Back in 2014, Hayden Panettiere was set on wearing Tom Ford to the Golden Globes. Only he wouldn’t loan her a frock, officially dressing just Naomi Watts that year. So she did the unthinkable. She bought her own garment, off the rack, and forked over her own, actual, Nashville-earned dollars for the black and white number.
That same year, Edie Falco wanted to wear Lanvin. So she went to a downtown store, picked out a stunner of a gown, and bought it.
Last year, Bryce Dallas Howard did the same, hitting up LA’s Neiman Marcus for her Jenny Packham dress. Because guess what? When you’re not a size zero, sartorial splendor doesn’t come easy. And often, you have to take matters of style into your own hands.
Back in the day, before she became a superstar, Melissa McCarthy couldn’t land a gown to save her life. Designers wouldn’t lend to her or custom-make anything, she said in an interview with Redbook. Bet they’re wishing for a Time Turner right about now.
It's so funny how there are no designers wanting to help me with a premiere dress for movie. Hmmm that will change and I remember everything
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) June 28, 2016
Some celebs opt for public shaming, rather than spending their own paychecks. Her fellow Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones made headlines last year when she unleashed her ire on social media that no one wanted to dress her for the film’s premiere. Christian Siriano, a favorite of Michelle Obama, came to the rescue.
On the one hand, there’s a major prestige factor to having a top-tier clothier make you something from scratch — as Valentino did for Jennifer Garner for the 2004 Oscars. And some fashion moments are timeless exactly because they’re one of a kind. Think of Gwyneth Paltrow in her gorgeous white Tom Ford caped creation at the 2012 Oscars. But the dresses, nine times out of ten, go back the next day. And some stars can feel beholden or pressured into wearing something they’re not utterly comfortable in, or infatuated with, because of deals made. And the photos live forever.
And it doesn’t hurt to remember that back in the day, the Globes took place in the afternoon and attendees attired themselves. Designers didn’t beg or fight to clothe anyone. Yes, folks, even Meryl Streep dug into her own closet and wore — as only the singular Streep would — her actual wedding dress when she was nominated for Kramer vs. Kramer, she said on the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show.