We always groan when we spy black on the red carpet, but at the Golden Globes this year, most of the women who went to the dark side managed to do so without being boring. By way of some clever detailing, chic embellishment, dramatic shapes and the odd thigh-high split, these ladies took the classic black gown to the next level...

Eva Longoria is Emilio Pucci

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Angelina Jolie, you've got a lot to answer for! Eva took off where Angie left off in the leg-flashing stakes in this custom-made Pucci gown which leaves little to the imagination. Long sleeves might add a touch of modesty, but that high split and cutout front make sure plenty of flesh is still on show. Well, if you've got it, flaunt it.

Helen Mirren in Badgley Mischka

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Looking better than most women half her age, Dame Helen Mirren stays true to her 'dresses with sleeves' mantra in this chic gown by Badgley Mischka. The gold embroidered panels shape the dress to every curve, and those little studs keep it looking youthful. This is effortless glam at it's best, and we'd expect nothing more from a dame!

Kate Hudson in Alexander McQueen

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Knocking it out the park in a McQueen gown, Kate looks better than ever. How is it that she's in the best shape of her life after having two kids? It doesn't look like she's calmed down the workout regime following her guest role on Glee - there's nowhere to hide in a clingy gown like this. We love the gold detail around the high neckline of this dress, and the waist cinching belt is an element we can all copy on a budget.

Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen

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Also looking glam in McQueen is Nicole Kidman, who opted for a column dress with a sheer boned lace section through the midriff and a slight mermaid hem. Gold embellishment on black dresses seems to be the key detail tonight, and on Nicole that comes in the form of sequin and beaded bees all around the neckline. This is a lovely dress, but it's not our favourite of the night - in the McQueen stakes, Kate definitely pips Nicole to the post.

Rachel Weisz in Louis Vuitton

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I think as fashion people we're supposed to love this quirky Louis Vuitton look, but we just don't. She and Zooey Deschanel should have swapped dresses.