Standing O or Hell No: Oscars 2017

Emma Stone may be the only La La Land cast member still smiling after that Best Picture blunder.

Lent begins Wednesday which is disconcerting to me on many levels (but perhaps not as disconcerting as being told you won Best Picture and then NO! There’s a mix up and you, well, LOST and have to slink back to your seat after having already thanked the Academy, the world, and your first grade teacher.)  Back to Lent.

As many of you are aware, during Lent it’s customary to either give something up for 40 days or do something extra.  Given the current political climate, I’ve decided to give up negativity.  However, now that I’ve imposed a giant looming stop watch onto my fashion critiquing, allow me to purge my negativity while there’s still time.   In the spirit of saving the best for last, it seems fitting to begin with this atrocity:

Did she steal a page from Scarlet O’Hara’s playbook and tear down her dining room drapes to fashion this dress?

When Dakota Johnson emerged onto the carpet in this Gucci number I emitted a high-pitch squeal that only dogs and ghosts could hear.  Somehow this photo is forgiving her a few sins but note that despite its pretty and appropriate color, this dress was too long, too wrinkled, and most egregiously sported that ridiculous bow.  Toss in the un-glamorous and unflattering hair and the drab make up and you know what you get?  A HELL NO!

Bows should have gotten an Oscar for Leading Nemesis last night.  First Dakota and then this:

I love Leslie Mann.  Love.  She is adorable and funny.  And so I feel agitated that this dress was im-Posened on her.  (See what I did there?  The dress is by Zac Posen and he, well, okay, you get it.)  I don’t know if Zac was inspired by the upcoming feature film Beauty in the Beast but this appears to be some weird wrinkled version of Belle’s dress.  Hell No.

 

Even the background and carpet are in overt agreement that she should win.

As Lent would dictate, let’s turn the other cheek and begin to appreciate all that was good on the carpet last night.  Despite the overall absence of color and heavy reliance on metallics several women still stunned.  But to be honest, I wasn’t calling for smelling salts over any one of the dresses.  Instead, my favorite looks were the sum of all parts.  My most favorite (and a perfect example of the equation I reference) was Emma Stone.  She brought so much gravity to her big moment with her flawless hair and make up.  Her Givenchy dress was quite pretty but, for me, it was more about how every element came together. To steal a word from her acceptance speech she was a confluence of old Hollywood glamour, modern beauty, and charisma.  Standing O for her overall look and for her big win!

Speaking of Emma and flawless hair and make up…

Proving that it doesn’t hurt to have Julia Roberts in your gene pool.

I wasn’t a fan of Emma Roberts’s Armani Prive gown and so I won’t bother to feature it (and her chest-thong), but her head was perfection and I’d be remiss not to comment on it.  Standing O for her stupendous hair and make-up (and natural beauty of course).

 

Sheer elegance.

Hailee Steinfeld wore an extremely sheer Ralph and Russo dress that was very pretty but would not have bowled me over had her make up and hair not agreed with it so perfectly.  Overall, though, she was luminous and abounded with modern elegance.  Standing O!

 

Don’t get me wrong, this black Dior is classic and lovely but it is not earth shattering; And it would not have catapulted Kirsten Dunst onto my best dressed list had she not supplied the incredible body, gorgeous make up and hair, and understated but completely on point necklace.  Standing O for taking a simple look and elevating it to greatness!

 

Who me??

There is something very Alexis Colby about Taraji P Henson in this Alberta Ferretti.  Taraji looks like she could just as easily toss a glass of champagne in someone’s face as she could accept an Oscar.  Her gown is elegant but the success of this look is a testament to the attitude which she is bringing to that slit and that neckline.  Bonus points for her new shorter hair – tousled, modern, and gorgeous!  Standing O!

I wasn’t a fan of Ryan Gosling’s ruffled tux shirt last night yet I cannot callously omit him from my post like the Academy did from the Best Leading Actor win.  So here’s a shot from La La Land where his sartorial game soared:

I will take refuge in this photo when mid-Lent my resolve starts to waiver and I feel the urge to dissect a look ungenerously.  With great looks, Ryan, comes great responsibility and you will need to help see me through.

