This red carpet season, Hollywood can take notes from Bollywood

Red carpets don't have to offer spectacles to be spectacular

The official red carpet season has just kicked in with the Golden Globes earlier this week, with fashion magazines and entertainment websites taking notes on who wore what and why. This is usually my second favourite time of the year. The favourite is obviously December and the party season, but January’s red carpets remind us once again that dressing amazingly is an annual activity.

The Golden Globes were as predictable as they got. There were barely two films in the running for the top awards, Barbie and Oppenheimer, and there’s no chance a mega blockbuster about a feminist doll would ever pick up the best picture award in any entertainment industry—Bollywood or Hollywood—male dominated as they are. The rest of the big hits were regular Hollywood snore fests: a superhero film, an action film, an immigrant film and a token Martin Scorsese offering (the saving grace here). The fashion at the awards ceremony should have been the main course in this case, but ended up as a side dish.

Some of the ladies did look lovely. Ali Wong (of the show Beef) looked ethereal in a white Dior column gown and reading glasses. Greta Lee’s sculptural Loewe dress was an interesting twist. Rosamund Pike in a black lace Dior with a matching visor was rather photographable, and made it to all the articles that followed. What did not make much noise, but was so chic nonetheless, was Sarah Snook’s Prabal Gurung black corset dress. Meryl Streep’s sequinned black tuxedo skirt was a lovely riff, too.

Tripti Dimri | Instagram@tripti_dimri Tripti Dimri | Instagram@tripti_dimri

But Timothee Chalamet in a black-beaded Celine was rather anodyne; he can so easily be outdone by our Ayushmann Khurrana or Vijay Varma. We won’t even have to try for Ranveer Singh to out-peacock him.

Taylor Swift in a mint-green sequinned Gucci looked like she was wrapped in a Mentos wrapper. Jennifer Lopez and Helen Mirren were so flouncy they could have sat on top of a cake. Jennifer Aniston wore her uniform of black and Botox. And Margot Robbie came dressed as Barbie herself, which I am not sure is a great look for this decade.

The trend this year is clearly marked out: no more crazy Instagrammable clothing, let fashion be mature, elegant, sophisticated, and perhaps even boring. Clean lines, whites and soft colours are taking over the dazzle of psychedelic hues and gimmicks of meme-hungry styles. Old-world refinement has the rizz, the rest can just zzz.

But does fashion have to choose between high-octane and humdrum? Not really. One can have a bit of both shaken and stirred in good measure.

Take for example our stars at the Animal success party just a couple of days prior. Has Alia Bhatt ever looked better? I don’t recall a time. Styled by the very pregnant Priyanka Kapadia, Bhatt wore a slinky, strappy, blue couture dress from a very young label called Rasario, with her school-girl hair pulled back into a chic low ponytail. Rasario is just a 10-year-old label by designer Rasida Lakoba, originally from Abkhazia in Eastern Europe.

I cannot get Tripti Dimri out of my mind either. The angel-faced rising star, dressed to kill in an all-black turtle neck stretch gown by the Indian label Deme, was styled by Aastha Sharma. Her hair left tousled and with nude makeup, Dimri looked like an effortless femme fatale.

Rashmika Mandanna went for her inner vixen, too. A strapless Alex Perry with matching gloves and ankle boots, and a bed head to match. (Is the blow dry a thing of the past? Yes, please.)

Red carpets don’t have to offer spectacles to be spectacular. Hollywood can take notes from Bollywood this time.