How to Sound Like an Awards-Season Red-Carpet Expert

A guide to talking about red-carpet fashion that will make you sound like an E! correspondent, Joan Rivers, or just some girl who yells at her TV a lot while watching the Golden Globes pre-show.

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Awards season arrives for real this Sunday night with the Golden Globes, and that means it's time to talk about fashion. But these things are about the movies, you plead! Well, yes, kind of, but they are also about stars being stars, which means they are about stars putting on ludicrously expensive clothing and looking pretty. It might be fairly chilly in Los Angeles — for Los Angeles, that is — but usually that doesn't change much on the red carpet, where what looks good trumps what feels good. Here's our guide to talking about red-carpet fashion that will make you sound like an E! correspondent, Joan Rivers, or just some girl who yells at her TV a lot when watching these things.

You will be talking about these starlets.

Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence are in a dead heat to win Best Actress (though they might each take home a prize this weekend, since the categories are split between comedy and drama). That, in addition to the fact that they are two really beautiful women, means they are also going to be two of the most talked about people fashion-wise.

Lawrence's fashion-icon status stems from this simple red number by Calvin Klein (a designer she hasn't removed from her roster), which she wore to the 2011 Oscars ceremony when she was up for Winter's Bone:

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That said, with darker hair for roles in The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook she's been going for darker, sparklier, and flashier looks. Lawrence recently showed up at the People's and Critics' Choice Awards wearing black, punk-y dresses:

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That said, Lawrence also comes off as not really caring quite as much as some other Hollywood gals. In this interview she barely remembers the designer of her get-up, leans off-camera for verification, and then jokes: "I'm wearing Valentino Couture and I know sooo much about it."

Now onto Chastain, who, as this segment from Today notes, is the face of Yves Saint Laurent, which may provide hints as to what she's going to wear. Her previous looks have prompted "old Hollywood" comparisons:

Associated Press 

She likes to go for a kind of ginger Veronica Lake look with her hair sometimes, like she did last night at the Critics' Choice Awards:

Associated Press

Chastain recently engaged in the I haven't chosen my dress yet game, which means she might be in Macy's right this minute trying things on. (Or she has a team of people with multiple designer gowns on hand, from which she can choose on a whim and look absolutely gorgeous.)

You can bet Anne Hathaway will make a statement.

Hathaway has had her fair share of wardrobe malfunctions — including one Thursday night — but based on her choices at multiple Les Misérables premieres it appeared that she's been going through a period that includes... a lot of capes. See here and here. We hope she's gotten over this phase. That said, we're not ruling out the possibility she'll make a statement with some sort of big bow like she wore the the National Board of Review Awards:

Associated Press

You should not bet on Adele wearing anything too wild.

The mega-hit singer is making her first appearance at the Globes since giving birth, and while we'd be eager to see something new from her, we're expecting 60s glam once more. She is, after-all, coming to all these events because of her throwback-y James Bond theme, we're guessing she'll stay on 007 trend:

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Joaquin Phoenix, however, he can be wild.

If any of the men will do something totally bizarre (other than Daniel Day-Lewis: see below) it will likely be Joaquin Phoenix. He looked fine on Thursday night, but can we be sure that — given his distaste for the awards junket — he won't show up looking like this?

Associated Press

You better believe Bradley Cooper is dressing up.

A tailored suit works on this man, and he's nominated for Best Actor this time around.

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You know Daniel Day-Lewis is slightly askew.

Never forget 1990:

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You must remember: a red carpet is always better with Helena Bonham Carter on it.

She's in Les Miz and her partner Tim Burton's animated film Frankenweenie is nominated. Here's hoping we see lots of her and her witchy getups this year:

Associated Press

And you should prepare for this kid. 

Though her film isn't nominated at the Globes, the Academy's youngest-ever Best Actress nominee, Beasts of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhané Wallis, will certainly be at the Oscars — and the discussion as to what she's going to wear has already started. Dressing a 9-year-old for one of these things is tricky. You want her to look nice, but not too nice. Precocious but not too-old-for-her-age. We just hope she keeps wearing her stuffed-animal purses:

Associated Press

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.