Standing O or Hell No: The Grammys 2017

If awards season is a marathon and the Golden Globes is fashion responding to the starting pistol, then the Grammys is fashion at mile 19 clutching its heart and wondering where all the oxygen went.  Except for a few ladies, most choices seemed to be the product of extreme hypoxia to the brain.

Adele looked exceptional in a green Givenchy (above) nailing fit and color simultaneously.  Also nailing the Big Win.  Standing O!

I rarely like this kind of a thing because it often reads as unnecessarily complicated, but Chrissy Teigen owned this tie up/cut out/sheer/printed gown with fringe on the bottom and feather accents on top.  Ok, I could do without the fringe on the bottom but somehow this is a successful look and I’m not even sure how.  Sheer hotness and force of will?  Standing O!

 

I will admit that there is a slight whiff of Ice Capades around the fabric of this Zuhair Murad gown but overall Celine harnessed her exceptional poise and appeared polished and regal and pretty.  Standing O!

 

It’s concerning to me that Tom Ford would callously sacrifice so many Fraggles to make this dress.  It is unconscionable: Hell No!

If you are Rihanna and this is your NIGHT, would you be so torn about what to wear that you’d dress your bottom half for a cotillion and your top half (okay maybe top quarter) for the gym?  No, no you would not.  And Hell No, Ri Ri.

Super Bowl LI: The Halftime Show

While in this outfit, I wish she would’ve covered that song Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys.

I’m of the opinion that Gaga did herself a disservice by incorporating all of those cool drones into the beginning of her performance.  They looked like fireworks, they took the shape of the American Flag, they were a stunning sight!  I felt distinctly cheated the moment the drones took their leave and we had to focus on the actual show again.  Don’t get me wrong, Gaga WORKS when she is asked to perform.  She offers up her heart and soul and it is always evident.  But despite her hustle, I felt the performance was anticlimactic.  Typically her voice is so extraordinary that I can listen to her sing most anything but the way she did her mash-up last night, all of her songs felt like the same song with slight variations.  And then her costumes left me wanting.  Clearly, in my view, this is where the mortal sin occurred.

The Versace she opened with was definitely my favorite (I can envision a moment in time where Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and I all converge on the last of this pair of boots and have to wrestle it out. Be warned, ladies, that I am prepared to fight a legion of marauders to secure these.  Sharpen thy nails.)  But the body-suit was not that different than what we’ve seen her in a hundred times before – something sparkly and sharp shouldered.  Zzzzzz.

I’m fairly sure this image will appear in my nightmare tonight.

And then the spiky golden bolero.  When you are renowned for having donned a meat dress, this sorta fails to excite.  It’s only a hair away from what I would wear in my actual daily life.  Then she went and saved the worst for last:

This begs the time-worn question: Are fishnets ever really a good idea?

This particular ensemble inspired this thoughtful commentary from a friend’s 5 year old: Daddy, why is she wearing a Chinese food container?  From the mouth of babes!  I will say, though, that her face looks GREAT here and for that I applaud.  But in the end I guess I wanted some really fun moment – something playful and unpolitical kinda like the Beyonce/Bruno Mars dance-off from last year’s show.  Instead I walked away talking about the drones.

Standing O or Hell No: The SAG Awards

When Los Angeles secedes, they should make this dress into their flag. It is representative on so many levels.

Judging from the barrage of texts/emails I received between last night and today, many of you are seeing red.  And I am not talking about the color of the SAG carpet.  The consensus seems to be that you are largely underwhelmed by the looks that were trotted out for last night’s SAG awards.  Even the heavy-hitters disappointed (EMMA STONE – AHEM!).  I agree by-and-large but still feel there were a few truly stand-out looks that justified the 2.5 hour tv binge it took to glean them.  Case and point: my absolute favorite of the evening was Yara Shahidi.  Irrespecitve of her clothing, she is an ethereal beauty but add this resplendent Naeem Khan and she is singing in a choir of angels.  The intricate beading was arresting and made this gown the perfect choice for SAG because it had a sense of occasion and yet didn’t take itself too seriously.  The stripes and color brought levity at a time when it is much needed.  The way she worked this piece was extraordinary.  Take a peek:

Standing O!

