Tag Archives: fashion

Red Carpet Rundown: Met Gala 2011, All Hail McQueen!

The Met Ball is usually my favourite red carpet event of the year. It’s all about the fashion, daaahling, which usually means everyone forgets about playing safe and instead sets upon the dress-up box with all the unrestrained glee of a five year old child. The scene was set for the Met Gala 2011 to be the most craziest amazingest one of all, as it was held in honour of fashion maverick Alexander McQueen, with a theme of Savage Beauty. So what did the A-Listers do? Decide to play it safe, of course!

Given that style slideshows for the Met Ball usually number in the hundreds rather than the tens, is it not disappointing that only about a dozen of the attendees bothered to wear the designer they were supposed to be paying tribute to? Ciara (in Prabal Gurung) actually tweeted something about being excited that her dress was ‘very reminiscent of Alexander McQueen’ – why don’t you just wear McQueen then, you eejit?! At least she did better than most with a feathery gown that was just about dramatic enough to be reminiscent of McQueen – I’m yet to discover how boring beige or pretty princess dresses could be connected.

So it seems only fitting to kick off my red carpet rundown with the folk who bothered to wear the designer. Yes, on any other night, they may have looked like whacked-out mentalists yet here, they were just about the only ones who looked like they could read an invitation. And some even offer a telling reminder that McQueen wasn’t all about whacked-out mentalists in the first place. The most fitting tribute of all?

And chief amongst them, Gisele. She not only totally OWNED the event, she made everyone else wonder why? Why they’d bothered to make an effort, why they’d turned up at all, why they weren’t as beautiful as Gisele, why the hell they hadn’t worn McQueen, … all the above and much much more. There are no more words to describe what is basically perfection.

And how awesome is this photo of Gisele and Naomi Campbell?! ‘TA-DA!!!’ From one end of the McQueen spectrum, dramatic yet simple breath-taking beauty, to the other – ornate embroidery, avante-garde embellishments, this is haute couture that simply isn’t intended for mere mortals. Campbell shows it might not even work for models but I applaud her for trying. And if anyone else was going to try and pull off wearing a coat of arms on their boobs and streams of loo paper everywhere else, I’m sure as hell glad it’s batshit-crazy Naomi. She even manages to look almost regal.

Anna Dello Russo shows how to make mentalist work; admittedly, it helps if you’re renowned in the fashion community for making mentalist your uniform. So she’s wearing an egg on her head, a matador’s outfit on her body, the most beautiful pair of gold booties on her feet and her sleeves are detaching themselves from the shoulders – and she looks smokin’. If she got any cooler, Wintour would have to kill her. Maybe.

It was mostly left up to fashion folk to pay tribute so here’s Liu Wen (who?) and Constance Jablonski (who???) in McQueen designs. I love Wen’s sexy number, which is all about the striking neckline and immaculate cut. The smoky eyes, strong lips and fierce cuffs totally work as well, like some classy exceedingly well-dressed dominatrix. I’m less certain about Jablonski’s ensemble – the powdery mottled grey print is soft and lovely, she looks ridiculously long and lean and the metallic belt stops it all from becoming a drippy watercolour. But the elephant in the room is the ruff, which does make it look like Constance’s lovely face is being served up on a platter or has been Photoshopped on afterwards. Then again, she’s a model and ends up looking pretty great anyway.

I lurve Karen Elson’s gold gown with a tarnished antique effect that makes it look like it’s decaying – but in such style! Together with that gorgeous red hair teased over one eye and that flawless porcelain skin, she looks like she could give those 1950s screen sirens a run for their money. Though she’d need to grow some boobs first, obviously.

I also love love love Hilary Rhoda’s Victoriana-esque coat dress. It’s not the kind of thing I usually love and I’m dying to give her a top hat and whip but I just think it looks stunning. It’s something about that crisp white colour and the brilliance of the design and tailoring that makes what is essential a gentleman’s riding jacket… and not even one from this century… look exquisitely feminine, high-fashion and would never have ended up as anything else. And we’ve not even mentioned her Union Jack clutch yet, which is just so many shades of awesome it outshone most of the other red carpet walkers.

