8.1.18

Why We Wore Black - Sartorial Solidarity at the Golden Globes 2018


It is not uncommon for the attire of the female attendees of award ceremonies to be equally criticised and celebrated. However, on 7th January 2018, the red carpet could have been mistaken for a funeral parade, awash with black in the form of velvet, lace, chiffon, silk and sequins. In a brilliant display of sartorial solidarity, the decision to wear black to the Golden Globes was a show of support for the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, highlighting the inequality in Hollywood and the imbalance of power. There is no denying the hierarchy of the white male in Hollywood. 

Although the donning of a black gown, as British Vogue graciously put, is "is hardly Herculean in its political engagement", there is much to be said of the #WhyWeWoreBlack, from the view point of this fashion historian, and female. 

Whilst it can be said that the wearing of black is not groundbreaking. Women, in fact, have been wearing black far longer than men, originating from the Victorian 'Cult of Mourning' and the etiquette of wearing black mourning attire. However, it is not the individual's decision to adopt the black dress that is important. Far more, it is the Simmelian impact of the collective. Very few attendees of the Golden Globes chose not to adhere to the black dress code. While each person had their individual motive for adorning themselves in black, some of which can be read here, the aim was ultimately to stand together in solidarity, as a collective of women, and men for that matter, against the inequality in Hollywood. 

My favourite quote about #WhyWeWearBlack came from Issa Rae:
"What I love about it is that it's not just wearing black to wear black. I keep saying that it is going to feel like a big funeral. But in a good way, it just feels like the death of old Hollywood"

Far from being a bland sea of black gowns, the #WhyWeWoreBlack encouraged creativity in my favourite colour. Fashion met with feminism, designers and red carpet couturiers were, evidently, all too keen to be seen supporting the movement. See below some of my particular highlights. 

 America Ferrera in Christian Siriano and Natalie Portman in Dior | Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace | Christina Hendricks in Christian Siriano
 Claire Foy in Stella McCartney | Connie britton in Lingua Franca | Elisabeth Moss in Dior
 Meryl Street in Vera Wang with Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance | Michelle Pfeiffer in Dior | Nicola Kidman in Givenchy
Sarah Paulson in Calvin Klein | Tracee Ellis Ross in Marc Jacobs | Viola Davis in Brandon Maxwell


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