Stars Reveal: How Do You Go to the Bathroom in a Red Carpet Dress?

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Bryce Dallas Howard at the Golden Globes (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

The fashion hazards of being a woman on the awards-carpet circuit are well known: How to keep an elaborate, smooth gown unwrinkled in a limo? How to best deploy a rear-guard team to keep people from stepping on your train? How to delicately apply double-sided tape to avoid pulling a Janet Jackson? And how to grit your teeth through cams both mani- and glam- without actually having shards of incisors shoot out of your mouth? Women have gamely shared such travails when asked, but there is one area that reporters have been too delicate to broach — until now: Can you actually pee in these gowns?

It takes years to gain the kind of respect in the entertainment-reporting industry needed to pull off such a question (respect likely lost after asking it), but this reporter bravely posed it to female attendees at last weekend’s SAG Awards and Entertainment Weekly fete at the Chateau Marmont, as well as last month’s Golden Globes. Here, the results of our behind-the-seams investigation.

First lesson: While high-slit dresses may seem provocative, they’re also utilitarian. “It has a huge high slit,” said Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland, wearing J. Mendel on the Golden Globes red carpet. “So it’s just ‘pull back!'”

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Sarah Silverman at the SAG Awards (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Bryce Dallas Howard maintained a better-safe-than-sorry game plan of just never using the bathroom: "It’s not happening today,” she said. However, just moments before this she had told us she planned to drink lots of water, a hydration plan seemingly at odds with her no-lavatory strategy. “I shouldn’t,” she conceded, then burst out laughing. “I’m glad you reminded me.”

The Orange Is the New Black cast may be used to wearing shapeless orange and tan prison garb, but the show has been enough of an awards magnet that, collectively, the group has spent more than their fair share of time in gala wear. At the SAGs red carpet, before the show would go on to win Best Ensemble, Laura Prepon wore Carmen Marc Valvo. “Ladies-room friendly? Oh, my God, it totally is. It’s super flowy, and I’m not wearing some sort of crazy body suit underneath it.” But she admitted that she has, in fact, worn creations that were complete no-go’s. “Natasha [Lyonne] and I were at an award show in the bathroom, and we were both trying to get each other into our dresses in the bathroom. The struggle is real.”

OITNB’s Kimiko Glenn admitted there was a high degree of difficulty. “I have a lot of tape,” she said at the SAGs. “But actually it does fit very well, so I don’t think it’s going to move. I have faith in it. But it’s a process. There is a body suit underneath, so I’m worried if I have to pee, how I’m going to maneuver that, because there are like five zippers and hooks to deal with. But I’m hoping one of the ladies there will help me out.” (Where’s Natasha Lyonne when you need her?) Co-star Adrienne C. Moore was wearing a gown created by Ellan Zelie, a local California artist. “She designs for plus size,” said Moore. “I told her I wanted something comfortable, but powerful and bold and beautiful and elegant.” But would it function in the W.C.? “Yes, there is a split and a hole that will make everything go away, if you know what I’m saying.” As a man, this reporter wasn’t entirely sure what she was saying, but we assume others will.

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‘OITNB’ costar Adrienne C. Moore at the SAG Awards (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images )

The OITNB cast having been grilled, Scandal’s Bellamy Young enthusiastically said her dress was nature’s-call-friendly. “Easily, yes. [This dress] goes right up! But I’ve been in that situation,” she said. “At the [NAACP] Image Awards the first year, I got to the bathroom, and I was in this beautiful fishtail gown. And it had never occurred to me, and I had to get three strangers to help me out of my gown, wait for me to pee and put me back into it.”

A close-talking Heidi Klum enjoyed making this reporter squirm at her response (you get what you deserve!). “Yes, yes!” she answered at the Golden Globes. “I just lift…” and then she mimed a very graphic demonstration of bathroom maneuvers. “Was that a little bit too direct for you?”

Emilia Clarke at the HBO Globes after party (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

At HBO’s Globes afterparty, Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke stressed that her dress was bathroom friendly, and that was by design. “I didn’t want to have something where I felt restricted. I wear enough corsets and bum rolls in my day job.”

And finally, back at the SAGs red carpet, nominee Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back) wasn’t stopping for any reporters — but when she heard the serious nature of our inquiry, she rushed back to weigh in. “I cannot pee in it,” she revealed to Yahoo (exclusively!). “But I brought a wide-mouth Snapple bottle.”

Watch a video about the awesome ladies of the Golden Globes: