Cooke, the icon he flawlessly portrayed in One Night in Miami. Rocking a Valentino tweed suit with a shirt and neon green turtleneck (are you sensing a color trend here? We are), Odom Jr. topped off the look with cornrows, giving a new twist to awards show style.

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Illustration for article titled Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style
Photo: Phoebe Joaquin

Tiffany Haddish

She’s bold, bronzed, and now blonde—in short, she ready. Styled by Law Roach in beaded, strapless Alberta Ferretti, Tiffany Haddish stunned with the best of them on Sunday night, giving us classic awards show elegance without missing a beat.

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Illustration for article titled Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style
Photo: HFPA Photographer

Susan Kelechi Watson

If there was one dress that had our staff entertainment writer Tonja Stidhum missing the in-person experience (and me missing the Fashion Week runways), it was Susan Kelechi Watson. She gave us a stunning and sparkling take on fringe in an ombré, two-tiered teal tea-length dress by Georges Hobeika, paired with an equally sparkly and strappy pair of Aquazzura heels. This is us, declaring Susan’s our favorite look of the night.

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Illustration for article titled Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style
Photo: HFPA Photographer

Andra Day

Day’s Best Actress win was one of the night’s most satisfying surprises, celebrating her incredible transformation into Lady Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Befitting the occasion, Day looked every bit the vintage starlet in an ivory gown from Chanel Haute Couture, completing the look with Chanel fine jewelry and a perfect pouf of natural curls atop her head.

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Illustration for article titled Glamour Optional: In a Very Unbecoming Year, Black Celebs Gave the Golden Globes Some Style
Photo: Myriam Santos

“Could this whole night have been an email?” Tina Fey asked at the show’s open—and as we’re all itching to have reasons to dress up again, we’re happy to say no—we could do without the categorical Zoom meetings, though. What will the rest of awards season have in store? We shall see...and as always, we’ll be looking for style.

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Updated: Monday, March 1 at 11:20 a.m. ET: In what can only be described as an epic opening to Women’s History Month, we just had to include this wonderful moment between Best Director nominee Regina King and Best Actress winner Andra Day. While we’d never recommend breaking social distancing protocol (at least, not pre-vaccination), this celebratory meeting of incredibly talented women is sisterhood personified.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?

DISCUSSION

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Mojo Where's My Free Black Stuff Hanna

I loved everything!! Well, except for Cynthia Erivo’s scary looking shoes. They look like they could transform into space age, high tech, rapid velocity shooting weapons that could also kick that digidog’s butt and fly a stealth mission.

As I sit comfortably in my current Pandemical Uniform, lounge pants, a tee shirt and muk luks, I imagined myself looking fabulous in those drop dead gorgeous dresses. (OK, I also imagined hanging on the arm of one of those fine sartorically gifted gentlemen) I absolutely adore Viola Davis’ stunning dress and covet that for my woefully inadequate wardrobe. Thanks for the dazzling display of Black glam. It made my morning.

The clip of Andra Day and Regina King was a bonus that put me square in all my feels. Aint nothing like Sisterlove!