When celebrities gathered in Los Angeles on Saturday night for the 11th annual LACMA Art + Film Gala, the temperature was hovering just below 60 degrees, practically freezing by Southern California standards. Attendees at the event took off their overcoats and prepped themselves to face the temperature as they walked the red carpet and could be reunited with the coat’s warmth on the other side. Many of the guests, however, were prepared in one very specific way. While their shoulders or legs were bare, their hands and arms were covered thanks to the help of one of the most ubiquitous accessories on the red carpet—gloves.
Gloves have been taking over red carpets to the point where hardly one has gone by recently without at least one attendee wearing the trend. The recent LACMA gala saw the apex of gloves’ popularity when about a dozen guests showed up with covered hands. It was the perfect showcase of the accessory’s variety with stars showing off every color, length, and fabric one could think of. First, there was the more BDSM-inspired latex and leather look, sported by Olivia Wilde, Jared Leto, and Kim Kardashian. Wilde opted for bright red latex opera-length gloves to accessorize her purple and silver chevron Gucci dress, while Leto wore a short black leather pair that actually looked like they may have provided him with some warmth. Still on her Balenciaga kick, and therefore used to covering her entire body in one fabric, Kardashian arrived in a dress paired with black gloves as well, and while her’s could have easily been rendered in neoprene, if not leather, they allowed for the same effect either way.
And this specific trend has hardly been relegated to the LACMA gala. Latex and leather gloves have been popping up everywhere. Taylor Russell and Kerry Washington brought them to the Academy Gala last month, while Maude Apatow added some edge to her classic, emerald green Saint Laurent dress at the Elle Women in Hollywood event a few days later. They also seem to be popular among the musician set, with Lady Gaga wearing a pair to her recent launch with Dom Perignon, while Rihanna added some slouched, khaki-colored leather gloves to her Rick Owens sequin dress at the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere.
But back to Saturday night for a moment, because if the gloves weren’t leather or latex, chances are, they were sheer. Take the Gucci-monogrammed ones Billie Eilish paired with her silk pajama set, or Salma Hayek’s embellished ombré pair. There was also Quinta Brunson, who went simple with sheer black opera gloves, solidifying her love for the style after she also wore very similar ones in brown to the Emmys back in September. Again, this look has been everywhere. Michaela Coel wore a pair similar to Brunson’s to one of the Black Panther premieres, while Dua Lipa wore Burberry monogrammed gloves to meet the Queen Consort last month. Sheer gloves aren’t as attention-grabbing as their leather brethren, but they can add a touch of elegance, edge, or personality to an outfit, without eclipsing the rest of the ensemble.
And then that leaves us with the third type we’ve seen recently, which is likely most akin to the classic opera gloves of yore—just a good ol’ fashion fabric glove. Some are satin, others more of a matte jersey. They come lace-covered, with attached nails, or exaggerated sleeves. We’ve seen it all. Alessandra Ambrosio wore a pair with thimbles on the fingers to the LACMA gala, while Nicola Peltz and Alexa Demie proved at the Academy Gala that, sometimes, simple black is all you need. Kathryn Hahn and Beyoncé have lead the way with their dramatic sleeves, and Dua Lipa is back to wearing colorful lace pairs on her “Future Nostlagia” tour. Clearly, whatever style you’re going for, there’s a glove for you.
And then there are some that just cannot be categorized, like this sequin and fringe-covered Gucci pair Jodie Turner-Smith wore to the LACMA gala. The actress brought the accessory to life on the red carpet as she shook her hands and matching dress.
The current trend makes sense. Gloves have been all over the runways lately, especially during the recent spring/summer 2023 presentations. Dior, Gucci, Givenchy, and Simone Rocha showed the accessories in limitless varieties, while Demna debuted a bag with a built in glove at Balenciaga.
Though, let’s not pretend gloves are the newest, never-before-seen trend, they’ve been around practically as long as hands. For centuries, gloves have been worn all over the world. The opera style, which hit above the elbow, are thought to have originated around the late 18th century, while shorter gloves were worn over a hundred years before. Every few decades, there’s a resurgence, and it’s clear, we’re in one right now. So, get used to not seeing celebs hands for quite awhile. It seems like gloves aren’t going anywhere for now.