Event details: The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, held Saturday, January 18, 2014 at the Shrine Auditorium & Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California.
The Hollywood awards show season marches on. The latest event to take over the town was the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The red carpet appearances proved a point regarding such shows – each one has its own character, perhaps reflecting the regard in which the show is held and the relative importance attached to the awards being given – and the accompanying perceived status.
For the Golden Globe Awards, there were more gowns that highlighted lots of cleavage. That’s hardly a bad thing, but it always leads to the inevitable jokes about the real golden globes, especially when Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara, Halle Berry or any of the other women who can be counted on for a generous display. I can remember one Golden Globe show several years ago in which Jane Krakowski showed up, wearing a deeply-cut gown that barely concealed her assets. The interviewer asked her about this, and how she prevented wardrobe malfunctions. She replied that she preferred Silly Putty instead of double-sided tape to get the job done.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards appear to have an elevated status as to their career-wise desirability. After all, they are awarded by their acting peers, and are a a measure of recognition and professional appreciation. As a result, the red carpet dresses showed a generally greater level of sophistication than those seen at the Golden Globe Awards. This doesn’t mean that every outfit was a success; no, there were a few pretty bad choices, but the array of outfits spanned a wide spectrum from ok to nice but unremarkable to sexy but classy to sophisticated and, of course, super-sexy.
Let’s work our way from bad to great.
Camilla Alves shows that simply presenting cleavage is no guarantee that the dress is a success. This one doesn’t work for me. Elizabeth Moss is not a bad-looking woman but a rather decent dress is spoiled by her slumping posture. Her whole aspect seems like that of a wallflower who is uncomfortable and unfamiliar with such an event. At the Golden Globe Awards, Malin looked night-and-day better than she does here. This dress is so busy that I don’t know what to make of it. What is it supposed to be? What is its character? I can’t make it out.
Emilia Clarke really surprised. She wore what I’d normally consider a slinky dress – which is usually a good thing – but here, it doesn’t work because it doesn’t seem to fit quite right. It leaves me disappointed – this was an odd choice, and she can certainly do much better. At first glance, I thought that Kerry Washington looked posh, but upon closer inspection, I thought, “What is that supposed to be?” Is it a two-piece gown? Is it a kendo uniform? The skirt looks disconnected, or, rather, uncoordinated with, the top. Is it really supposed to be that puffed up? In a smaller proportion it would be a lot more attractive, but as it is, it’s another swing and a miss.
That brings me to perhaps two of the biggest disappointments of the evening, from two celebrities from whom I always expect much better. Julia Robert’s gown was a big letdown. It is very simple, which on its own is not something to bemoan, but its flourishes – attempts to avoid being too plain – don’t seem to belong. They seem contrived rather than simply being integrated parts of a complete outfit. Not only that, but this one also doesn’t fit right. From some angles, it suggests that Julia has put on a few pounds, and this dress shows that to bad advantage. I’m not criticizing her for that – no, not at all. People age, as they should, and that’s not something for which we all should be held to account. No, rather, I’m saying that this dress did not work to her best advantage. She’s a beautiful woman who’s aging very gracefully – and there’s always that smile – but this dress didn’t help her too much..
That beings me to Sandra Bullock. She always looks so stylish and so – together – but this time, I don’t think so. It has several characteristics I usually appreciate – a bit of a sheen, pleasant, vibrant color, and a slit showing some leg – but the top is finished off by a bow that looks awkwardly placed, which drwas your attention to what looks like a fold or a pleat that doesn’t belong. Then there’s her hairstyle. Was that by design? Was her hair styled that way on purpose? I hope not. The overall effect of the oddly-finished dress coupled with the unfinished hairstyle is one of disappointment. She looked so good at the Golden Globes!
Camilla ALves – 2014 SAG Awards – arrivals
Elizabeth Moss – 2014 SAG Awards – arrivals
Malin Akerman – 2014 SAG Awards – arrivals
Emilia Clarke – 2014 SAG Awards – arrivals
Julia Roberts – 2014 SAG Awards – arrivals
Sandra Bullock – 2014 SAG Awards – arrivals
Kerry Washington – 2014 SAG Awards – arrivals
Ok – not bad, not great
Amy Adams’ dress isn’t exactly plain, or even bad – after all, it does have some character, some distinctiveness to it, but it doesn’t make me wild. And her hair looks flat, almost an afterthought. Holly Hunter’s dress is perhaps a near miss. It’s both sexy and conservative – conservative, perhaps, because she’s too skinny and the dress could fit better.
Pauley Perrette is a different story altogether. She’s pretty in a quirky way, and I like her a lot. She’s got a terrific personality, and I’d be hard-pressed to find anything bad that’s been said about her in the industry. The dress is nice enough, but seems unremarkable to me. She looks happy, and the dress is, if not totally unremarkable, heading toward elegant. But something seems to be missing, something I can’t quite define. To be honest, the tattoos don’t help, either. They’re not a deal-breaker, but they don’t help.
