Thursday, February 28, 2013

From My Guy's Perspective: Oscars 2013 Best Dressed

Guys' perspective on fashion differs greatly from ladies', hence The Man Repeller, but how much so? 
I asked my boyfriend to create a list of his favorite looks from the 2013 Oscars.  Here is Carlton's top 5 in order and surprisingly, our lists share more than a few:
Zoe Saldana in Alexis Mabille 
*Also on my list*
Why? The layers in shades of gray along the hem create beautiful lines.  I could do without the embellishments on top or the belt but I applaud Zoe for trying something different.
Halle Berry in Versace
*Also on my list*
Why?  Speaking of different, this dress is unique, bold and sexy.  Some have called it too "Star Trek" but I think it's wonderful Halle took such a daring risk! 
Charlize Theron in Christian Dior Haute Couture
*Also on my list*
Why?  She looks stunning.  The simplicity of the dress, its color, the lack of jewelry and her short hair allows her beautiful face to be the most important feature.  The deep V and peplum make this gown trendy, yet classic.  

  Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan
*Also on my list*
Why?  Stacy looks statuesque in this Art Deco-inspired gown.

Jennifer Hudson in Roberto Cavalli

The rest of my best dressed list includes:

Naomi Watts in Armani Privé
Why?  Naomi helped to design this dress and it fits her perfectly.  I adore the deep silver color and unique cut.
Jessica Chastain in Armani Privé
Why?  Jessica's red hair is gorgeous with this pale bronze and again, I have a thing for Art Deco patterns... and red heads.
Alicia Vikander In Elie Saab Couture
Why?  Thank you to Alicia for adding some color to the red carpet!  This pale blue Elie Saab gown is gorgeous and I'm thrilled she chose a gold belt to pull in her waist. 
Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad
Photo by Abaca
  While Lily wasn't at the Academy Awards, her appearance at the Vanity Fair Party more than earns her a spot on the best dressed list.  This dress is gorgeous and unique.
Floral lace + Art Deco stripes + lots of shine + open back = Perfection!

    Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein Collection
Photo by AP
Why?  I wanted to love her Christian Dior Haute Couture ball gown at the Academy Awards but I just can't.  However, I do like this slinky and shiny silver dress she wore to the Vanity Fair Party!  Ooh la la!  

Kerry Washington in Miu Miu
*Carlton's Runner-Up*
Why?  The unusual color and shimmering embellishments keeps this dress from being too safe.
And we love Olivia Pope!

Who is on your best-dressed list?  Your guy's list?    

Photos by Getty unless otherwise noted

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Best Oscars 2013 Trends: Art influences & lots of shimmer

The 2013 celebration of the Academy Awards brought out the best in acting, movie production and of course, haute couture.  Here are my nominees for the evening's best trends:

Art Deco
Characterized by shimmering geometric lines and slim silhouettes, these Art Deco-inspired dresses have old Hollywood glamour with a modern twist.  While the uniqueness of this resurging style is somewhat lost among the numbers, I love this style!  Halle Berry succeeded in looking like a show-stopping Bond girl in a fashion forward Versace gown with dramatic lines and shoulders, while the combination of patterns on Lily Collins’ gorgeous Zuhair Murad dress was fun and fresh! 

Jessica Chastain in Armani Privé 
Halle Berry in Versace
Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan
Norah Jones in Tadashi Shoji
Lilly Collins in Zuhair Murad (Photo by Abaca)

This bold trend is not for the faint of heart.  Embroidered intricate swirls of gold and black make a regal statement on these ladies, who accurately agreed that upswept hair and minimal jewelry is the best way to accessorize this dramatic style.  I adore Olivia Munn's red Marchesa dress! 

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen 
Olivia Munn in Marchesa
Julie Bowen in Max Azria Atelier  
Nina Dobrev in Naeem Khan 
Alessandra Ambrosio in Zuhair Murad

Black and Gold Shimmer
Black and gold became a dominant trend last year so it’s no surprise it appeared at the Oscars celebrations.  Nicole and Catherine were both sexy and classy in their gold sequined curve-hugging gowns.  I must ask, are they aging backwards?  Also, notice the swirls on their skirts, which also matched the Academy Awards stage… micro trend?  Naomi and Kate’s dresses were feisty in fun shapes.  

Nicole Kidman in L'Wren Scott 
Catherine Zeta-Jones in Zuhair Murad
Naomi Watts in Emilio Pucci 
Kate Beckinsale in Monique Lhuillier

High Neck Gowns

Kelly Osbourne mentioned on E!’s Live from the Red Carpet that she was disappointed that Salma Hayek’s high neck dress by Alexander McQueen hid her best feature, her décolletage.  While I agree with Kelly, I do appreciate that Salma was trying something different.  These dresses add a little variety to the red carpet.  Those who look best in them are generally tall and slim, like Alessandra Ambrosia.
Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen
Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen 
Alessandra Ambrosio in Zuhair Murad 
Amber Heard in Atelier Versace 

Simple & Sexy in White
Charlize Theron was simply stunning on the red carpet!  While sleek white dresses continued to appear throughout the evening, Charlize’s short hair, slim silhouette and simple details made her beautiful face stand out from the rest.  Miley Cyrus also rocked this look with a backless dress from Emilio Pucci. 
Charlize Theron in Christian Dior Couture
Kim Kardashian in Donna Karan, Kelly Osbourne in Unknown & Miley Cyrus in Emilio Pucci
Rose Byrne in Lanvin 

Sleek Shimmer

Metallic and serious shimmer were a major trend at the Oscars celebrations.  But on Naomi, Renee and Jennifer, the fluid shimmer and immaculate tailoring beautifully accentuates their slim bodies.  These are a few of my favorite gowns of the evening!
Naomi Watts in Armani Privé
Renee Zellweger in Carolina Herrera
Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein Collection (Photo by AP)

