Standing O, Hell No, or So-So: BAFTA Brittannia Awards

Royalty

We all know that speech sounds better with a British accent but the real question is do outfits sound better with a British accent? Let’s judge this by reviewing the recent BAFTA Brittania Awards.

Cate Blanchett and Joan Collins support our theory that outfits looks better ummmm…British. Normally I’d deduct points for Joan’s flesh colored hose but she gets a pass because her shoes are sexy and evocative of Dynasty, she is wearing an Alexis Bittar necklace, and, well, just BRITISH. Cate is forever and always perfection and I forgive her dress being a few inches too long for reasons stated above. Standing O for both glorious gals!

Screenshot_2018-10-30 Viola Davis in Bibhu Mohapatra - British Academy Britannia - 3.png

Viola Davis is stunning in Bibhu Mohapatra. A tip of our hat to her for leaning on the winter-white trend which is ubiquitous right now. And also thank you, Viola, for not wearing a hat because that hair is a halo of beauty. Question: how does she get her skin to glow like that? My suspicion is that she is not fully human and somehow aliens are lighting her from within. She is American and not wearing a British designer but she is IN in Britain so aliens or not, she is afforded extra points. Standing O!

Screenshot_2018-10-30 Isabella Blake-Thomas - British Academy Britannia - 9.png

Isabella Blake-Thomas is a mere sixteen years old and she looks absolutely enchanting in this multi colored floral gown for which I cannot locate a design credit. My only request would be a stronger lip and perhaps some lashes so that her eyes get the credit that they duly deserve. Also - she’s British so Standing O!

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Don’t get me wrong, dear readers, I’m in no way promoting this dress worn by Lady Victoria Hervey. However, she IS the woman who typically shows up mostly naked and forces me to make jokes like: Victoria seemingly has very few secrets. From that perspective, let’s agree this is an upgrade and call it a So-So since undergarments nor nether regions are actively being revealed. If BRITISH can save LVH then our theory has been tested and proven.

Standing O or Hell No: Emmys 2018

 Marsai Martin

Marsai Martin

Growing up in a house with ten children, you can imagine that our family gatherings were enormous. Needless to say, my parents hosted every holiday because no one else could accommodate. But we kids had a system for overwhelming events such as these. As the first few visitors would arrive, we would send the youngest downstairs in order to “warm up the crowd” as we’d call it. This way by the time the elders of us appeared, the relatives were already satiated with the cuteness of the littles and we were mostly left alone to chat among ourselves.

The outfits at last night’s Emmys reminded me a little of our warming-up-the-crowd party strategy except in this application, I felt the attendees’ outfits were doing the warming. To translate, it seemed to me that the red carpet was filled with very pretty looks but nothing that caused me to faint. It’s my view that people are saving up their fire looks for the upcoming (and more gravitational) award ceremonies. Let’s review.

One of my favorite looks of the evening was Marsai Martin in Viktor & Rolf above. She looks lovely and fun and elegant and at the same time age appropriate. Standing O!

 Trevor Noah in Christian Louboutin Shoes

Trevor Noah in Christian Louboutin Shoes

Trevor Noah also came correct: the shawl collar, the velvet trim that speaks to the velvet shoes, THOSE DIMPLES. Standing O!

 Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning in Dior Haute Couture is pretty and diaphonous. My favorite element, as I suspect it might be yours, is this particular shade of green. I wish she hadn’t gone matchy- matchy with her jewelry but overall her look is successful. Standing O!

EmmyTiffanyHadish2.jpeg

Tiffany Haddish is the darling of pretty much everyone at the moment and I think this Prabal Gurung gown-of-joyous-colors underscores that. She said its hues were inspired by the colors of the Eritrean flag which is a nod to her late father’s heritage. The sentiment, as well as the way she is wearing the dress (with gusto and zeal) is delightful. I also deeply respect that she took a risk (to me that risk is in resembling a hot air balloon) but somehow her beauty and effervescence allows her to pull this off despite the high degree of difficulty in execution. Standing O! Let’s witness a twirl:

EmmyTiffanyHadish.jpeg

And one that didn’t work out so well despite everyone’s best efforts:

emmydeoncole.jpg

I cannot get behind this Gucci tux on Deon Cole. Nor can I get in front of it or to the side of it. Hell No!