While we are on the topic of stripes (one we are not going to depart from anytime soon), allow me to present my second favorite:

In case you needed an example, this is what confidence looks like.

Michelle Dockery was topping my chart until Yara showed up at which time I had to bump her down to number 2.  Even as runner-up she is glorious, and for many of the same reasons I cited for Yara – the color, the stripes, the levity! Perfect choice.  She looks refined and sophisticated and completely on point for the SAG red carpet thanks in large part to Elie Saab for designing this beauty.  Standing O!

Apologies for the redundancy but stripes were the hot ticket last night.  Witness Michelle Williams:

I can’t decide what shimmers more – her dress or her skin.

I adore a liquid metal dress and she/Louis Vuitton are using this concept to great effect. Her figure looks flawless as does her make up and hair (which, magically, seems to weigh in between a gold and silver color).  She is almost achingly beautiful and when I reflect on her performance in Manchester By the Sea, the word devastating comes to mind.  It’s applicable to this look and to that role in equal measures.  My only criticism is the choker.  I’ve never been a fan, and while I think that it does break up the real estate between the deep v and her head, I would’ve liked to see some sort of long and delicate chain instead.  At any rate – Standing O!

There’s simply too much negativity in the world right now and so I am opting out of a Hell No.  Instead, let’s evaluate a look that seems to be stuck in everyone’s craw (pun absolutely intended):

At this point she’s been beaten down but she needs to OWN this look because it is fabulous. In the immortal words of Taylor Swift: And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate / Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / I shake it off, I shake it off

I refuse to climb aboard the hate train where this Gucci gown is involved.  I fully support a red-head in green and this particular shade is glorious!  I also truly dig the feathers on her shoulders – they are luminous and unexpected and lovely.  And I’m not mad at her for the parrot heads – they are fun and shimmery and represent a risk which, I argue, paid off.  If I could tweak any part of this, I’d have made that a tight fitting straight skirt with a slit but these are minor details.  I love that she chose this dress at this time for this event.  She certainly has the wattage to carry it off.  Therefore I would like to request that everyone get OFF OF HER BACK (AND SHOULDERS!!) FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!!!  Initially I was on the fence about giving her a Standing O but feel I need to come out strong on this one since there is so much dissent.  So let me go on record: Standing O for keeping it interesting!

Lily-Rose Depp Visually Mic-Drops in Chanel

The magnitude of these ruffles!!

I suppose when you are born to this:

the odds of you being unattractive are extremely slim.  But given all of her inherent advantages in life, need Lily-Rose Depp have been created quite this flawlessly:

You could julienne vegetables with those cheek bones!

Could she not have one merciful imperfection from which the rest of us could take comfort? The answer, clearly, is no.  Not only the unbelievably good genes and the famous/rich parents but today she got to wear the gown in which I regularly float in my dreams to CLOSE THE CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE SHOW (see lead photo).   I’m sure you gleaned from my excessive use of capitals that the most heralded position in a show’s line up is the close. She is only 17.  Is it possible that she has figured out how to channel all of the magic left in the universe directly to her house?  Regardless, let us marvel at the back of this gown and enjoy the proportions of vast ruffles juxtaposed with the tiniest conceivable waist:

Which leads me to my only criticism of this look and it is not of her but rather of the fit of this piece on her.  She is so incredibly tiny that the thick satin belt appeared to orbit her waist like a star to the sun. But I have a solution for this and it’s called a milkshake.  Problem solved.

Standing O or Hell No: People’s Choice Awards

It cannot be denied that girlfriend knows how to work an angle. And I mean that in every conceivable way.

The People’s Choice Awards happened Wednesday night.  What’s that?  You weren’t aware?  Well, apparently no one was except for J Lo who alone brought her A Game.  Let it be said that, like Naomi, she must also collude with The Devil because the years pass by and she remains perfectly…perfect (her love life not withstanding).  Here she looks like the sexiest version of Morticia Addams I have ever seen.  (Drake can be Gomez!) This entire look delights me as does her agelessness: Standing O!

