Stylist Kate Young with dresses she selected for the Golden Globes.
Stylist Kate Young with a selection of her favorite Golden Globes dresses.

How Stylist Kate Young Selects Gowns for the Golden Globes

The New York–based stylist begins planning for the year’s first major award show months in advance.
By Tiffany Jow
May 11, 2021
4 minute read

From a fashion perspective, the Golden Globes stands apart from other award shows for its timing: The event, during which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honors film and television stars, typically takes place just after New Year’s Day. This makes procuring gowns a challenge, because designers haven’t shown new collections since the fall. “All the movies that are nominated have had premiers and press, they’ve been to film festivals—so there really aren’t that many dresses left at that point,” says stylist Kate Young in the ninth episode of Hello Fashion (created with The Slowdown), noting that she usually starts working on Globes outfits around Halloween. For the episode, Young describes her process of preparing her clients for the event, and shares some of her favorite gowns.

Young begins her planning by thinking about the designers she wants to work with. She contacts them and collects sketches of their ideas, which Young reviews with her client and whittles down to one or two top choices. It’s common for Young to select a “back-up dress” in anticipation of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the BAFTA Awards, or other red carpet events that are just around the corner. “If one dress doesn’t get worn, it will get worn a week later,” she says. Once a design is chosen, Young schedules up to six fittings with a client. Her team then disperses for the holiday, and reconvenes in Los Angeles for the show.

The resulting looks reflect the spirit of the actress who’s wearing them. Young chose the Chanel couture fall 2014 dress that actress Dakota Johnson wore to the 2015 Golden Globes for its simple silhouette—an understated shape that nods to Johnson’s classic sense of style. Hundreds of tiny concrete squares, intermixed with hand-embroidered beads and crystals, cover the garment’s bandeau-like top. “It’s literally the most mundane material mixed with the highest quality, most refined workmanship in the world,” Young says. Another standout is the spring 2019 Celine dress with a frilly white top that actress Rachel Weisz wore when she was nominated for The Favourite in 2019. “I love this because it reminds me of a ruff,” Young says, referencing the pleated neckpieces worn in the 16th and 17th centuries. “The Favourite was about a queen. I like the idea that we were referencing English royalty.” The dress first appeared on the runway as a minidress, but Young had it lengthened to create a slim, black matte column.

The Louis Vuitton spring 2017 dress that Michelle Williams wore to the 2017 event also involved the reworking of a runway look. Made from embroidered velvet lace and accessorized with a black ribbon choker (Young’s way of making the look both modern and “very Michelle”), the gown, designed by the fashion house’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquiere, incorporates fabric, techniques, and shapes that were a signature of the collection in which it first appeared. “When I work with Nicolas on dresses, we usually use elements from the show,” Young says. “There are elements of [the designers’] latest collections in all of these gowns. They don’t just come out of nowhere.”

Watch new and previous episodes of Kate Young’sYouTube show Hello Fashion at