Standing O or Hell No: Grammy Red Carpet 2018

With my actual Grammy (A National Treasure) in the hospital with the flu AND pneumonia, I found it very difficult to concentrate on the Grammy Awards hosted in NY last night.  I'm unashamed to admit I didn't view them live and opted instead to catch up online.  So let's just get right down to the nitty-gritty of who pleased us and who did not.

Common (above) is now and will always be in the WHO PLEASED category.  I found his red-velvet look last night exceptionally dashing.  Standing O!

As a duo and independently, Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend can be counted upon to give the viewer her money's worth.  I would never accuse them of phoning it in.  Look at the drama and the coordination of these two superlative outfits!  Complimentary and one does not outshine the other. It seems their marriage follows this exact formula.  Standing O!

Likewise Janelle Monae will always exhibit something interesting for the crowd.  While I'm never a fan of trousers eating feet, nor am I a fan of things that look unpressed, this suit still manages to be both interesting and on point for the Grammy Awards (a show that practically begs its attendees to be a Hell No).  I am a sucker for embroidery and this Dolce & Gabbana employs it artfully.  Standing O!

 

Hailee Steinfeld's Alexander Vauthier was the talk of the red carpet and, I concur, it was slamming; but I'm not 100% on board with those specific boots.  Yes to the purple but they leaned a little plastic-y for my eye. I am still giving a Standing O because it is the Grammys and she provided intrigue without being ridiculous.

 

Zayn Malik in a pink Richard James suit and Ralph Lauren shoes and patterned socks.  There's not much else to add except Standing O!

 

Everyone was fainting down to the floor over Gaga's dress.  Ok.  It's pretty and dramatic and not meat! For that I give a tip of the hat to Gaga!  And, also, the dress converts to this:

This has an ACTUAL hat and no dress.  It's a pretty good look overall for the Grammys even if the lace bodysuit skews a little Ice Capades for my liking.  Standing O!

If nitty-gritty is what we are going for then here it is:

I trust you have eyes.  Hell No, Pink!

 

Standing O or Hell No: SAG Red Carpet 2018

The SAG red carpet last night made me feel as if the women had been forced to eat gruel for weeks on end and then out of nowhere someone offered them a huge bowl of ice cream.  Things felt happy, light, and easy as conveyed by the impressive amount of COLOR present; And chief among the colors was PINK.  The Globe's all-black theme was important but definitely cast a dour mood on awards season which was balanced out by the levity of color last night.  Let's take a closer peek.

One of my favorite looks of the night was Uzo Aduba (above).  She was transformed in her light pink Christian Riiano gown and Rita Hayworth hair.  Jaw-dropping: Standing O!

Tying Uzo in the light pink category was her Orange is the New Black cast-mate and Handmaid's Tale star, Madeline Brewer, in Reem Acra:

I want to cut her head off this photo and insert my own.  My heart is pitter-pattering over this dress which possesses all of the elements I adore - it is PINK, it is uber feminine, it has a bustier top, it is flared, it is embellished, and it is exceedingly lovely.  (Confession: I wore this dress's sister to a black tie wedding two weeks ago.)  The piece de resistance here, obviously, are those red Casadei shoes that reference her hair and lipstick.  Standing O!!!

Let's inspect some other leading ladies who also opted to wear THEE color-of-the-night:

 

 

Then the spin-offs of the light pink trend.  Here's Vanessa Kirby in an embellished pink Valentino:

And Kristen Bell in a darker hue of pink:

 

Standing O to the Pinks above.  And then we are abruptly confronted with this ill-advised interpretation of a pink gown:

Note that I tried to soften the blow of Kate's dress by providing a place to avert your eyes (Goldie).  Confoundingly this dress is Valentino. I would've said Moschino maybe but never would I dare soil the House of Valentino by suggesting they created this. Perhaps the designers at Maison Valentino were replete with food poisoning the day this was brought into existence?  In any case, I respect Kate for deviating from her usual body-baring formula but this was a (GIGANTIC) step too far in the wrong direction.  I don't think even Stevie Nicks, she of the high-necked maxi dress with lace, could've pulled this off.  Hell No, Kate.