However, aside from J Lo pretty much everyone else failed to dazzle.  And by “failed” I’m specifically referring to this unholy trio:

Everything from the kneecap up should be discarded.

It is never advisable to turn your breasts into a sleep mask.

This will teach her to tango with a Harlequin clown.

Hell No!

Standing O or Hell No: Golden Globes 2017

74th Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Fashion Gods: I’d like to wear this dress for all eternity. Thank you.

I can’t wait until I actually achieve something significant because what I learned on Golden Globes Sunday is that you are a terrifically supportive group!  All day I received messages to this general tune: CONGRATULATIONS! AWARD SEASON IS IN FULL SWING!  It was the functional equivalent of the time my son brought home a life-sized soccer trophy and when I high-fived him for the obviously extraordinary effort he was being commended for, he told me that everyone received one. That being said, even though I cannot take credit for the entirety of the Golden Globes PER SE, in spirit I was inside every dressing room cheering on the attendees.  And so, for that, I will accept your fine congratulations.  Merci!  (Note: I suspect some of your pleasantries were slightly self-serving as many came with an ancillary message suggesting I not “dawdle” in the interest of putting out a timely post.) Without further ado…

Emma Stone in Valentino (above) should be made into an emoji to express the way I feel when I am shot directly into fashion heaven.  I love a pale girl in a pale color, especially a red-head in pink.  She looks incredibly dreamy without playing the princess card.  The stars add to the ethereal feel of this gown and also lend modernity.  And it goes without saying the fit is perfection.  STANDING O!

 

poses in the press room during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

Attention all home shopping networks: if you have a junk product that you can’t get off your shelves, hire these arms and hands to sell it for you. Problem solved.

Dear trainer of Viola Davis, do you have a spiritual connection with Michelangelo?  Because that is the only way to account for arms this perfect.  This image inspires me to so much, chiefly looking this magnificent in evening wear.  Her beauty is immeasurable and this simple yet bold Michael Kors showcases perfectly her flawlessness.  (Only the merest ding for the dress being ever-so-slightly too long.)  Standing O, Viola!!

 

naomi-campbell-golden-globes-2017

It’s as if Madame Tussauds figured out how to make real live people.

What can Naomi Campbell possibly have left to sell to Satan in order to look this way? There is simply no earthly barter system strong enough to support this level of beauty.  Often I feel Versace skews a little costume-y on the red carpet but it is certainly not the case for this magnificent creation.  It is complicated in all the best ways because never once does it falter in execution.  This is also a case of the exact right dress being worn by the exact right woman: both over-the-top glamorous.  Standing O, Naomi (assist by Beelzbub)!

 

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: 74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actress Mandy Moore arrives to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Demonstrating that Moore is more.

A sheer cape and a plunging neckline?  You have my attention. If that’s the train, I’m climbing aboard!  I’m so in favor of  the direction this look took from the exquisitely draped Naeem Khan gown to the drop earrings to the fresh and lovely make-up and chic hair.  Standing O!

 

Nothing Negga-tive here. (Sorry.)

Nothing Negga-tive here. (Sorry.)

The topography of Ruth Negga’s face is such that I could stare at her all day.  She epitomizes modern beauty to me while still retaining a hint of flapper.  I fully support her choice to wear this modern Louis Vuitton column dress that made her look, very appropriately, statuesque.  Standing O!

 

drew-barrymore-globes-09jan17-05

We’ve come a long way from Bjork’s dead swan dress.

For me, this Monique Lhuillier dress is a gentle nod to the swan Givenchy that Florence (and The Machines) wore to the Grammys a few years back – which I adored.  Drew Barrymore gives homage to that moment but one-ups it by looking resplendent in this adaptation.  She is luminous in silver.  Also, the styling is perfect – her black nails and multiple sparkly cocktail rings were the absolute correct move as was her tousled hair and smoky eye make up.  This is Drew at her best.  Standing O!

 

lily-collins

Disney: When you do a goth princess, base her on Lily Collins.

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad was transcendent.  This dress is obviously a work of art but what brought this look to extraordinary heights is the make up and hair.  Congratulations, L’Oreal for making yourself a boat-load of cash based on this gothic pink/red look.  (Here are the products genius make up artist Fiona Stiles used.)  Let’s get a closer look because this is truly brilliant:

lily-make-up

Sarah Jessica, this is how to use braids in an up do.

