Reese WitherspoonElle Women In Hollywood Arrivals Los Angeles, USA 16 Oct 2017

The call for actresses to wear all black to the Golden Globes now has an official name — Time’s Up, an initiative formed by 300 of the most prominent women in entertainment, including everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Shonda Rhimes. And it’s more likely than not that designers will fall in line to accommodate them — even when the overarching message is asking audiences to focus on something other than the dress for one night.

“There are actresses who have called designers directly to request their [previously chosen] dress to be made in black,” said longtime stylist Jessica Paster, who is dressing several Globes-bound women. “Designers have always bent over backward to accommodate an actress if they can, and this is an amazing time to be a woman, so I think they will do whatever needs to be done. It’s not about the designer — it’s about the meaning behind the movement.”

Jessica Chastain in Givenchy.  Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

Naeem Khan is one such designer. A dress he custom-designed for presenter Christina Hendricks was originally made in gold.

“This was a big challenge in my world because everything I do is made by hand. As you can imagine, when you have 20 people working on a dress and you only have a week and a half to make these things between India and the U.S., it is always very difficult. The logistics of making it and shipping are tough, but I know will be worth it. [The gown] has been redesigned in a way that is specific to her personality and the empowered message we’re sending for the evening.”

Time’s Up, as reported in The New York Times, is a formal initiative that aims to protect women facing sexual harassment in all sectors of the workforce and push to bring parity to the executive suites at Hollywood studios and talent agencies. The black dresses are meant to be a sign of solidarity with victims of sexual harassment who have come forward in recent months with accusations against powerful men.

So far the dress code is limited to the Golden Globes, which means that it should be business as usual on the red carpet for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the slew of shows leading up to the Academy Awards on March 4.

Stylist Tanya Gill, who is dressing a best actress nominee for Sunday, said that the dress code isn’t causing any untenable disruptions for designers. “The quick shift from color to black fortunately happened soon after the Golden Globe nominations were announced [on Dec. 11] so not too much time was lost in the decision-making. However it was down to the wire as we were having a gown custom-made overseas that needed to be started immediately to be done in time.”

George Kotsiopoulos, who is styling another best actress nominee, supports the sentiment. “Maybe that’s why they are doing this — to say, ‘Screw you, you don’t get to look at fun fashion, focus on the issues.’”

He added, “As an event that’s known for fun fashion, it’s a shame, but I think it’s great that women are banding together and doing this. But it’s like, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. A lot of these women make a lot of money from the designers and brands.” All the more reason that it’s likely the no-color mandate won’t extend past the Globes.

“It’s not hard to find a beautiful black dress. It’s super slimming and hides a multitude of flaws and it’s much easier to photograph,” he added. “But they have to be spectacular so expect to see lots of embellishment and more artistry. Remember, it’s not a funeral, it’s a celebration of women’s talent.”

As for whether the viewers at home will tune in to watch a parade of black, Kotsiopoulos thinks they will. “It’s still a great form of escapism with everything else going on in the world. It just might be harder to spot the celebs because everyone will be in black,” he said.

Stylist Micah Schifman, who has worked with fashion favorite Diane Kruger over the years, said, “I’m actually excited about it. I’m hoping there will be heightened creativity because [designers] will have to work that much harder making runway looks black and taking risks to make sure there are out-of-the-box dresses. It’s still a great moment for a designer to shine. Personally I would put clients in black all day long if I could,” he said.

Schifman did note that non-nominees or actresses not dialed in with fashion houses will have the hardest time trying to cull the perfect dress from existing sample inventory. “There simply aren’t enough black dresses to support this past the Globes. Hopefully the statement will be made and we can move on,” he said.

Opined Khan, “I think that this is bigger than the business of fashion — it is to make a statement, which I feel is very necessary at this time. Of course, having a diverse array of pieces on the red carpet would have helped with sales and brand marketing, but I don’t feel this movement is about that. There is always a higher demand for certain designs when they are on the red carpet and I can see it being more so with pieces in black because they can come off as more accessible and easier to style.”

The stylists predict it will be a major moment for hair, makeup and jewelry, the latter of which is usually the afterthought to a red carpet look. As for the men, they will have it easy. Whether or not they got the memo, chances are they will be showing up in classic black tuxedos.

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