Daphne Guinness, Raquel Zimmerman and Coco Rocha all wore looks from McQueen’s most recent collection, designed by (obligatory Royal Wedding mention) Sarah Burton. As you can see, feathers may have been a prominent theme. Coco’s is obviously the most understated and I love the tribal feel of the gold embellishments. Raquel’s is next in the swan evolution line and although that’s a hell of a lot of dress, you gotta love the dramz; it truly is evil black swan princess territory. Finally, we have dear old Daphne, rocking two types of feather and only a few tweets away from sprouting wings – let’s not think how many birds are wandering around bald thanks to this collection – who looks some kind of fabulous. It’s totally outrageous, ridiculously flamboyant and yet it works. It’s more likely that she could lay an egg in it than sit down, but as far as fashion statements go, it’s so gloriously deliciously overblown that I can’t resist. We need more Daphnes on the red carpet – for the lolz if for nothing else.

Trust Sarah Jessica Parker to show everyone how it’s done. To all that thought McQueen was all tartan, spikes and outrageousness, here she showcases classy elegant shimmering sophistication. It’s little unexpected touches like the cowl neck and three-quarter length sleeves that make this even more stunning than your average glittery gown, whilst the ice blue shoes are just so so right. And I get the feeling you don’t often get to say that about ice blue shoes so let’s all wallow in that.

Salma Hayek is a brand ambassador for McQueen so it’s no surprise she turned up wearing the label, even if I’ve never been convinced of the match-up. McQueen often seems too edgy for Hayek and the elaborate designs a little too busy for her short curvy body but this gown is lovely. It’s soft, romantic, flowing and languorous, the draping just so. The colour is a little too close to her skin-tone to make it an unqualified success but the dress itself is beautiful.

And then there’s Chloe Sevigny. I don’t get Chloe’s signature much-feted style and frankly, I’ve given up trying. This is exactly the sort of unflattering frumpy outfit I’d expect her to turn up in, McQueen or not. Her boobs couldn’t get more saggy-looking if you hung weights on them. The iddy-biddy tie is an unnecessary afterthought from a designer staring despondently at the image of Colonel Sanders on his KFC bucket. The hair is just… there. Flatly malevolent. Much like the whole ensemble. Sorry but no.

Pictures: Just Jared, Style.com, Look.co.uk, Socialite Life, Huffington Post Style

Red Carpet Rundown: Oscars 2011

The red carpet for the Oscars 2011 has to be one of the most boring in a while. When you’re being outdone for wow factor by almost every dress at the after-party, you know something has gone wrong! And whilst we all love a tasteful neutral (hi Michelle Williams, Annette Benning, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank…), you know the look has jumped the shark when even Celine Dion, her of the back-to-front man’s suit and fedora, is working it successfully. With star wattage seeming somewhat underpowered this year, many of my frequent red carpet faves disappointed (Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Aishwarya Rai) with dresses that were nice, but not nice enough for me to waste all of about twelve words over. Here are the only outfits that stood out, starting with my three favourites (by a long LONG way):

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy Couture – The love it or hate it dress at this year’s Oscars, except I’m yet to actually see anyone declare hate. Why? Because it’s simply too beautiful. The design on the bodice may resemble the back of a very ornate chair, or a very ornate mirror or a very ornate cameo missing the face inside, but it works. Lovely fresh sorbet spring colours, and so very very Cate. Pretty much the only interesting dress so thank God it was a good ‘un.

