STYLE

'Worst' Golden Globe Red Carpet Dresses That Are Actually Amazing

01/08/2015 01:32 EST | Updated 01/08/2015 01:59 EST
Kevin Winter via Getty Images
Lara Flynn Boyle arrives at the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA., January 19, 2003. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Golden Globes take place on Sunday, January 11, and there’s nothing you can do about it: despite being nearly smothered in end-of-year best/worst reflections just a few weeks back, award season will signal an onslaught of even more reflecting-on-celebrities’-style moments.

But this year, we want you to think differently. Without fail, at least one Golden Globe red carpet dress takes its place on the “you’ve made a big mistake” podium, but some of us (hello) don’t think that’s fair. In fact, we don’t think it’s fair so much we’ve re-visited 10 of the most controversial Golden Globes dresses and urged you to rethink them. Why? Because we said so. Also, because there’s nothing “bad” about them.

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Re-Thinking "Worst" Golden Globe Dresses

1. Geena Davis, 1992

There’s something to be said about taking a chance. Enter: 1992, Geena Davis and her sheer lace unitard worn under a two-piece blue gown. First, not only would many people refuse to accentuate their midriffs on the red carpet, but Davis’ look was still super-balanced despite that: as you can see, she’s wearing tights, sleeves, and the only skin we’re actually seeing are on her hands and face. You go, Dottie Hinson.

2. Christina Applegate, 1992

Christina Applegate’s loose-fitting ‘92 aesthetic is exactly the same one we’re trying to emulate in 2015. Channeling her best prom self (lest we forget that she was a teenager circa "Married With Children"), she kept her style Kate Bush-esque, pairing a heavy necklace with her long black coat and oversize burgundy dress. It wasn’t Kelly Bundy, it was better: unlike the fancy gowns we see on the red carpet normally, she actually represented her demographic and age.

3. Fran Drescher, 1995

How are we not talking about this look every day? In a slim-fitting white gown and enormous floral headpiece, Fran Drescher played dress-up instead of “dressing up”; reminding everyone in the process that if you’re going to shell-out for designer-wear and pose for hundreds of photos, you might as well have a little fun and imagination. Bess you, Nanny.

4. Kate Winslet, 1998

Remember how angry everybody was about Kate Winslet’s lace dress-and-choker combo? Remember how embarrassed they should all be now about getting mad about it to begin with? Not only did Winslet look fantastic, she modernized lace with her approach to the fabric by using it less as an Edwardian accent and more as an edge-builder (thanks to pairing it with a nude underlay). That, and thanks to her tousled updo and black choker, she embodied the Victorian comeback of the late nineties, reminding everyone that Rose Dewitt-Bukater and Kate Winslet are two vastly different people. (Though also both our heroes, obviously.)

5. Gwyneth Paltrow, 2000

Can you imagine what the Gwyneth Paltrow of today would say about the Gwyneth Paltrow who once wore slacks to the Golden Globes? Rest easy, friends, for it doesn’t matter: we’re here today to talk about how Paltrow’s casual approach to a notoriously fancy event breathed some much-needed youth culture to the rest of the year. True, the tank top made her look seem a little more nightclub than star-studded soiree, but the gem-encrusted jewelry served as a reminder that the actress knew where she was and what she was representing: her dynasty. Also, Goop.

6. Anne Heche, 2001

The fact that we don’t see at least one leather dress on the red carpet per red carpet is on par with having ever doubted the style choices of Kate Winslet. Would we necessarily keep the bag? No. (Mostly because we had the exact same kind from Transit in 2004.) But the dress itself? Well, there’s a reason leather’s having a several-year moment in spring 2015.

7. Kate Hudson, 2002

If JLo could do it (and she did, two years before at the Grammys -- that dress), then so could Kate Hudson: she could also wear a neckline so low it went down to her waist. And why shouldn’t she? The sleeves, high collar, and ankle-length of the dress balanced the actress’ “plunge,” and the gold hue of her gown matched Hudson’s hair almost perfectly. Frankly, we're just going to say it: she looked like an Oscar. And damn it, she deserved one for her turn in "Almost Famous" (even though the ceremony for that movie was a full year before).

8. Anne Hathaway, 2003

Did anyone think Anne Hathaway would end up hosting the Oscars only a handful of years later? Did anybody think she’d go on to win one a few years after that? Who cares: in this moment -- this beautiful, underappreciated 2003 moment -- the artist who’d become Anne Hathaway™ was but a regular teenage person. Not only that, but she donned a dress in a bright, “it” colour (never forget the popularity of pink in 2003), mixed textures, and embraced a thigh-high slit. She was the bohemian trend personified, and frankly, her take on boho-mall-chic worked. (Even if you wouldn’t have worn it yourself.)

9. Diane Kruger, 2005

Diane Kruger isn’t boring. Also, considering she was relatively new to the Hollywood scene ten years ago (seriously: what a difference ten years makes), you’ve got to commend how little she truly cared about what people thought. An occasion usually staunchly reserved for floor-length gowns and however you can interpret those, Kruger went knee-length, bared her midriff, and wore green and gold. Honestly, this is what fashion is all about. (Risks!) 3D embellishments and all.

10. Lara Flynn Boyle, 2003

It is important every year to remember that on one glorious January night, Lara Flynn Boyle dressed up like a ballerina. And by doing that, she did us all proud.