The Best Golden Globes Looks of All Time

Ahead of the 2020 Golden Globes, we look back at the ensembles that have helped to define the awards ceremony.
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We're just a few days out from the Golden Globes 2020 ceremony, which will officially kick off awards season as top films, shows, and celebrities battle it out for top honors. And let's be honest, while it's thrilling to see whether your favorite new movies will take home the prize (if you didn't spend your holidays catching up on those, get on that), one of the most exciting parts of this time of year is all the red carpet magic. The hour before each ceremony begins is truly a fashion fairytale as we witness all the ways top designers make attendees look as radiant as the awards they might be getting. This is bound to be a suspenseful highlight all awards season—the Little Women cast surely has some elegant moments in store, and we're already wondering if Tom Ford has Oscars looks in his plan with how he'll already be over in LA and all—and it all begins this Sunday as celebrities show up to toast (quite literally, if you know the Golden Globes) the first awards show of the decade.

Over decades upon decades of Golden Globes looks, countless iconic moments have emerged, and over time, we've noticed a few key trends that result in a foolproof yet memorable ensemble. Among these is the black dress—whether going for a sleek LBD moment or making a #MeToo statement, it seems one can't go wrong—as well as picking a golden, sparkly look to match the trophy. And of course, nothing stands out like all-out statements, which have transformed celebrities from Cher to Lady Gaga into fashion stars to watch. Ahead of the Golden Globes 2020 red carpet parade, we revisited 30 of the best looks in the ceremony's history, all of which reflect both their time and iconic Hollywood glamour.

Grace Kelly, 1956

Just months before marrying Prince Rainier, Grace Kelly had her last hurrah as film royalty. Wearing a knee-length white dress with matching heels, she emanated an air of classic chic that a soon-to-be-royal does best as she accepted the Henrietta Award for World Favorite Film Female.

Elizabeth Taylor, 1957

No one defined mid-century style like Elizabeth Taylor, and it's only natural that this carried over into the Golden Globes. Attending with third husband Mike Todd, the violet-eyed icon showed up to the 1957 ceremony in a tiara, because of course she did. She paired this with a voluminous floral gown, and you probably could fool someone by saying she had married a prince or was otherwise attending a regal event.

Marilyn Monroe, 1962

Marilyn Monroe has come to define provocative glamour, thanks to always accompanying each role and appearance with her iconic looks. During one of her last appearances before her tragic death, she accepted a World Film Favorite award at the Golden Globes, and the glittering gown she wore to pick up the prize went down in fashion history. 

Eartha Kitt, 1967

Animal print is back in full force, but even as it finds modern iterations, it's impossible to forget the history of the trend. Posing with Andy Williams, the multitalented star wore a fur-trimmed leopard coat, embracing a timeless yet fun glamour that people continue to explore today.

Sonny and Cher, 1973

Embracing her status as the most fashionable of flower children, Cher rocked a two-piece floral look (featuring a very low waist) underneath a fur coat. Then-other-half Sonny Bono went for a sleek tux, letting his talented wife take center stage.

Diahann Carroll, 1984

The first Black actress to win a Golden Globe, the boundary-pushing icon always dressed to impress when attending the premier film and tv ceremony. Mixing classic Hollywood glamour with a touch of the times, the talent rocked a jewel-toned satin gown, pearl earrings, and voluminous, bouncy curls to attend the 1984 event.

Julia Roberts, 1990

On this night, then-up-and-comer Julia Roberts took home her first Golden Globe for her performance in Steel Magnolias, but arguably the biggest part of her night was this oversized suit. Even just 30 years ago, it was a lot less common for women to dive head-first into masculine tailoring, so the world was in awe when the actress took the lingering power suiting trend to a new (yet still incredibly stylish) level.

Andie MacDowell, 1991

The actress and fashion model took home a literal award at the 1991 Golden Globes, but she also won with this backless mini dress. Daring, glitzy looks came to define Hollywood in the '90s, and MacDowell proved herself a pioneer in this field with her bold outfit choice.

Whoopi Goldberg, 1991

The same year, fellow award-winner Whoopi Goldberg made another kind of statement. Also embracing the mini length, the Ghost star stood out in bright orange tailoring, the perfect choice to match her vibrant personality.

Jamie Lee Curtis, 1995

Even in the days before she committed to being a silver-haired icon, Jamie Lee Curtis has always been making a statement. She paired a satiny white gown with matching pumps and a lightweight wrap to embody effortless glamour as she took home a Best Actress award for her role in True Lies.

Jennifer Lopez, 1998

J.Lo's most iconic look is undeniably the jungle dress, but regardless, she's always proven to be one of the most consistent fashion stars to watch. Wearing a form-fitting gown in striking shades of yellow, purple, and blue, she embodied the turn-of-the-millennium spirit everyone is trying to recreate today.

Kate Hudson, 2001

Sometimes, nothing beats an interpretation on an LBD. A 21-year-old Kate Hudson, who would win an award for her breakout role in Almost Famous, took her newcomer status as an opportunity to establish herself with a Vera Wang look that felt both classic and entirely of its time.

Halle Berry, 2003

Two years after becoming the first (and only, so far) African American woman to take home the Best Actress Oscar, Halle Berry continued to prove herself a Hollywood icon in this Cinderella moment by Reem Acra. From the elegant draping to the soft hue, the look was a true fashion dream.