Speaking of dresses that were devastatingly wrong:

I can't find a fashion credit (here's me using "credit" loosely) for Kate Nash's milk maiden gown. Perhaps it's for the best that whoever created this lay low for awhile.  (Things are not bound to get better for you anytime soon, Sir or Madam.)  In a heart rending moment I witnessed an interview with Kate where she spoke of the triumphant instant at which she knew this was the right gown for her because it so accurately represented her personality.  In hindsight, that was maybe the wrong message to send to Hollywood.  Hell No.

I was startled and surprised to find that two of my favorite looks were a la The Globes all-black theme.  Felicity Huffman was a vision in Monsoori:

And Yara Shahidi in Ralph Lauren channeling Diana Ross was everything:

I'm not sure why the pants of this jumpsuit seem to be gobbling up her feet but Yara Shahidi was arguably the prettiest woman on the carpet last night.  Her outfit was nice and refreshing but I wish the pants were more tailored and shorter.  That aside, her hair was GLORIOUS and I will now and forever be present for that face.  It is perfection.  Standing O to both women in all black!

 

I remain confounded by whatever it is that has taken shape on Nicole's shoulder - a serpent? A flower? Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings? I'm willing to get comfortable with whatever it is simply because the rest of her is flawless.  She reportedly has the flu and somehow brought this look to LIFE.  Her hair was especially good and often it is the element that diminishes.  The fit and color of this Armani are exquisite.  And her face is glowing which may be from Scarlet Fever but no matter!! Standing O!

 

Danielle Brooks in Marc Bouwer DELIVERED! Ombre! Sequins! Perfect decolletage! Standing O!

 

Standing O or Hell No: Emmy Awards 2017

It's officially awards season and I'm officially swooning!  Thank you, good ladies of the Emmys, for giving us something to DISCUSS:

First bullet point - Zoe Kravits of Big Little Lies in Dior (above).  The degree of complexity on this dress is HIGH.  On the wrong girl this gown would read Fraggle Rock but on Zoe its transcendent.  An excerpt from a text I sent to my SISTER-girl, Venessa:

Girlfriend looked like a 2 year old cut her hair then slapped Vaseline in it and she's still a straight 10.   Standing O, Zoe!

 

THIS dress.  This DRESS.  THIS DRESS!! I would not have pegged this as a Calvin Klein but sometimes his genius prevails.  The rhinestone elements are making it necessary for me to breathe into a brown paper bag.  Not to be negative but I would say that Nicole's head has looked more perfect in other applications but obviously she is still killing it here.  Maybe it's just that her hair is a wee bit limp.  No matter: Standing O!

 

I rarely think that pants are as effective as a dress on the red carpet but this is the clear exception.  Claire Foye in those rhinestones and shoulder cape are winning on the red carpet and at life in general.  Standing O!

 

Yara Shahidi in Prada makes me long for my youth.  Her skin looks like the night stars are shining from within her.  The dress and belt are the things that dreams are made of.  Standing O!

 

One thousand points for Effective Use of Color.  Viola Davis wearing this orange Zac Posen is an image I will be holding on to when it is cold and dark and I need something to comfort me in a time of deep distress.  Standing O!

There were so many good looks but people I HAVE A DAY JOB and my clients are waiting.  Not to end on a sour note but wha-wha:

 

Remember that time of deep distress I mentioned moments ago?  Witness Ariel Winter.  Hell No!

Standing O or Hell No: The Tony Awards 2017

I can point to many times in my life when my tendency towards stream of consciousness has gotten me in trouble.  For instance in my Goldman Sachs days, while attending a productivity seminar, the presenter asked the group for our understanding of "posting." My hand shot up.  (It is important to pause and note that I had been riding motorcycles with my brothers the previous day.)  I blurted out that posting is when you are on your bike and go around a sharp turn and kind of drag your foot a little bit.  She looked at me with the pure disgust I clearly deserved considering my answer was solid proof I had been daydreaming for the whole first hour. I find myself in a similar predicament today as I try to conjure up something relevant to say about the Tony Awards because, confession: I don't pay attention to Broadway either.  I know that, to many, that is akin to admitting I don't like puppies or ice cream but it's true; And its reality is preventing me from both recognizing the attendees AND from writing anything that has to do with this particular awards show.  What it is NOT preventing me from is commenting on the outfits NOR from (stream of consciousness alert!!) singing every Tony! Toni! Toné! song I know (especially Feels Good) because they've all been running through my head on repeat ever since I realized the Tonys were showing last night.