Mila Kunis in Elie Saab – I’m thinking Mila was toying with us all the way up to awards season, lulling us into expecting she’d be dull and boring before hitting us up with a triple whammy of colourful gorgeous gowns (that or Macaulay Culkin had a black fetish and she’s breaking gloriously free of her monotone shackles). When a dress is this pretty, delicate and flirtatiously feminine, no self-respecting fashionista would put money against it being an Elie Saab. This is just such a beautiful dreamy soft shade of lilac that we don’t often see done on the red carpet, and by looking so damn good in it, Kunis has probably ensured that no-one will dare do it again.

Amy Adams in L’Wren Scott – YES! After a ropey lead-up, like the tortoise, Amy has finally triumphed just in time for the main event. Stunning sparkling midnight blue, a simple shape and a look that couldn’t flatter her more if it came with a greasy handshake and car-salesman patter. All the more surprising given it’s a L’Wren Scott, which tend to look a little dowdy for big occasions.

Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa – You may have noticed that I’ve steered clear of mentioning Hailee in all my red carpet rundowns so far. This is because, as far as I’m concerned, if a 14 year-old is dressing as she should, then she probably won’t be exciting me too much. Bloggers have been won over by her ‘age-appropriate’ style, and whilst I’m delighted to see a famous teen who doesn’t wander about with her crotch either hanging out or with Swavorski crystal arrows pointing towards it, cute teen style stopped exciting me when I was… well, a not so cute teen. This modified Marchesa is a whole different story. It’s the ultimate princess-ballerina dress for the inner 14 year-old in all of us, right down to the could-be-overkill-but-instead-it’s-cute-and-charming bun and hair band combo. Swoonsome.

Mandy Moore in Monique Lhullier – If you’re read any of my style posts, you may have worked out by now that it takes one simple thing to make me lose all rational thought and start cooing like a teenage girl seeing Robert Pattinson for the first time. That magic ingredient is sparkle and when done right, it should look exactly like this Monique Lhullier gown – pretty, ethereal and like it was hand-crafted by fairies.

Natalie Portman in Rodarte – I’ve not really been loving Natalie’s maternity style thus far but this is easily the best she’s looked yet – and in a last-minute second choice too (thanks Galliano). Graceful flowing lines, a gorgeous rich plum shade and an overall look of radiance. She definitely picked the right time to glow!

Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein – It’s simple, it’s sexy, it’s almost a Baywatch swimsuit. It’s the sort of thing Scarlett Johansson would have worn five years ago… oh hang on, she did! She does just look rather beautiful though.

Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabanna – Speaking of, here she is, in a dress that not many people seem to like but which I feel quite fond of. I get a slight qipao vibe from it and whilst I’m still not sure I want to see anyone’s underwear on display at the Oscars, there are just enough redeeming factors (gorgeous unusual burgundy-magenta colour, effortless up-do, fabulous matching cocktail ring, atypical outfit for her usual 50s siren style) to make me leave the doily jokes in my drawer for another time. Apols.

Halle Berry in Marchesa – I’m just happy that Berry didn’t source her outfit from a sex-shop again. Having discovered that her legs don’t drop off if she covers them, this frothy girlie confection is a style 180 from the vaguely dominatrix gear she’s been sporting of late and it almost falls through the cracks of the sparkly sea of neutrals that have plagued this awards season. Britney’s bodysuit from the Toxic video, it’s saved/slaughtered by looking like the bottom has been dragged through heavenly clouds… or cotton candy. Shame about those clunky peeptoes.

Nicole Kidman in Christian Dior – I’m fairly certain that I hate this dress. But having flicked through so many photos of utter blah, I’m actually overjoyed that Kidman has completely lost control of her sartorial compass. Someone took a napkin folding-course and was so eager to show off his handiwork that he just went to work on her waist – but hey, at least he didn’t do a swan! I don’t know what the orange shoes are about, I don’t know which 14 year-old pimply teen’s hair gel she stole to achieve those sticky fronds of hair but I do know that I’m glad someone’s still taking risks on the biggest red carpet of the year. Even the nice dresses that I’ve singled out here are fundamentally simple shapes made good by striking colours so for being so different in an expanse of yawns, I really can’t hate her.