 

tiziana-rocca

I can’t find a design credit for this dress. That sentence made me wince because it is a terrible way to treat the word “credit.”

Since everyone else is picking on Anna Chlumsky and Sarah Jessica Parker, I figure Tiziana Rocca is fair game.  To put this into corporate speak, there are many competing interests here.  It’s as if the design team was in a massive argument but agreed to disagree by simply throwing all of their ideas into one dress.  If I had twenty minutes and an excellent seamstress, I’d instruct her to feverishly cut the top of the dress and leave the sweatheart neckline then move onto setting the waist in the right place and cutting out the excess fabric.  I’d rip off her jewelry, add some sparkly rings and a sparkly waist belt and pray that the media only photographed her from the knees up.  Hell No!

Standing O or Hell No: Janelle Monae

janelle-monae-palm-spings-ms-010217The Palm Springs Film Festival happened last night.  Sadly, though, I was in an eggnog-and-holiday-cookie-induced-coma (of sorts) and could not revive in time to pay proper attention. Today I’ve finally sifted through all the white noise related to Mariah Carey and her NYE debacle and have found the festival’s red carpet arrivals! I think I’ve also found the first great dress of 2017 courtesy or Jenny Packham worn by Janelle Monae (above).  As you are all well aware, Janelle wears black and white exclusively and yet never ever looks boring.  What I’m trying to figure out is if this achievement is a greater testament to her personal style or to the timelessness and widespread appeal of a black and white combination.  In either case, this gown is stunning and she is owning this look.  I’m hoping that this is some kind of omen for 2017 letting us know that better things are to come starting with this dress.  Standing O!

Fuel to the Fire

The pleats! The pin stripes! The paisley tie!!

The pleats! The pin stripes! The paisley tie! The DOUBLE BREAST!

Linette Lopez and I have not written together in awhile but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been offended together in awhile.  And so we got our priorities straight (as should you after reading this post) and identified all that needs to be burned from your closet if you work on Wall Street.  Do not delay:

11 Things everyone on Wall Street needs to stop wearing ASAP

Brim Witted

goorin-brothers-fedoraSome weeks I have the same conversation all week long but with each of my clients individually.  The good news is that I’m equipped for this since I have a 6 and a 4 year old and have the same conversation with each of them pretty much every hour.

This past week it was about hats (with my clients, not my kids).  The collective answer to the number one asked question of last week is YES there is a hat out there that suits your face shape.  It takes some trial and error but the people at a good hat shop like Goorin Brothers are willing to assist.  If you don’t want to go hat shopping with me (WHY don’t you want to go with me?!? I’m so much fun!!!! Whatever.  It’s your loss.) and you don’t even want to go into the store, you can educate yourself with this helpful guide about finding the proper style hat for your face shape.  Then browse around and see what you like.  My suggestion in terms of color is that if you have a black or any neutral solid coat, go for a hat with some color.  If your coat is printed or bright, go with a neutral hat.

It’s not for everyone but I recently picked up the plum colored wide-brimmed fedora with ombre band (featured above).  It is so pretty I felt my heart ache when I put it on.  A few other favorites for women:

goorin-bros-green-cloche

An emerald green cloche! You’d have to be a monster not to appreciate this hat.

goorin-bros-red-beret

If it’s good enough for the French, it’s good enough for you. In red! Breathtaking.

goorin-brothers-blair-rogers

I’m not going to deceive you, I have this hat too. In gray. It’s the Blair Rogers and it’s amazing because you can tilt the brim at highly dramatic angles.

A few of my favorites for men:

goorin-bball-cap

I can relate to your love for a baseball cap so why not try one that’s a little less BRANDED. I love this gray wool version. You can still love sports without dedicating head space to it.

goorin-walter-hat

This hat is so old timey in the best possible way. The color is incredible and the structure of this thing is amazing. I’d style it with a tiny red feather through the loop of the bow.  Commit to something, people.

goorin-henry-hat

Such a good brim. You will pray for it to snow so that you can let this handsome hat protect you.

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