I AM A LIVING NON-SEQUITUR.  Here I go again...

The primary thing that struck me about the Tony red carpet was the sheer number of patterns worn.  My heart was aflutter!  Ask any of my female clients my feelings on a patterned dress/gown and they will dutifully repeat two words: HIGH VALUE.  Such is the voluminous Zac Posen (above) worn by Liu Wen.  I feel that if Rebecca Taylor met Zac in a dark alley she'd find a way to punish him physically for coming up with this design first.  Standing O!

Fortunately for me I sometimes dabble in unsavory television programs like UnReal from which I recognize Denee Benton.  (Hot damn that show is GOOD.  The premise makes it sound like trash but the production value is high.  Trust me.  Or if you don't trust me, the proof is in its Peabody Award.)  The production value of this Oscar de la Renta is also high.  It's unusual and lovely and is super fun against that background.  Standing O!

 

Rachel Chavkin's marvelous dress in one word: MOOD.  Standing O!

 

Badgley Mischka gets top marks for this splendid black and white print worn by Laura Osnes.  My only edit to this look would be to trade up for a bright red lip.  Otherwise she is perfection.  Standing O!

 

While not technically a pattern, Chrissy Tiegen in Pamela Roland is supreme.  She's had so many successes on the red carpet this year and can count on me to keep cheering her on!  Standing O!

 

And one more for the non-patterned but severely stunning category: Cynthia Erivo in custom CG Studio.  Standing O!

 

It would be criminal - CRIMINAL - to rob you of your chance to ogle a handsome and perfectly turned out gentleman like David Oyelowo.  Enjoy.  Standing O!

Oh what the hell - we have time for two!

Standing O, Orlando Bloom!  Always.

 

Standing O, So-So, or Hell No: MTV Movie/TV Awards

It's a universal truth that if you attend an MTV event it is mandatory that you select your outfit from the following categories:

  1. See-through
  2. Micro mini
  3. Replete with sequins and/or gems
  4. Metallic
  5. Skin tight
  6. Confusing

Apparently Cara Delevingne (above) was coerced by Saint Laurent to submit to each and every grouping. However, while I don't typically recommend shaving your head and also matching your lipstick to your boots, somehow her top quarter still looks stunning.  And that, in a nut-shell, is why she is a model.  Overall though: So-So.

Onto my personal favorite: Zendaya

If this Zuhair Murad dress was not entirely see-through then I would have to argue that it was too demure for an MTV event.  However, since her entire body is on full view like a menu in a restaurant window, it indeed satisfies categories #1 and #3 and is therefore acceptable fare.  Standing O!

 

Yara Shadidi's face is absolute perfection.  (Doesn't she resemble Chilli from TLC?!)  She is a glorious beauty but whereas I covet all of the pieces of her Gucci outfit separately, I'm unconvinced that they should all be playing on the same team.  I'm going to say So-So since each component has extreme independent merit and since this ensemble addresses categories #3, #4, and #6 and since I'd abandon all of my morals and good sense to have 1/10 of her natural beauty.

Another entry for "all of the above" :

Ok, ok, the entire outfit isn't skin tight but the pants are.  Don't argue with me.  This insane Balmain concoction is a straight up Hell No.

 

Listen, I LOVE Taraji P and the energy that she always brings to the red (black) carpet.  But even though she has pulled out another A++ hairstyle, I'm afraid her overall look is just a few accessories shy of this:

But still she remains TARAJI-Flipping-P and cannot merit a Hell No.  Instead I will impart a So So.

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:

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.

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!

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 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.

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

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)

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.)

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

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

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

 

tiziana-rocca

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!

