The Golden Glow Up: Diversity and Retro Glamour Ruled the 2019 Golden Globes Red Carpet

(l-r) Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and Michael B. Jordan give the “Wakanda Forever” salute during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo: Paul Drinkwater (NBC for Getty Images)

Bona fide blockbuster Black Panther may not have gotten the win it deserved this round, but in terms of representation—in the room and on the red carpet—the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards was one of the most diverse in recent history (at least, by all appearances).

Due in large part to the success of Crazy Rich Asians, this year saw a rare wealth of Asian talent on the red carpet—as well as trans talent, thanks to the nomination of FX’s Pose. Three black-directed films (Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, and If Beale Street Could Talk) vied for the top dramatic prize, while Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón won the directorial prize for Roma, a foreign language film. Regina King and Mahershala Ali swept the Supporting Actor categories for film, and Darren Criss shouted out his Filipino mother during his win.

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And in a history-making moment, Sandra Oh became the first Asian woman to host the awards show, the first in 38 years to score a Best Actress win for her role in the sleeper hit series Killing Eve, and the first to win two Golden Globes during the course of her career. (A full list of winners is available here.)

The result of this increased representation? Even more major fashion moments by people of color.

Clockwise from top left: Crazy Rich Asians’ Gemma Chan (in Valentino Haute Couture) and Constance Wu (in custom Vera Wang); Jeannie Mai in Kenneth Barlis and Andy Lif jewels from the ‘Speed of Color’ collection; Golden Globes host and winner Sandra Oh in Stella McCartney.

And while there were some major upsets, a year after the red carpet blackout that honored the emergence of the Me Too movement and founding of the Time’s Up legal defense fund, the return to color didn’t deter from the mission of safety and parity for women in Hollywood. In acknowledgement, many stars wore Time’s Up x 2 ribbons, bracelets, and pins with their evening attire.

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King, who produces and directs in addition to her award-winning acting career, brought audience members to their feet when she announced her intent to staff her productions with 50 percent women moving forward and encouraged others to do the same—across industries.

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“... I’m going to use my platform right now to say in the next two years, everything that I produce, I am making a vow—and it’s going to be tough—to make sure that everything that I produce, that it’s 50 percent women,” she said during her acceptance speech. “And I just challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power—not just in our industry, in all industries—I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

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Indeed, King was one of the brightest lights of the evening, winning hearts, one of the two categories she was nominated for, and the red carpet. Wearing a strapless beaded column custom made for her by Alberta Ferretti Couture in a shade she quipped was like “sparkling rosé,” King was accompanied by son Ian Alexander, Jr. as her adorable and incredibly supportive date for the evening. (She also coordinated well with Beale Street costar, Kiki Layne, who wore blush-colored custom Dior. Both were styled by duo Wayman + Micah.)

Regina King, accompanied by son Ian (l), attends the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)
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But if we didn’t win all the prizes we’d hoped to, who were the winners on the red carpet? There were some definite color trends, including 2019's “color of the year,” Living Coral, and an abundance of white on men and women alike (peep Chadwick Boseman’s white-on-white custom Versace tux). There was also a surprising amount of green—in shades from forest, to emerald, to mint.

And of course, there was still plenty of black. It was still the go-to for many, and a strategic choice by Lena Waithe, who chose to wear the color in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement and the work that still needs to be done in Hollywood.

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Another trend that was strong this year? Nostalgic touches—whether on the disco-era silhouette and sparkle of Thandie Newton’s Michael Kors gown and voluminous curls; the ancient Egyptian references in Janelle Monae’s unconventional Chanel ensemble; the James Brown-level extravagance of Billy Porter’s fuchsia-lined and intricately embroidered cape and suit; Danai Gurira’s nod to her Zimbabwean heritage with the shade and design of her gown; or the ‘80s-inspired electric blue lashes Lupita Nyong’o subtly rocked to match her custom Calvin Klein gown. (Fun fact: hairstylist Vernon Francois styled Nyong’o’s hair to evoke the shape of T’Challa’s spaceship in Black Panther.)

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As her makeup artist, Nick Barose, told the LA Times, “It’s fun to wear colors, and you can do it in small doses with liner and lashes.” (Barone reportedly used Lancôme products to make Nyong’o’s eyes pop.)

Were there some major misses? Of course—for instance, did Lady Gaga really need to match her hair to her periwinkle Valentino gown? But for the most part, folks played it safe for the first major awards show of the year—after all, we’ve got to pace ourselves. But we’ll let you decide for yourselves what worked and what was whack at the 2019 Golden Globes; just flip through our slideshow below.

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.