On Golden Globes Weekend, One Thing is Clear: More is More on the Virtual Red Carpet

The 2021 awards season kicks off this weekend with the Golden Globes, but it is going to be far from the norm.

The traditional red carpet won’t be happening, instead, Instagram will likely be the place to see and be seen as stars flood feeds with fashion. The ceremony will take place in a hybrid format, streaming live from Los Angeles and New York on Sunday, with most of the stars channeling in remote from home. Stylists and their clients, however, are still looking to take advantage of what is usually the biggest platform to make iconic fashion moments — even if it is over Zoom.

Andrew Gelwicks, for instance, is dressing Golden Globes nominee and “Schitt’s Creek” star Catherine O’Hara for the occasion and he plans to pay respect to night’s achievements with a fabulous style moment.

While being in-person hasn’t been feasible during the coronavirus pandemic, Gelwicks has found that despite its challenges, he’s been able to cultivate more intimate relationships with clients, which has then resulted in memorable style outcomes (such as O’Hara’s 2020 Emmys Valentino and combat boots look.)

“It’s almost more personal, and you have to have that much more trust and dialogue about what the client feels,” he told FN. “When you’re with a client during a fitting and they come out from behind the partition, you can feel when it’s it. You can feel that kind of euphoria and that happiness and that radiance. You don’t have that over a selfie or Zoom as much. So it’s more important than ever to make sure everyone is confident and feeling just as special as they would be in person.”

Part of setting that tone comes from creating a full look. These days, getting dressed waist-up has been most important for working and living in this virtual world, and it’s likely going to be the main angle that the audience sees during the Globes, but, for stylists that just won’t do.

Erica Cloud said during the Golden Globe Stylist Roundtable this week that creating a look head-to-toe, whether or not it is shown on camera, is her creative outlet and, frankly, the job. (She is dressing presenter Awkwafina, as well as nominees Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy for the event.)

Stylist Brad Goreski (who is dressing first-time nominee Kaley Cuoco) said that while there won’t be the same kind of spectacle a live red carpet moment brings, it comes with its creative advantages. “You’re able to control the final look. Normally, you pray that the photo turns out well. Now, we have the ability to do something maybe more extravagant since we won’t be on the carpet,” he said. “We can be more imaginative.”

Machine Gun Kelly and his stylist Adam Ballheim have leveraged this virtual world and lack of in-person to create impressive looks in 2020. The rapper first made waves at the MTV VMAs in a hot pink Berluti turtleneck ensemble as he was one the few breakthrough style stars last year. He also appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” the Peoples’ Choice Awards, and most memorably at the American Music Awards in Balmain with girlfriend Megan Fox.

“People are experimenting what the award show could look like in a socially-distant era. It’s showing that you don’t need a massive red carpet to have these amazing, big fashion moments. Because there are fewer events, it’s more pressure in a way on each of those events to deliver a really stand out moment and to create something that we will remember years from now. It allows stylists to play a little bit more,” Ballheim said.

While the red carpet has certainly been a crucial part of business for actors, stylists and fashion companies, too, the pandemic has proved that it may not be as necessary as we once thought.

Could Instagram be a replacement?

The social platform has been central for press in 2020, acting as one of the only lucrative devices for brands to receive coverage and garner brand awareness due to the lack of in-person. That will continue this awards season.

The Golden Globes is partnering with Instagram on the night of the event with a remote portrait studio, for example. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Sayles will shoot remote photographs of the nominees and video content for Instagram Reels.

On Sunday, it will also be up to celebrities and their stylists to post their own photos from the night on their own feeds.

It’s one way stars have connected during the pandemic for virtual press tours as way to get their work seen and brands recognized. From Anne Hathaway to Regina King, A-Listers are turning their backyards into background for ultra glam moments.

“Instead of red carpet photos, I am taking more photos which I have actually found I love,” explained Rachel Zegler and Renee Elise Goldberry’s stylist Sarah Slutsky. “Clients come with visions for how we can really make the most of each situation and as a team we strive to make the most of every opportunity. I have found that everyone from the designer, to hair and makeup artist, to my assistant to my clients teams and the clients are recognizing and feel responsible for one another’s continued successes. We are a community that has needed to lean on one another and support each other. Recognizing that taking a beautiful photo of the press moments help advance all our careers.”

Added Gelwicks, “When we talk about how things will change, this is an example of something I hope will continue after this — getting these kind of these intimate moments from talent and having an inside peek into their homes and lives.”

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