Standing O or Hell No: Emmys 2016

I believe I can fly... My friend, Jenny, and I were talking about how Awards Season for a fashion addict is pretty much the same thing as an escalating binge for a drug addict.  It starts out mellow and calm with the lead-in film festivals.  Everyone is content and feeling/looking great. (POT!)  Next up are the Emmys.  People are euphoric, everyone is overwhelmingly happy and there are yet no grudges.  The party has just begun!  (MOLLY!)  Advance a few weeks to the SAG Awards.  People have waited a full month for another event and they are jonesing for their rush.  (HEROINE!)  Of course by the time the Golden Globes air in January they are in a frenzy. (COKE!)  And when the Oscars finally arrive folks are brittle and foaming at the mouth. (CRACK!)  Then, of course, everyone goes into rehab to gather enough strength for the next year.

Thank goodness we are still in a euphoric state (i.e last night's Emmys).  The ladies turned it OUT.  Allow me to submit my HIGHlight reel (awful pun intended):

If the Emmys are Molly then Priyanka Chopra (above) in Jason Wu is the embodiment of bliss.  Her delight with her dress was joyfully evident - she swung the layers to and fro so we could all appreciate the gown's many dimensions.  Standing O!

 

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - ArrivalsSarah Paulson's Prada gown had a hint of J Lo's famous Versace but is updated in a chic and elegant way.  The beading is so intricate and the color is beautiful - Standing O!

 

For a funny lady, this look is no joke.

Kate McKinnon's red dress reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence's break out Oscars moment in that now famous red Calvin Klein.  Hey, if it's good enough for Jennifer Lawrence...Standing O!

 

kristen-bell

I cannot ignore a printed gown, especially one this exquisite.  My favorite element is the flower cascade on her right "strap."  So artful! Kristen Bell and Zuhair Murad, Standing O!

 

When I was 12 I was pegging my jeans and layering my socks.

Millie Bobby Brown (far right) in Valentino is officially the most sophisticated 12 year old I have ever laid eyes on.  The dress is darling, fun, and age-appropriate and the clutch with "Millie" on it agrees with the young/fresh vibe she has established.  Standing O!

I had a hard morning and can't muster the energy to be negative.  Let's look at one particularly bad ensemble and call it a day:

anna-chumleyI hope Dante isn't busy today because he is going to have to create a new circle in hell for this Christian Siriano.  The way this dress looks is what detox must feel like.  Speaking of hell, Hell No!

Film Festival Fashion Warm Up

42nd Deauville American Film Festival : Opening Ceremony I hope you are taking your vitamins and doing your exercises, dear readers, because you will need to keep your strength up; Film festival season is upon us and there will be thousands of feet of red carpet to walk before we arrive at the end.  I'd like to suggest you wear sneakers on this arduous journey but, of course, that would be ludicrous!

Now let's begin our warm up session by looking at a few favorites from the Venice and Deauville film festivals.  Diane Kruger's Charlotte Olympia lucite clutch (above) is definitely getting my heart rate up.  In fact, it is stirring up a powerful storm of emotions within me and prevailing among these is covetousness.  I may need to take more than my vitamins in order to get that bag off my mind.  Let's zoom out and ogle the entire look:

'The Infiltrator' Premieres At The Deauville Film Festival

I rarely support a sheer gown however, master that Elie Saab is, has given us something compelling here.  D. Kruger's superlative genetics certainly advance this look but all of the gown's components have inherent strength - the jeweled hearts, the black/red color combination, the thick velvet belt, and last but not least, the glorious CAPE:

 

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I'm also smitten with Amy Adams in Tom Ford:

'Nocturnal Animals' Premireres At The Venice Film Festival

I concede that it's a very SAFE move to wear a metallic to an awards show but this gown is exponentially more than it's hue - the cut, the drape, the fit, and the shine are perfectly suited to Amy who proved during her American Hustle days that she does disco like no one else.   I want to place an Oscar in her hand and call it a day.  She may not have that Oscar (yet) but I am still calling it a day.

 

Standing O or Hell No: The VMAs

This is Stella getting her groove back. Except this is Hailee. It seems to me that the MTV Video Music Awards pose a similar problem for the music world as casual Fridays pose for the corporate world:  No one is sure exactly what is appropriate to wear.  Do you dress up (it IS an awards ceremony),  or pull a stunt (people like crazy, right?), or act like you're above it all and dress down (this is Rock n Roll for Pete's sake).  Let's look at a few of these different approaches and determine which failed and which prevailed.

