By  on January 18, 2012

At the Stella McCartney store party last week, Lorne Michaels explained why athletes often do so well hosting “Saturday Night Live.”

Unlike actors, he said, athletes are “used to working in front of big audiences without knowing the outcome.”

That insight may (with a little editorial manipulation) shed light on why, this past weekend, football completely trumped the Golden Globes for entertainment value: the former, two days of fabulousness; the latter, several hours of snoozola — sartorially speaking.

The football games had suspense (four lead changes in the last four minutes, 49ers-Saints); a blow to the faithful or the triumph of reason, depending upon your side (Patriots-Broncos), and the fall of the mighty (Giants-Packers).

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The Globes had a whole lot of fashion ho-hum. And when it comes to the awards circuit, the (mercifully) toned-down Ricky Gervais notwithstanding, the clothesare the entertainment. Sunday night’s baseline look was pretty. Hollywood is populated by beautiful, mostly extremely thin women who have at their disposal the very best the worlds of fashion, jewelry and beauty have to offer. Of course they look pretty when they get all decked out. But must pretty swing so boring?

That’s where Michaels’ pith comes in. The Globes, and all fetes on the major awards circuit, are live events played out before massive television audiences and more than a few official critics (who may or may not know much about fashion), most of whom play to that mass TV audience and some of whom relish the cheap laugh that mocks the beautiful and famous. Which is to say, many of the morning-after critics celebrate the tried-and-true, the retro, the Charles James homage, and most importantly, the formfitting, at the expense of anything that might look remotely new, fresh, interesting or the slightest bit anti-cookie cutter. The irony is that the biggest style icon of the day is Lady Gaga. No matter how out-there her look, she garners raves from critics and audiences alike. And for a reason: She takes chances, she’s audacious, she’s herself. Most other celebrities seem held to the extreme opposite standard, the more devoid of personality, the better. Unless a woman is overtly wacky, and preferably young — Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry — she’s celebrated for not rocking the fashion boat.

 

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