Photos by Getty unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Grammy Awards: LBDs Rocked the Red Carpet Again

At the 2013 Grammy Awards, the dress code put forth in the infamous memo was notoriously overlooked – thank goodness!  LBDs, meaning Long Black Dresses, dominated the red carpet but there were a few breaths of fresh air by women strutting to their own beat.  Queen Bey herself wore a pantsuit.  A pantsuit!  She strictly adhered to the guest code in a mod black and white ensemble by Osman Yousefzada and still looked so chic.  Adele also kept her bare curves hidden and thankfully ditched her regular black gowns in a fun tea-length vintage-inspired Valentino dress.
Katy Perry did not.  She bared her voluptuous curves in a mint green dress by Gucci that served as a distraction to all, including poor Ryan Seacrest.  Katy’s friend, Rihanna, also dared to bare in a sheer red Azzedine Alaïa gown.  Clearly going for bombshell status, this is the best I’ve seen Rihanna look in a while.  It was also the best I’ve heard her sing in an equally sexy black gown in one of the most flattering shapes.
As we go back to the black dresses, I’d like to point out the not so basics.  Kelly Rowland – Wow!  The strips of sheer panels in her black Georges Shakra gown left little to the imagination and she carried it with class.  Alicia Keys also rocked cutouts in the leather bodice of her eye-catching Azzedine Alaïa dress.  Karen Fairchild got a little wild in a strapless animal printed Dolce & Gabbana gown that I adored.
Among the other guests in strapless black dresses were Carrie Underwood and Carly Rae Jepsen, both in Roberto Cavalli, and Allison Williams in Kaufman Franco.  All three featured impressive handmanship – Carrie’s baroque embroidery, Carly Rae’s beading and Allison’s black diamonds.
There were more than a few who pushed the envelope with high slits and cutouts, but managed to kep it tame.  Taylor Swift looked like a contemporary Grecian goddess in J. Mendel with a deep V neck and high slit.  Natasha Bedingfield chose one of my favorite trending accessories: the metal belt.  It and her matching gold clutch add a little rock and roll to her red lace Emerson gown.  In a unique shade of pale yellow, Maria Menuonos shone wearing a Gomez-Gracia dress with a high slit and marigold belt.
Lastly, Jenna Jameson defied us all by covering her XXX curves in a full-length gold brocade gown by Michael Costello.  She looked gorgeous!
Congratulations to all of the winners!  Who was your best dressed? 
Photos courtesy of Getty, Huffington Post, Steve Granitz?WireImage

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Full Metal Belt: Born to Shine

You’ve seen it. Its shine caught your eye. And if you’re like me, you can’t get it out of your mind. It’s the sleekest, chicest accessory to hit the red carpet.
It’s The Belt of the Season, made of solid, smooth metal.
Before the metal belt made such an impact at award shows and A-list parties, it appeared in early 2012 on the runway for the fall Calvin Klein Collection and in the lookbook for Stella McCartney’s fall evening line.  We saw McCartney’s gold version several times last year from her favorite “Saskia” gown. The “Most Worn Dress of 2012” was sported by Gwyneth Paltrow, Shalom Harlow, Brooklyn Decker and Kira Miro, to name a few.
Raf Simons also used it to nip waists and add modern edge to his debut for Christian Dior Haute Couture. His fall 2012 collection reimagined the groundbreaking premiere of Dior’s “New Look” from 1947.
Later that year it topped more looks from geometric print dresses at the Juanjo Oliva show to Prabal Gurung’s black and white ensembles.
A metal belt used to evoke childhood memories of my brother practicing to be a WWE professional wrestler in our living room.  Luckily I survived those matches intact and I can appreciate today’s metal belts, which seem equally futuristic and rock & roll.  The accessory’s allure is that it adds that little something extra to make almost any dress more edgy, yet polished. 
How to Rock It:
(Almost) Any Dress - Seriously. A metal belt will give some sass to a romantic dress with lace or ruffles and put a simple, sexy dress over the edge.  Consider adding a jacket or long cardigan over or under the belt.

A Skirt and Top Combo - See above.  Plus it will accentuate the waist even more. 
I think a metal belt would look very bad ass with a leather pencil skirt and a simple top.  For a tamer outfit, pair it with a flowy midi skirt.
Skinny Jeans - Pair it with dark skinny jeans, a boxy cropped top and booties for a rocker look; a tunic sweater and flats for a casual day or a sexy tank top for a party look.
Additional Note: Keep jewelry minimal or even better, wear none at all.  If you must, try multistring mixed media pieces, a metal cuff bracelet or stud earrings.


Photos courtesy of Getty, InStyle/Dara Kushner/ and Joseph Kerlakian/Rex

UPDATE 2/10/13: Natasha Bedingfield continues the metal belt’s reign at the 2013 Grammy Awards!  That and her matching gold clutch add a little rock and roll to her red lace Emerson gown.
Photo courtesy of Getty and The Huffington Post

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Style Standouts at the 2013 SAG Awards

Yes, it's award season in the film and television industries. From the Critics’ Choice Awards to the Academy Awards, this time of year presents several opportunities to drool over Dior gowns, giant jewels and the women flaunting them. While the Screen Actors Guild Awards are praised for its simplicity and sincerity, the 2013 show was not short on style! To my delight, there were too many style standouts at the SAG Awards to ignore! Several women dressed like royalty in blue, but did you see all the bombshells in black?
Below are a few of my favorite appearances and notable trends from Sunday’s show.