For me, Hailee Steinfeld (above) presented most on-theme for the evening.  She wore Balmain which, by nature, is edgy yet sophisticated - two perfect notes to hit for an event celebrating contemporary music.  Also the choice to wear color was brilliant and on point.  Much of Balmain is muted and metallic and often doesn't translate in photos as well as it does in person.  This dress sings loudly, albeit in a very lovely French accent.   Standing O!

 

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Nikki Minaj also opted to dress up, though more formally than Hailee, and to do it with edge.  Let's examine why this works (because sooooo much could've gone wrong here).  Clearly proportion-wise long sleeves do not make up for the fact that most of the top/sides are missing from this Bao Tranchi gown; and yet she manages to look refined.  You may argue this is because, in contrast to what she normally wears, this is relatively conservative.  However, I feel this look has independent merit - the color is glorious, the hair, make-up, and jewelry are perfectly understated and, above all, the fit is extraordinary.  Undoubtedly she presents like a music boss.  Standing O!

 

Proof that some people DO love the crazy.

A sample from Baddie Winkle's Instagram bio: "Stealing your man since 1928."  Hilarious and courageous but let's face it, I'm never going to sign off on a nude bedazzled jumpsuit even if it is just a stunt - not for Kim Kardashian, not for Baddie Winkle, and not for anyone.  Hell No.

 

Alessia clearly doesn't Cara.

If the MTV logos were not so prominently displayed in the background, I would assume this was Alessia Cara's first-day-of-school photo except that it's not even cute enough for the first day of school.  This looks like she's a senior in high school, 8 months in, and has officially checked out until college begins.  Baddie Winkle might look like she's off her rocker (metaphorically AND literally) but at least she has a sense of occasion.  No effort was expended here and that I cannot forgive.  Hell No.

Swar-Ov-Skee

Andra Day wearing a vintage dress and Marchesa shoes to the BET Awards Often I sit down to write a post and think, "I have nothing to say" - my husband wishes I had that problem- but then I start surfing the internet and immediately become enraged or enthralled by something I see.  This is how things went today, for instance:

  1. I had nothing to say
  2. I started reviewing BET dresses and decided to post re: Andra Day's cute vintage dress (above)
  3. I got sucked into a video about Beyonce's BET performance on US Weekly online
  4. At 1:52 in the video the hostess describes the embellishment on Bey's bodysuit as SAVARSKI crystals
  5. HOLD THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. My real post was born

Let's clear this up right now because it is SELDOM that I hear anyone pronounce the Austrian crystal producer, Swarovski, correctly (and this includes people in the industry who should know better).  The proper pronunciation is swar-Ov-skee, emphasis on the second syllable.  If phonetics don't make sense to you, here's a video with Nathalie Colin, Swarovski's Creative Director, and Gloria Gaynor, no intro needed, and both women say Swarovski by 0:23.

Thank you, YouTube, for solving the world's problems (and my pet peeves) yet again.

Standing O, Hell No, or So-So: Cannes Film Festival

bella-heathcote-cannes 2I spent the week before last working in LA (by "working" I really mean vacationing since shopping with clients in Beverly Hills is hardly what I'd consider grueling work).  In any case, en route home something peculiar happened.  I gained back my three east coast hours, but somehow ended up with a net loss of two weeks.  That's right, I'm going to blame quantum physics for me missing most of The Cannes Film Festival as well as assorted other events like the Billboard Music Awards and basically every network's Upfronts.  So there you have it: Science and not the Wardrobe Whisperer is at fault here.  Now that we've settled that score, let's discuss some of the more interesting Cannes gowns. Let us put our collective hands together and pray that Bella Heathcote (above) will dispense with those shoes immediately.  I, for one, am willing to pretend they never happened.  Instead let's appreciate her pretty little frock.  Delicate! Lovely! I wouldn't have minded wispy earrings and a gentle bracelet but I'm not mad because her lips are so pretty they are an accessory in and of themselves.  Standing O!

