You’re going to hear a lot about the best and worst-dressed Golden Globe dresses this weekend, and we're here today to tell you they’re all terrible. Or, well, at least in comparison to the red carpet looks of the 1990s; the decade from which we continue to draw and pay homage to.
And can you blame us? Of course not. So to prove just how wonderful the '90s were, here are the best looks from that powerful decade. Presenting: the most nineties looks of the nineties. Golden Globes edition.
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1. Christina Applegate, 1992
We wrote about this outfit earlier in the week, and if we could write about it every day, we would. Please observe these powerful early ‘90s Victorian/gothic influences: a curled, piled-high updo, dark colours, long sleeves, a long skirt, and the necklaces—my God, the necklaces. As if channeling Kelly Bundy’s 19th century alter-ego, Applegate represented her realest goth self. (Before “goth” meant wearing a lot of Marilyn Manson t-shirts.)
2. Janet Jackson, 1994
It's very important in this moment that we pay homage to Janet Jackson and her mid-nineties power suit (with two wide lapels and more fabric than anyone could possibly dream of). Why? Because not only was this suit indicative of Jackson’s reputation as a literal boss, it signalled a true abandonment of gender convention on the red carpet. (Something we’d see more and more of as the decade progressed—but still not enough, considering only now are tuxedos the norm.)
3. Kirsten Dunst, 1995
In 1995, Kirsten Dunst channeled her best teen self, wearing not just velvet (a true nineties benchmark), but ruffled, sheer sleeves (like the Victorian she played in "Interview With the Vampire"). Frankly, it’s a semi-formal-appropriate masterpiece. And the only thing better? The half-up/half-down hair she rocked that most of us could only hope to achieve come real, grown-up high school prom.
4. Gillian Anderson, 1996
Let’s keep it simple: Gillian Anderson is wearing a lace dress underneath a massive velvet robe. And the two colours match. And her hair’s styled in a bob. Why did she do this? Because the year was 1996, and that’s what the nineties were for. (Strange choices that end up looking completely perfect.) This is also why our Dana Scully shrines are still standing.
5. Halle Berry, 1997
The hair! The print! The colour! The halter neckline and thigh-high slit! People, this is what being an adult in the nineties looked like. As we can all clearly see, Berry helped usher in a new age in red carpet history: now, actors were beginning to take more risks. And where it was once “formalwear” in the almost-mall sense of the word, which, frankly, is the best “formalwear” of all.
6. Kevin Bacon And Kyra Sedgwick, 1997
Honestly, we don’t even know what’s happening here but if anybody asks you what the nineties were like, you hold up this photo and they’ll understand. (See also: we also now respect these actors more in this moment than we ever will anybody else.)
7. Jennifer Lopez, 1998
Once upon a time, Jennifer Lopez was just like anybody else. Unfortunately, there are no photos of that, so instead, we have this: a hero in a dress that epitomizes the playful nature of the decade so much that if somebody showed up on Sunday wearing it, we’d herald it as the second coming of whatever-higher-power-you-believe in.
First, Lopez’s commitment to her crop top is to be applauded. Second, the colour blocking—in various purples and green—is on point with the decade’s colour spectrum. Lastly, the one-shouldered strap/sleeve set the precedent for all-ages clubwear in Canadian suburbia. (You best believe we tried to dress this way.) Ladies and gentlemen: the dawn of a new day.
8. Eleanor Mondale, 1999
Don’t ever say that the metallic trend of 2013-onward was not inspired by the metallic trend of the late 1990s. (Which, in turn, was inspired by the metallic trends of the 1960s and 1970s. But that’s a conversation for another day.)
9. Gwyneth Paltrow, 1999
Behold: the only prom look that truly mattered. (Readers of Seventeen and YM circa 1999, you know this influenced your alarmingly full prom dress skirts.) In true It Girl fashion, Paltrow not just opted for a full, floor-length bottom (that shone), she paired it with a tube top and jacket before straightening her hair (iron-style). Thus, she created a look that defined the millenium in the realest way. (And one she’d never feature in Goop now, which is a true bummer.)
10. Keri Russell, 1999
It’s important that we remember and respect "Felicity"-era Keri Russell. Also, that we recognize her sleeveless tube dress and sheer, shimmery overlay that helped cement the 1999 Golden Globes as more of a fancy "Electric Circus," and less of an award show to-do that demands staunch seriousness. This outfit, friends, deserves a Globe in itself.