It was the question on everyone’s lips leading up to the Golden Globes: “What will Amal wear?” Well, the new Mrs. Clooney certainly made headlines with her first major red carpet appearance.
Pairing long white gloves with a black Dior gown, Alamuddin set social media ablaze and divided critics. Most colorfully, Kathy Griffin of E!'s "Fashion Police" said they reminded her of an X-rated movie, while co-host Kelly Osbourne felt they’d be more at home on “a vet helping a calf be born.” Harsh!
Her sartorial choice — and the intense reaction it elicited — has us obsessed with one simple question: Are evening gloves making a comeback? Let’s take a look back at the fashion icons who originally made gloves look so glamorous, and see how Alamuddin’s accessory choice stacks up against the greats.
Ladies of the Downton era
Like girdles, tiaras and a taste for aspic, gloves were a mainstay of elite British society from the Edwardian era through the 1920s. Lady Mary and her ilk would have had multiples to choose from, including short, lacy gloves for picnics and walks and opera-length gloves for dinners and dances.
In the 1946 film "Gilda, Rita Hayworth proved just how sexy gloves can be as she slowly removed hers during a dancing scene. On-screen and off, Hayworth wore glittering jewels over her gloves — a styling trick Marilyn Monroe would later copy.
Costume designers’ love affair with gloves continued into the 1950s when Marilyn Monroe dazzled audiences in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her pink-on-pink ensemble launched a decade of debutantes and socialites seeking gloves to perfectly match their candy-colored frocks.
When soon-to-be-princess Grace Kelly took home an Oscar in 1955, she wore a draped, ice blue satin gown and long white gloves. It’s a look many would copy, but few would execute so flawlessly.
Our arguably chicest First Lady loved gloves throughout her life, particularly in the 1950s and '60s, when she wore them to nearly every state dinner and White House ball. She even donned short white gloves at her wedding. In fact, the vast majority of her gloves were white, but certain outfits — a leopard print suit and a polka dot blazer, for example — called for short black gloves.
From "Funny Face" to "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," many key moments in Audrey Hepburn’s inimitable career featured demure gloves; A natural complement to her full skirts, classic pearls and winged liner.
Vivian Ward (aka Julia Roberts)
In 1990’s "Pretty Woman," immaculate white gloves represented Vivian’s transformation into an elegant fashion plate. She wore short gloves to stomp divots, medium-length to go shopping on Rodeo Drive and full-length opera gloves with that famous red dress to see "La Traviata."
As the ultimate ‘90s style icon, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy was known for wearing minimalist, perfectly tailored silhouettes in black, white, gray or camel. Long, tight-fitting gloves paired perfectly with her favorite eveningwear, while sheer white gloves added a touch of romance to her famously sleek wedding dress.
Sarah Jessica Parker
In the past decade, Sarah Jessica Parker’s been one of fashion’s biggest proponents of gloves. But, unlike Amal, Parker wears them with a risk-taking attitude rather than a reverence to Old Hollywood.