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A winter chill may have descended upon typically sunny Beverly Hills Sunday, but spring had definitely sprung on the 61st Annual Golden Globes red carpet. Silk, satin and chiffon confections in the prettiest colors captured the fun, flighty spirit of Hollywood’s favorite party.

This story first appeared in the January 27, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“I’m done with all my black and I’m just happy to wear something festive,” said Diane Lane, who arrived in a coral, floral, draped chiffon Bill Blass, of which she mused: “I liked the fact that I didn’t have to suck it in.”

Neither did Joely Richardson, who floated in behind Lane in an empire-waisted peacock-print Matthew Williamson. “You can’t take these things too seriously. The Globes are all about fun and fashion.”

And serious fashion powerhouses Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman and Best Actress winners Charlize Theron and Sarah Jessica Parker clearly had a ball with their looks, too. For Parker, getting the gown — a pearl gray tulle Chanel Couture — was half the fun. “I was just in Paris shooting for two weeks and had the good fortune to hang out with Karl Lagerfeld!”

Once again, Kidman set herself apart from the smooth-as-silk pack in a coin-speckled sheer sheath by Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent that the house held back just for her following the spring Paris show. “I call it my wiggle dress,” she giggled of her flapper-channeling. It may have been her tribute to Ford, as she offered, but the gold Boucheron metallic scarf she strapped around her mop of curls inspired a gasp of dismay heard ’round the world.

Still, she wasn’t the only one summoning the goddesses of the Roaring Twenties and Thirties. In more womanly Harlow style, Thurman took to Versace, and Evan Rachel Wood, a ruffled Prada slip. Brittany Murphy dazzled in a sparkling, mint Dolce & Gabbana and Jennifer Lopez looked almost subdued in a crisscrossed tangerine Michael Kors — though some angles of that plunging neckline begged for a little more support. “I was going for Judy Garland,” said Joan of Arcadia starlet Amber Tamblyn of her Reem Acra gown, while a Valentino-clad Portia De Rossi purred, “I wish I were Lauren Bacall. It’s the one time of the year you can be over-the-top glamorous, so why not?”

Despite the preponderance of pinks (Kim Cattrall’s vintage Valentino, Queen Latifah’s Bradley Bayou for Halston and Elisha Cuthbert’s Monique Lhuillier), yellows (Theron’s Christian Dior) and other pastels, there were a small-yet-mighty contingent of babes in black: Sofia Coppola in cocktail-length Azzedine Alaïa and flats; Christina Ricci in vintage Madame Gres from Lily et Cie; Alicia Silverstone in original Rita Watnik Couture for Lily et Cie; Catherine Zeta-Jones in sleek Oscar de la Renta; Jennifer Aniston’s Valentino, and Mary Louise Parker’s sexy, post-pregnancy Chaiken. Anne Hathaway of “The Princess Diaries” embodied youth in a black ruffled vintage Halston party dress: “It makes me feel special and pretty and everything that you should feel on a big night.”

In a night of overwhelming hits, there were only a few misses, but they were hardly of the Lara Flynn Boyle magnitude. Scarlett Johansson’s nude-colored, corseted Stella McCartney fell short of capturing her charm, though she offered: “I’m very proud of this dress. When I saw the sketch, I thought, ‘It’s one of those dresses you wish someone would wear but they never do.’” How very “Gone with the Wind” was Jennifer Garner’s ombré lilac-to-lavender Zac Posen, which looked like granny’s drapes? Meryl Streep herself good-naturedly admitted to TV land the pitfalls of sheer when she noted on stage that everyone could no doubt see through her Noriko Maeda tulle tutu. And though white was a popular choice, Diane Keaton’s Richard Tyler coatdress was ruined by those spandex gloves. Luckily, her Best Actress win managed to outshine the outfit. “Reality isn’t so bad,” she said. “Everyone wants the fantasy, but reality is OK with me.”