Jennifer Hudson in Atelier Versace – Everyone else is loving this. No idea why. It’s bright orange, a shade that seems to have tackiness in-built, and that’s even before you make it out of shiny flammable-looking satin, pile on the baubles, had that napkin-folder go nuts on your arse and hoist your boobs up like a second pair of eyes. There is not a single part of this outfit I like.

Reese Witherspoon in Giorgio Armani – This is essentially Julia Roberts Oscar-win dress made boring, with plastic Barbie hair on top. Except Barbie would never be this dull.

Red Carpet Rundown: 2011 Bafta Awards

Initially, I wasn’t going to write about 2011’s Bafta Awards, which were a bit low on star wattage compared to previous years. But then I found I needed a distraction from the slag-heap of ugly and tacky that was this year’s Grammys and Brits, so here we are.

Thandie Newton in Monique Lhuillier – Thandie, as she so very often is, was my best-dressed at this event. Not only is Ms Newton blessed with exquisite good looks but she seems to have exquisite taste too, as I can’t remember the last time I saw her put a foot wrong on the red carpet. It’s a dramatic gown in a dramatic colour, yet Thandie carries it off with effortless elegance. A dream.

Emma Stone in Lanvin – I’m still not sold on Emma as a blonde but this is an outfit she probably could have never worked as a redhead and she looks fabulous. Blake Lively wore a gown from the same collection and looked like she was auditioning to be some Valkyrie-inspired superhero; Emma looks like a gilded Grecian goddess. I love the warm colour palette that’s tying everything together, right down to her gold clutch and hoop earrings. That smile is just adorable. I just want to caterwaul ‘I’ve got a pocketful, pocketful of sunshine!’ every time I look at her.

Rosamund Pike in Alexander McQueen – I’ve loved Rosamund Pike’s style for years as she can make youthful edgy outfits feel classy and lady-like. This mustard McQueen is carefree boho grown up and done to red carpet standards (something I felt Mila Kunis didn’t quite pull off at the SAGs). Could her hair be any more perfect?

Amy Adams in Elie Saab – Yes! Amy Adams is back! Gone are the done-to-death jewel tones and instead we have a look that is just outrageously pretty. No one brings the pretty quite like Elie Saab and Adams positively glows. I never expected coral to work with red hair but Amy delightfully proves me wrong. This couldn’t get more springy and refreshing unless those shimmers came from a sprinkling of morning dew and a fluffy bunny bounded across the picture.

Julianne Moore in Tom Ford – I wanted Amy to step away from the jewel tones; I frankly couldn’t wait for Julianne to get back to them. After a really terrible run of late, which has seen Moore mired in a series of shapeless fits, unwarranted sleeves, unflattering colours and even a pair of knock-off Ugg boots, this marked a return to her red carpet best – old-school Hollywood glamour. The deep sapphire velvet gown, smouldering smoky eyes, bright red lips and tumbling Titian hair are just a perfect combo – and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the Tom Ford-shaped arm candy she sported for most of the night!

Gemma Arterton in YSL – My boundless love for Gemma (she was the sole reason I sat through St Trinians 2) is the main reason she’s here as I’m still undecided over whether the bed-head hair and gift-wrap bow work. What I am sure of is that she is working the hell out of it and that she should wear scarlet lipstick ALL the time. This isn’t a red carpet picture but it was the only one I could find where it’s obvious that her handbag is a fish, which is obviously all kinds of amazing. Marriage proposal’s in the post, Gemma.

Jameela Jamil in Dolce & Gabanna – There were lots of randomers on this red carpet, although thankfully, the Kardashians have yet to spread their tentacles across the Atlantic. Quite what Rachel Stevens, Sarah Harding or even Tracey Emin were doing there has yet to be explained and Jamil (a T4 presenter?) gets another shrug of the shoulders from me. She’s here purely on the merits of her dress, which is just gorgeous. However many tacky Anne Summers lingerie sets get produced, red and black will always be one of my favourite colour combinations and this dress is just so flirty and feminine – lace! ribbon! flowers! Another hit for red lippie too.

