The red carpet arrivals at the 75th Golden Globes did more than kick off the start of the awards-show season, it ushered in a new era of Hollywood power-dressing — especially for women — that emphasized the shoulder (to lead with or stand on, take your pick) and drew attention to the belted midriff in a way that evoked the notion of a superhero's costume with a cape-wearing Diane Kruger and "Wonder Woman's" Gal Gadot in a Tom Ford tuxedo-inspired dress further heightening the effect. All this was rooted in a color palette of black — a showing of sartorial solidarity organized to highlight the issues of sexual assault, harassment and gender inequality.
Leading the bare-shoulder brigade were Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington and Michelle Williams in strapless dresses, with Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon in one-shoulder dresses. Kelly Clarkson and Saoirse Ronan added a dash of metallic flair to the one-shouldered look, the former in gold (along with an armor-like gold arm sleeve) and the latter in a black, one-sleeved custom Atelier Versace gown with angular Swarovski silver crystal mesh accents at the shoulder that gave the look a retro-futuristic feel.
Alison Brie wore a Vassilis Zoulias ensemble that paired bare shoulders up top with a pants and gown combination below.
"Tonight is about women wearing the pants," Brie said on the red carpet, "so I chose to literally wear the pants."
Claire Foy ("The Crown") was also wearing pants — in the form of a strong-shouldered double-breasted Stella McCartney tuxedo. Foy chose to forgo a tuxedo shirt, which gave a dash of femininity to the otherwise masculine-looking suit.
There were other occasional flashes of bare skin on the red carpet, though the deep-V décolletage of past seasons was much less prevalent. One of the more memorable neckline plunges came courtesy of Margot Robbie, who hit the carpet clad in a custom black hammered satin V-neck Gucci gown with a crystal bow at the midriff that keyed into another of the evening's noteworthy style trends — belts, sashes and assorted ornamentation at the waist that gave many of the outfits the aforementioned superhero vibe.
Standouts here included actress Elizabeth Chambers, who wore a black dress belted in baby blue; Mandy Moore, whose sleeveless black gown was accented with a wide, bright belt of red; and Dakota Johnson, whose black organza and velvet spaghetti-strap Gucci gown was embellished with a crystal buckle at the belly button.
Fabrication-wise, velvet and embroidered lace were noticeable on Sunday night's red carpet, as were sparkly black sequins that could be seen festooning the frocks of Kerry Washington (in a strapless Prabal Gurung gown), Yvonne Strahovski (in KaufmanFranco), Octavia Spencer (in custom Tadashi Shoji).
Although superwomen in black undeniably ruled the red carpet, many of the men showed their support as well by opting for black tuxedo shirts instead of white ones, resulting in a battalion of monochromed menfolk, including Common, Justin Timberlake, Bob Odenkirk, Nick Jonas (as well as brother Joe Jonas), Gary Oldman and Sam Rockwell.
Kathryn Romeyn contributed to this report.