Amy Adams – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Holly Hunter – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Pauley Perrette – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Sarah Hyland looked terrific; her gown was age-appropriate, and was perhaps as sexy or showy as a girl her age should look at such a well-scrutinized event. Anna Gunn’s blue gown was one of the most pleasant surprises of the night. It was slinky, sure, but not unreasonably so, and unlike all too many other dresses that night, it fit right. It didn’t just fit right, it fit very nicely. Sasha Alexander was another pleasant surprise for me. She’s a beautiful woman, and I like her, but she sometimes leans toward red carpet gowns that are too conservative – almost bordering on frumpy. Maybe frumpy is unfair – still, her dresses at some events don’t help the way she presents herself – but not so at this awards show. No, I see her red dress as a really nice example of “simple and elegant.” She isn’t completely covered but she isn’t gratuitously revealed, either – altogether, a successful appearance.
It’s very possible that this is the best I’ve ever seen Elisabeth Rohm look at any kind of public event. When I saw her first appear on the red carpet, I said “Wow!” out loud, to nobody in particular. I almost couldn’t get over it – this was a much sexier look for her, and did she ever look good! I hope she can continue on this path. Her dress and her hair and her expression fairly well shouted out “self-assurance” and it was very nice to see.
Jane Krakowski’s red carpet dresses have made me say “Wow!” plenty of times inn the past. She’s one of the celebrities I can always count on for this kind of outfit, and as I’ve mentioned, and I can almost always count on her for “event wow” material. She didn’t disappoint me. Her pale green dress was a bit low-cut and had a certain toga-like air. I liked this one a lot. I was also surprised at how much I liked the way Portia de Rossi looked. At first I thought her dress looked too conservative, even a bit featureless, until she turned a bit to the side to show that the dress was backless – dramatically so. Very nice.
Sarah Hyland – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Anna Gunn – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Sasha Alexander – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Elisabeth Rohm – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Jane Krakowski – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Portia de Rossi – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
This last group of celebrities appeared at the show wearing some of my favorite dresses of the evening, and, no doubt about – there are a few traffic-stoppers here, too.
Morena Baccarin just plain knocked me over. She was definitely in my “Holy moley!” list. I don’t remember ever seeing her quite like this, and this new look made me very happy! I first became aware of – and maybe swept away by – Morena when she was in the short-lived but still devotedly followed Firefly. Since then – and Serenity, of course, she’s had roles in TV’s Stargate SG-1, Heartland, V and Homeland, and is in the yet-to-be-released Back in the Day. I’ll have to head out to my local movie theater to see that one.
Julie Bowen took me by surprise in a very good way. She really showed how to wear a dramatic color-draped dress that featured texture, color and geometric design, but was refined enough so as not to be too busy. It jsut goes to show you – there’s bold, such as feathers and safety-pins and swans, and there’s bold, such as this dress – and this is certainly the one to appreciate.
Is that a flamenco-inspired design Kaley Cuoco is wearing? that’s what I thought of, and that flamenco-like detail almost spelled failure, but for Heaven’s sake – the rest of the dress is incredible. It’s not just because of the cleavage display, although that sure goes a long way – no, it’s the whole look – sexiness, self-confidence – it’s all there. A woman with a figure like that who wears a dress like that – she’s the one in control, not the paparazzi and assorted other gawkers. Nope, she’s the one in control and she knows it.
Jennifer Lawrence looked fantastic in a tight, slinky black sequined number that only a woman with a slim figure can wear. And wear it she did, along with just enough jewelry, and a well-chosen short hairstyle, all of which added up to a big success.
I have to admit that Gretchen Mol doesn’t leap to mind when I think about who’s on my personal list of favorite celebrities, but you can bet I’ll have my eyes on her from now on. I don’t know why I’ve never been to aware of her until recently. She’s been in a string of movies, TV series and mini-series dating back to 1996, but most recently her role in TV’s Boardwalk Empire has elevated her career. Anybody remember Life on Mars? That ran for two years, from 2008 to 2009, but I guessed that one passed me by. She has two movies due out in 2014 – True Story, with Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones, and Anesthesia, with Kristen Stewart, Glenn Close and Sam Waterston.
Ok, now, here’s Sofia Vergara wearing a typically Sofia dress – no doubt about it. Let’s see – slinky? (there’s that word again) Sure. Sequins and beading? Sure. Rings? Of course. A necklace costing ten-years’ salary ? Yep. Commonplace for Sofia, and not unappreciated – but how many of us have seen her with her natural blond hair color? When she came to the United States she dyed her hair to avoid becoming a stereotyped blond. For a lot of actresses trying to make a name for themselves this would be a crazy gamble, but things have worked out for her, haven’t they? You bet! Of course, having a figure and irrepressible personality like she does could also have something to do with it, eh?
Then there’s Maria Menounos. Now, she’s been one of my top favorites for a long time, but at this show she looked so stunning I was almost a loss for words. The pale pink skirt had a thigh-high slit that she thankfully “helped” aside, to reveal a generous and very welcome leg show. I don’t quite know how to describe the top portion of the gown. Does it have bondage-styled strap accents? Is it reminiscent of something worn by the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus? Did Madonna or Madonna’s fashion advisers have any input? I don’t know. All I know was that to my eyes, she looked magnificent.
Sofia Vergara – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Gretchen Mol – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
MariaMenounos – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Maria Menounos – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Jennifer Lawrence – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Kaley Cuoco – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Julie Bowen – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals
Morena Baccarin – 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards – arrivals