01/13/2012 04:50 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2012

The Season's Other Playoffs

This Sunday's Golden Globes Awards kick off Hollywood's lengthy awards show season, or in fashion terms, the playoffs. Those actresses designerly decked throughout the year for store openings and museum benefits will finally fight for the title of winner-take-all, red carpet stardom.  

And in their packs are the dozens of coaches and trainers -- public relations teams camped out in fittings at the Beverly Hills Hotel and stylists recklessly navigating L.A. highways -- all in a prayer that the young, leggy, "It" girl of today dons their straight-from-the-runway ensembles.
With a roster of sartorial starters -- Michelle Williams, Charlize Theron and Tilda Swinton, among them -- this fashion fan can only hope these women will play as aggressively on the carpet as they have in the past. Swinton is one player who goes big on offense with avant-garde looks by Lanvin, Prada and Haider Ackermann. Additionally, all eyes will be on break out star, Rooney Mara, whose 2011 red carpet moments echoed her on-screen persona. Call her a luxe Lisbeth Salander -- throughout the year she donned edgy, cutout pieces by Rodarte, Alexander Wang and Givenchy in an array of neutral hues. It is up to these women to fight for the win, to shrug off the same old strapless, jewel-toned strategy.

It's time to change up the offensive. Last year's MVPs were as rehearsed and staged as the actual show -- their chandelier earrings as systematically placed as the teleprompters from which they recited their lines. With some support from Theron, in a plunging something, no doubt, and Williams, whose past looks have been daring -- if not always winning -- Mara should lead the team into the fashion end zone. It wouldn't be at all surprising if freshman funny gal Kristen Wiig also snuck into the goal with a sophisticated ensemble flaunting her sinewy silhouette.

With a little faith, today's fashion starters will play aggressively, tactfully and passionately. Change is in the air this play-off season, and it's anyone's game at the red carpet showdown.