What’s in it for everyone? Well, the media exposure that a Golden Globes moment provides is undeniable, and can skyrocket brands to success (Reese Witherspoon for instance put Nina Ricci on the map when she wore a canary yellow cocktail frock to the 2008 Golden Globes). For makeup and hair stylists, being attached to an A-lister can provide major cache that can lead to endorsement deals and namesake beauty collections.
To find out just how much work goes in to getting a star Golden Globes ready, how many people are involved, and how much all of it costs, we talked with a range of experts behind the scenes on the secrets behind red carpet fashion moments. One thing is for certain—we’ll never look at a Golden Globes dress the same way again.
Gorgeous Red Carpet Fashion Moments Don’t Happen Overnight
A-listers aren’t grabbing gowns off of the rack for major awards shows like the Golden Globes. These looks tend to be one-of-a-kind, priced accordingly, and take months to select and create.
“There’s a lot of prep involved—we’re talking weeks!” stylist Micaela Erlanger, who is dressing a hot star for the Globes this year, told us. “From talking to the designers if you’re doing something custom or exclusive, to getting in touch and reserving the best looks and getting the samples in and then sending the samples out, and swapping, and of course fittings—it’s crazy.”
Part of the reason that stylists earn as much as they do is because securing a top notch red carpet look isn’t easy. “There are plenty of stylists and celebrities fighting for the same gown,” Erlanger explained. “It’s a real balancing act. It’s very much about business.”
While these gowns tend to be borrowed, or are a gift from a designer who wants red carpet exposure, they can easily run a fashion house upwards of $10,000. That means stars are usually only left with the cost of the stylist charged with putting the look together, though in many cases Hollywood studios have been known to cover those costs. Notably expensive past Golden Globes looks have included Charlize Theron’s $30,000 Christian Dior couture gown she wore last year, and Zooey Deschanel’s custom Prada gown which made headlines for its dramatic embellishments.
How Long Do Dark Circles Really Take to Cover Up?
Second only to a fabulous frock, the perfect hair and makeup are red carpet necessities. Getting a celebrity in prime awards show form takes hours. Often times, a specific brand will sponsor a star’s makeup for the night (like Chanel or Dior), and the brand will cover the cost for a makeup artist, as well as all of the products used.
Stars aren’t using any old makeup and hair person either, they are using the best talent out there—people like Kevin Mancuso, a celeb favorite and also Nexxus’ creative director. “Getting an actress ready for the Golden Globes can take anywhere from two to five hours,” Mancuso shared. “There are a few variables to consider, for example her style and hair texture, as well how much time she is willing to allow to get ready.”
While it’s almost impossible to pinpoint a ballpark figure for the amount of money spent for products, hair and makeup teams can run a staggering $10,000 for an event as time consuming as the Globes. Rates can be lower for celebrities who travel with a “glam squad” who they continually utilize. And again, often brands will cover the expenses for all of this. Regardless of who is picking up the check, it doesn’t come cheap.
The $5K Red Carpet Clutch
When it comes to red carpet bags, few brands have as much red carpet cache as Judith Leiber. The 50-year-old brand, known for its delicate clutches covered in crystals, is a mainstay come awards season. “Last year, we had 30 women carrying Leiber bags at the Golden Globes,” one of the brand’s spokespeople Lauren Ryan told us, including Stacy Keibler and Jane Fonda. “The process begins when the stylist sends us a picture of the dress they have in mind. We put together a selection of bags—usually around six—and send it to them.”
A brand like Judith Leiber generally lend its bags, which can cost upwards of $5,000, to the star for the big night, but in certain cases, they have gifted purses to A-listers.
Sky High Stilettos Don’t Come Cheap
These days, it’s rare to see shoes on the red carpet that retail for less than $1,000. Of course, many shoes from designers like Christian Louboutin exceed $3,000. Red carpet shoes have become an art form all their own, with brands like Stuart Weitzman designing special edition red carpet shoes (remember Laura Harring’s $1 million Oscar shoes from back in 2002?). Considering shoes are frequently photographed on the red carpet, it is often worth it for brands to invest in creating something memorable.
Jewels That Require Armed Guards
Jewelry tends to be the finishing touch to the ensemble, and securing pricy baubles is as difficult as getting an exclusive designer gown. “You propose the event and the client, and you go in and take a look—it’s always better to look at jewelry in person to see the size of the piece,” stylist Erlanger explained. Eventually, a guard delivers the pieces to the stylist who takes it to their client. If all goes according to plan, the star wears the jewelry down the red carpet and returns it soon after.
Stars are borrowing seriously major pieces these days, and generally all goes off without a hitch—except in some cases. Just two years ago, “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks misplaced a $850,000 Chopard bracelet at the Golden Globes. After a brief panic, it was found outside of the auditorium. Although this seems like a staggeringly high price, actresses are borrowing jewelry that can add up to around $5 million, like Sofia Vergara did for last year’s Golden Globes.
When all is said and done it can easily run upwards of $78,000 to get a star Golden Globes ready factoring in the stylist fee, dress, shoes, purse, and hair and makeup team (and that’s not even factoring in the seriously expensive fine jewelry that stars borrow for the big night). Besides the cost, it’s a process that takes weeks and a small army of people. 16.8 million people tuned in to the Golden Globes last year, which explains why stars are simply not in the position to cut corners when it comes to looking anything but perfect.
Click through the gallery above for a look at some of the most expensive Golden Globes looks ever!