Another year, another awards season has begun with last night's Golden Globes, hurrah! Aside from the serious business of doling out awards for the year's film efforts, the pre-event red carpet is a phenomenon in itself. For forensic, look-by-look analysis of what everyone was wearing, you don't get much more comprehensive than Red Carpet Fashion Awards. However, the what-to-wear conumdrum is notoriously fraught with risks for celebrities, no matter how many stylists and designer loans they have at their disposal. Looking through last night's choices, it seems that there are some serious strategies to pulling together the look which go way beyond the seemingly simple task of "Do I like this look?". So, I've dissected the motives at play in last night's star line-up...
BEST FOR TWITTER TRENDING
If Twitter had existed in 2001 when Bjork wore her Swan dress to the Oscars then she would own this category, in fact purely on principle she does anyway. The key is to make a statement and create a debate. It's an especially useful tool to pull from your arsenal if you're looking for a bit of a publicity boost. It was Lucy Liu who worked this category best last night, the evidence being that her name has been trending on Twitter all morning with plenty of debate about her choice of thick fishtail plait and rose garden print Carolina Herrera dress.
BEST SAFE CHOICE
An overwhelming number of actresses are now so terrified of trying something new or very slightly daring for fear of getting it wrong and having dreaded "MISS" (rather than "HIT") stamped on their photograph that they wear something so utterly safe that it is basically boring. Anne Hathaway wore this very beautiful, completely simple Chanel dress very much in the safe category, crucially though it's still feels fresh and stylish rather than whiffing of terror.
This category is a hybrid of the minimal, sculpted look which has been best portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow in recent times with the old-school, bling glamour of Elizabeth Taylor. Emily Blunt went for a golden (glamour tick), ab flashing (modern minimal tick) Michael Kors column with flashes of pink the her jewellery, which is the way to do glamour in a very now kind of way.
BEST FOR WORKING REAL WORLD TRENDS
I'm sure you're aware that graphic monochrome is a big thing for SS13 for the likes of you and I. The divine Julianne Moore gave us a sign that she's down with the kids by picking a Tom Ford black and white block gown. There were enough super expensive rocks and bafflingly sleek hair and make-up to render the look red carpet appropriate.
BEST COLOUR STATEMENT
Amongst a sea of nude and black bla bla bla, Marion Cotillard's tangerine Dior by Raf Simons gown is refreshing. The most important thing about this dress is the power it holds to make us think about a new colour, to signify a 2013 palette and take Simons' agenda beyond the catwalk for the world to see. Never mind the clash with the carpet.
It's a hard task heading up the British style contingent at US awards ceremonies. Michelle Dockery did a rather fabulous job of flying the flag perhaps not for a British designer but for a kind of serenely regal English rose look in her Alexandre Vauthier gown with golden guipure bodice, rounded shoulders, high neck and swooping white skirt.
BEST "WE LOOK LIKE GATECRASHERS BUT ARE LEGITIMATE GUESTS"
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton would quite possibly win this award every time but last night's appearence was further enhanced by Burton's arm sling and Bonham-Carter's sunglasses. If anyone has seen Les Mis then perhaps you'll agree that this reminds of Bonham-Carter's final scene in the film when she, as Madame Thénardier, gatecrashes Cosette and Marius's wedding with her on-screen husband played by Sacha Baron-Cohen?
BEST SHORT DRESS
It takes guts and great legs to dare wear short to big Hollywood shindig like this but Thandie Newton in Giles did a grand job. Rachel Weisz in Louis Vuitton is also highly commended in this category but sadly couldn't actually win because she had gauzy tulle giving her legs some coverage.
BEST FOR VIRTUOSITY
It may look like your standard tux, but this is actually an "OEKO-TEX certified, low environmental impact, European spun and woven wool suiting" fabric. That basically means Bradley Cooper joined Livia Firth's legendary Green Carpet Challenge. Bravo.