 

cannes 1Kirsten Dunst's yellow Maison Margiela came so close to being excellent.  Everything from the knees down is in A+ territory.  But what with the poor fit in the torso and the extraneous bust ruffle?  This is like when you order you favorite sandwich only to unwrap it and find it was hastily made and someone absentmindedly tossed anchovies on it.  This sandwich is tainted.  So-So.

 

Jourdan Dunn CannesI cannot find a photo of Jourdan Dunn's Ralph & Russo that does it justice but it was superb!   So intricate and dramatic!  And her over-the-shoulder glances SOLD the train on this gown. If J Lo really has insurance for her posterior, Jourdan should consider taking out a policy on those shoulders.  Now a close up from the side/front:

jourdan 2

Standing O!

 

bella-hadid-cannes-wardrobe-malfunction-red-dress-1I'm not typically a fan of dressing this literally (i.e. showing so much flesh) but I just have to say WOW.  I think Bella Hadid was about 2 centimeters away from making headlines in a different way but she kept everything in place which must've been no easy feat.  Standing O!

 

cheryl-fernandez-versini-vogue-16may16-pa_b_320x480

This Versini dress worn by Cheryl Fernandez is in fabric form what I dream all Cannes parties are like:  colorful, fun, and loud (but in the best way possible).  I adore this dress and its perfect fit - Standing O!

Standing O? Hell YES!

nicole_mcqueen I'm not even going to toy with your emotions and pretend I debated over this look - because I'm already standing for the O.  I am mesmerized.

Thank heavens for ZOOM because I've spent endless amounts of time on every quadrant of this stunning Alexander McQueen dress.  It is supremely interesting, exquisitely fashioned, and completely WOWing me.  As a result, I'm falling in love with Nicole Kidman again.  As is her husband.  Witness:

Nicole and keith

Seeing N.K. in this dress makes me think of a conversation that I regularly have with my clients who are actors.  And it goes something like this- It is incumbent upon you, through your clothes, to put ideas in the heads of casting agents and directors.  In other words, if you want to be a leading man/woman, then DRESS like one.  And I feel like Nicole had that notion in mind when she chose this dress.  She was out to remind folks that indeed she's always commanded leading roles and that she'd be a superlative choice for some more.  Let's face it, she's not had a huge movie since the early oughts (The Hours and Moulin Rouge) and it is time for a come back!

Side note: if IMDB is to be believed, she's turning 50 this year.  I would gladly drink a potion composed of eye of newt, salamander toes, and the pulverized bones of small deceased animals to look like this at 50.  Readers, please pin any such recipes you see.

Apologies but Keith and I need to get back to ogling Nicole now.  Thanks.

Standing O or Hell No: Grammys 2016

grammy 1Somehow in a wonderful twist of fate my favorite Grammy look and my least favorite Grammy look conspired to become dates!!  Selena Gomez in Calvin Klein was gorgeous, appropriately edgy (as the night demands), yet on point and styled beautifully - hair, make-up, and earrings all score an A+.  Witness her solo: selena grammy

Knock-Out!! Standing O, Selena!  And then there's Taylor Swift who's sweet and charming and lovely.  In her underpants:

taylor grammyOr an elaborate cover up for her new bikini.  Also, and I know this is nit-picking, but her big toe is hanging off the platform of that shoe like it's trying to escape from this whole ensemble. It has the right idea. Hell No, Taylor.

 

zendaya grammyI understand that this was Zendaya's salute to David Bowie.  And I respect that because who among us does not love David Bowie?  But, to me, this was beauty wasted.  Zendaya is an extraordinarily gorgeous woman and this was well, dreadful.  Hell No, Z, please bring sexy back.

 

Florence GrammyThis particular Gucci collection with the sparkly waist bow is being trotted out ALL over town.  Dakota Johnson donned a short version to see Fallon and Nicole Kidman sported another to the SAG Awards but this rendition on Florence Welch seemed like the right gown on the right girl for the right event.  It is VERY indicative of her style.  Plus, red heads in pink always delight me.  So even though her hair is a bit unpolished and she hasn't enough lipstick on, I still love this on her.  Standing O!