Jennifer Aniston, 2004

At the tail end of the original Friends run, Instagram's favorite new user turned old standby into bold standby when she showed up in this Valentino gown, which created a flattering black silhouette alongside a plunging neckline. Hopefully, she'll turn up in something just as iconic when celebrating her nomination for her work on Apple TV+'s The Morning Show.

Charlize Theron, 2004

Another style icon we're sure to see at this year's awards, Charlize Theron wore Dior to celebrate her role in Monster, work that ultimately earned her an Oscar later that season. Sixteen years later, we all wonder what she has up her sleeve now that she's a top Best Actress contender again, having crafted an eerily accurate Megyn Kelly impression in Bombshell. With how she went for simple elegance while playing a serial killer, could Theron now don a brand that would make Fox News scream?

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2006

Enjoying a moment of exploring new film roles in between gigs as Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw, the actress kept her style icon status in a strapless mermaid gown by Rochas. There was no Fendi baguette bag in sight, but the necklace and clutch she wore shone brightly.

Cate Blanchett, 2007

Who doesn't miss the glory days of Alexander McQueen? Attending on two nominations (one of which, for I'm Not There, she would later win), Cate Blanchett knew she was twice as likely to hit the stage at the 2007 Golden Globes, so she went for a lacy, high-low gown by the late designer, who was famous for the theatricality of his shows but always could churn out truly elegant creations.

Beyoncé, 2007

Before she became a veritable icon who surprise-drops albums right and left, makes expert business decisions (Homecoming!!), and goes viral on Instagram three posts at a time, Beyoncé was enjoying her solo rise while trying her hand at acting. The talent she is, the triple-threat got two nominations for her work in Dreamgirls, and while she ultimately didn't win either award, she did win the red carpet in this golden masterpiece by Elie Saab.

Penélope Cruz, 2007

Penélope Cruz has been doing a lot with Chanel lately, walking Karl Lagerfeld's last show and becoming an ambassador, but she has long been a friend of the brand. Enjoying the acclaim surrounding her lead role in Spanish film Volver, the actress went with a black gown by the timeless French house, which wowed onlookers with the elegance of its three-tiered silhouette.

Megan Fox, 2009

Back in 2009, Megan Fox had pop culture wrapped around her finger. Fans marveled at her talent and appearance (and kind of freaked out over her thumbs), and looks like this golden Ralph Lauren number only added to the obsession. Fox wasn't up for an award on stage, but she undeniably stood out on the red carpet.

Anne Hathaway, 2011

Years after her roles in films like The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, the world already had a sense of Anne Hathaway's impeccable style. The actress was a golden girl in Armani Privé in what would go down to be one of the best Golden Globes looks in history.

Jessica Chastain, 2012

Riccardo Tisci is a master of sensual glamour, and while he's since taken his talents to Burberry, his decade at Givenchy was a magical time for all those who witnessed it. After starring in half a dozen films the year prior, Jessica Chastain needed a look to match, and she achieved awards season magic with a belted, high-neck white gown featuring an array of tiny pearls.

Tilda Swinton, 2012

Who says you have to choose between a sleek tailored look and feminine elegance? A true master of androgyny, Tilda Swinton blew the world away with an ensemble that beautifully encompassed both. Haider Ackermann created the moment, contributing to an ever-growing legacy that bleeds modern cool.

Emily Blunt, 2013

Well into stardom, it wasn't going to take much for Emily Blunt to turn heads. Still, she nailed it in a gold-toned Michael Kors gown, which features a form-fitting silhouette, cutouts, and the most mesmerizing details.

Lupita Nyong'o, 2014

Riding on her breakout moment starring in 12 Years a Slave, the Kenyan-Mexican actress stunned in a Ralph Lauren gown. The cape and bright red shade were impossible to miss, putting Nyong'o on the fashion map.

Brie Larson, 2016

2016 was Brie Larson's year to shine as she picked up trophy after trophy for her performance in Room. Going for the gold(en Globes), she went with a shimmering Calvin Klein number and a radiant glow.

Emma Stone, 2017

It seems a trend that Best Actress nominees dress for what they might look like holding the trophy, going for something that embodies glamour while standing the test of time. Knowing the power of her performance in La La Land, Emma Stone donned a star-covered gown by Valentino.

Dakota Johnson, 2018

2018 was the year of the red carpet blackout, when stars embraced the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements en masse and made a statement against the red carpet's tendency to objectify women. The result was a sea of elegant looks that let the women behind them shine as they discussed topics that mattered to them. One of the best was Dakota Johnson's Gucci moment, which embraced the more sensual side of Alessandro Michele's vision that we got to see in full in the Spring 2020 collection.

Viola Davis, 2018

Also participating in the Golden Globes blackout, Viola Davis killed it in a Brandon Maxwell gown, which beautifully accompanied her radiant glow and forward-thinking mindset.

Lady Gaga, 2019

Eccentricity long led Gaga's style, but in the era of A Star is Born, classic Hollywood glamour took over as the talent celebrated her second Golden Globe and first Oscar. "Shallow" is still in our heads, and so is the feeling we got upon seeing this Valentino couture gown, which Pierpaolo Piccioli designed custom for the night. The creative director shared the process behind it, the star posted several celebratory photos, and I overshared all of it to my Instagram stories (honestly, you're welcome for that). Not even the Tiffany diamond, which Gaga casually wore to the Oscars, could beat the magic of this Golden Globes moment.


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