Cynthia Erivo, the star of “Harriet,” made a memorable entrance at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night, partly because she was one of the first nominees to hit the red carpet, and partly for the simple but stunning custom-made, hand-beaded Thom Browne off-the-shoulder gown she wore, which included floral embroidery both inside and out.
Mostly, though, it’s because she was wearing black and white, and it called to mind elements of the tuxedo — which, over the course of the red carpet’s two hours, proved to be the evening’s takeaway trend.
“The inspiration for Cynthia actually came from the idea of doing something that is quintessential Thom Browne, who is a dear friend,” Erivo’s stylist, Jason Bolden, told The Times by phone on Sunday, “and a great play on mixing great materials like pearls, sequins and crystals.” Bolden added that Erivo’s gown required more than 800 hours of labor from 11 people to complete.
With Browne’s reputation for making memorable menswear, it would be easy to see why the black dress with a strip of white at the bodice might echo a deconstructed take on the tuxedo. But then Greta Gerwig hit the red carpet in a custom, black-and-white, crystal-embroidered, off-the-shoulder gown by Proenza Schouler that likewise riffed on the trappings of the tuxedo — a wide strip of white fabric at the bodice of a black dress that moved even further into tux territory with crystal embellishments where the side stripe on tuxedo trousers would be.
In other instances, the take on traditional men’s formalwear was more overt, like Kerry Washington’s Altuzarra black satin skirt paired with a black tuxedo-like jacket worn sans shirt and accessorized with a rope-chain-like diamond necklace that knotted at her sternum like a bedazzled necktie.
Then there was “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria, whose dress mined the menswear motif by way of an exploded houndstooth check pattern, and Awkwafina in a spring-summer 2019 Dior two-tone cocktail dress, pleated top with bowed collar and a black wool jacket.
The statement maker of the night, though, was Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose Ralph & Russo tuxedo pantsuit (black with embroidered detail) set off a social media frenzy of appreciation — which she promptly leveraged backstage for a good cause after her outstanding actress win for “Fleabag.”
Golden Globes 2020 red carpet hits and misses (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Ana de Armas in a navy sequined strapless ballgown by Ralph & Russo. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Billy Porter in a white Alex Vinash tuxedo with a feather train. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Jennifer Lopez in very bow-forward Valentino gown. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Hit: Greta Gerwig in black and white Proenza Schouler gown. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Zoey Deutch in a yellow jumpsuit by Fendi. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Hit: Jennifer Aniston in a black Dior Haute Couture gown. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Margot Robbie in an embroidered multicolored top and long ivory skirt by Chanel. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Joey King in a black and white Iris van Herpen gown. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Hit: Cynthia Erivo in a custom black and white Thom Browne gown that’s said to have taken more than 800 hours to construct. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Hit: Naomi Watts in a sparkling gown by Armani Privé. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Dakota Fanning in a lavender Dior gown. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Kerry Washington in a black satin skirt and tuxedo jacket by Altuzarra accessorized by a diamond harness. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Olivia Colman in a scarlet Emilia Wickstead gown. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
On the fence: Lucy Boynton in a silver Louis Vuitton gown. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Christina Applegate in a shimmering gown by Pamella Roland. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Miss: Gwyneth Paltrow in a sheer caramel-colored gown from Fendi. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
On the fence: Awkwafina in a black and white tuxedo-style look with a ruffled collar by Dior Haute Couture. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
On the fence: Taylor Swift in a voluminous Etro gown with a floral print. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Hit: Nicole Kidman in a bespoke red Atelier Versace evening dress. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Laura Dern in a custom Saint Laurent gown. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Charlize Theron in a bright green and black Grecian-style Dior Haute Couture gown. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Tiffany Haddish in a pink dress by Galia Lahav. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Ben Platt in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh. (Getty Images)
Hit: Rachel Brosnahan, with Jason Ralph, in a sequined purple gown by Michael Kors Collection. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Rachel Bilson, with Bill Hader, in a black lingerie-inspired Brock Collection look with gold embroidery. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit couple: Jason Momoa in a green velvet Tom Ford suit and black Valentino trousers and Lisa Bonet in a botanical-inspired gown by Fendi Couture. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Ellen DeGeneres in a navy embellished suit by Celine by Hedi Slimane. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Salma Hayek Pinault in a long Gucci skirt and teal top. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Miss: Bel Powley in deep V-neck gown by Miu Miu. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Kate McKinnon in a black pantsuit by Prabal Gurung. (2020 NBCUniversal Media / Getty Images)
Hit: Phoebe Waller-Bridge in a Ralph & Russo suit paired with Christian Louboutin shoes. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Scarlett Johansson in a scarlet Vera Wang gown. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Cate Blanchett in a buttery-yellow Mary Katrantzou gown. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Reese Witherspoon in white Roland Mouret gown. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Gugu Mbatha-Raw in a Gucci midi-dress. (Getty Images)
Miss: Jodie Comer in an emerald gown by Mary Katrantzou. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
Miss: Anna Paquin in an embellished Dior dress. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Hit: Chris Evans in a burgundy velvet tuxedo by Isaia. (2020 NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images)
“We’ve hatched an amazing plan with Ralph & Russo, our Australian designers, who made this incredible couture suit, which is the most extraordinary thing I’ve ever worn. And we’re going to auction it, and the money that is raised from it will go toward relief in Australia. I’m really excited to be part of that,” Waller-Bridge said. She was referring to the wildfires devastating that continent.
Billy Porter, who set the bar for melding elements of traditional masculine and feminine formalwear at the 2019 Academy Awards, kept that streak alive — and on trend — by opting for an all-white custom Alex Vinash tuxedo that trailed a massive train of ostrich feathers from the hem of its notch-lapel jacket. (Porter told E!’s Ryan Seacrest that it took three months to complete and he explained that the train zipped off to make it easier for him to sit down.)
Joey King’s black-and-white dress by Iris Van Herpen was doing some bending of its own — bending not gender but perception as black lines seemed to curve around her in impossible ways in an optical illusion of a gown. And Zoë Kravitz was another to do black-and-white her own way — in a Saint Laurent off-the-shoulder top with small polka dots paired with a white column skirt festooned with joyously oversized black polka dots.
Although black-and-white takes on the tuxedo certainly dominated Sunday night’s Golden Globes, there was no shortage of color coming down the arrivals red carpet. The pops of color seemed to break in two directions: bright pinks, lilacs and a couple of canary yellows and a vault’s worth of dark and dusky jewel tones, dominated by emerald greens and ruby reds.
Among those in the first camp were Kirsten Dunst (in a custom pink ruffled lace Rodarte gown); Priyanka Chopra Jonas (in a stunner of a pink, off-the-shoulder gown by Cristina Ottaviano); Dakota Fanning (in a Dior Haute Couture lilac tulle dress); Tiffany Haddish (in a pink, sleeveless confection of a gown from the spring and summer 2020 Galia Lahav collection); and Isla Fisher (in a sangria-colored, off-the-shoulder column faille gown with puffed sleeves from the fall and winter 2020 Monique Lhuillier collection).
Standouts in the second trendlet were Jodie Comer (in an emerald green, puff-sleeved gown from Mary Katrantzou) and Jennifer Lopez, who wore a Valentino gown that sported not one but two super-sized bows (one in emerald green and one in gold) that made her look like the last unwrapped Christmas gift under the tree.
Charlize Theron also opted for green, though her one-shoulder Dior Haute Couture look — a silk long dress and a black tulle bustier — was more lime than emerald, a shade that when paired with flowing black, cape-like fabric gave her a decidedly superhero vibe.
Theron’s bustier-style top put her on board with another of the evening’s noticeable mini-trends: underwear as out-there-wear, which also could be seen in Gwyneth Paltrow’s caramel-colored pre-fall 2020 Fendi gown, with a top that looked like transparent tulle layered over a sports bra, and Cate Blanchett’s butter-yellow Mary Katrantzou gown, which sported a bejeweled metal bra-like top.
The men at Sunday night’s Golden Globes also seemed to relish the opportunity to spin the color wheel a little bit. Both Eddie Murphy and his “Dolemite is My Name” costar Wesley Snipes opted for tuxedo jackets in a shade of burgundy; Chris Evans chose a ruby-colored Isaia corduroy tuxedo; and Jason Momoa turned out in a green velvet Tom Ford tuxedo jacket paired with black Valentino trousers and, to the delight of Twitter, a tank top.
Khanh T.L. Tran, Sonaiya Kelley and Kevin Smothers contributed to this report.