Bonnie Wright in Clements Ribeiro – Another victory for redheads, another victory for print and another victory for red hot lipstick. I like the dress a lot, even if there’s something a bit ‘charity lunch/day at the races’ about it, and the floral print is another deliciously light spring touch. Yet given how rarely I give two hoots about bags on the red carpet (unless they’re shaped like a fish obviously), that this drab black clutch sticks out quite so badly means it must be really awful.

Annette Bening in Marchesa – This dress makes me think of a snowflake. In a good way. I’m not sure I can get much more coherent than that.

Noomi Rapace in Givenchy Couture – Some are saying Vegas showgirl; I’m saying ghetto frigging fabulous! Ultimately, glitter appeals to our baser instincts (the kind that meant all your kindergarten artwork would invariably be covered in sequins given the chance) and in the same way that Marion Cotillard used to pep up proceedings with sequin-covered dresses that made her look like a mermaid or an angel, so it falls to another European actress to inject some vitality into the night. Sporting more gold bling than a rapper with a point to prove, Noomi looks sensational.

Jessica Alba in Atelier Versace – Alba is walking away with many people’s best-dressed of the night and whilst there’s no denying that this electrifying blast of cobalt is stunning on its own right, Jessica just never does it for me. She sits alongside Jessica Biel and Kate Bosworth as perennial red carpet bores, partly because they seem to have about as much personality as a tin of paint and partly because said tin of paint could probably out-act them too (I’d include Camilla Belle in this group yet I’ve never actually seen her act, or attempt to anyway). They could probably pull a Gaga or Bjork on the red carpet and merely elicit a yawn. Back to the outfit, which made her look pregnant – and she’s just announced that she is so pats on the back all-round – and yet another winning blast of crimson lips. Unlike many, I actually like the milkmaid plaits as well

Jennifer Lawrence in Stella McCartney – Lawrence continues to mine her saloon girl dress-up box with this dress, which might have been pretty had someone hoiked it up and superglued it about three inches higher. The cheap-looking choker makes her look like a heroine from the front cover of a Mills & Boon romance – from the 80s – but mostly, you just feel sorry for her boobs.

Emma Watson in Valentino – Let’s end things with everyone’s favourite. I’m going to come out and say it – I just do not like that hair. It has killed every one of Emma’s outfits of late for me, even the pretty ones, but I don’t particularly think this is one of those either. Whether it’s the washed-out colour, frill overload and mumsy print that makes her look frumpy, or whether it’s the frumpy hair that makes the dress look mumsy, I’m not sure. Either way, I can’t wait for her hair to grow back.

The more I’ve written about this red carpet, the more I’ve decided I liked it after all; it’s nice to see some people other than the usual Hollywood roll-call of likely suspects. Unusual prints, interesting colours and red lipstick worked to within an inch of its life – not a bad showing after all.

Red Carpet Rundown: Screen Actors Guild Awards 2011, Part III

The Hmmms

My final red carpet rundown of looks from 2011’s SAG Awards that I liked… sort of… maybe…

Mila Kunis in Alexander McQueen – This is topping lots of people’s best-of lists and I get why, but it’s just a bit too hippy-chick earth-mother for me. I’m absolutely overjoyed that since discovering colour existed at the Golden Globes, Mila is sticking with brights and this shade of scarlet looks stunning with her colouring. There’s *yet more* L’Oreal worthy hair on show and the addition of the belt was a clever touch, as it gives a little shape to the sheer flowiness. But it’s just not my kind of dress. Imagine if she’d worn a slightly-shorter version of Tina Fey’s dress instead – I don’t think mankind’s hormones would ever recover.

Claire Danes in Louis Vuitton – From good belt to bad belt, this black one just feels too heavy and ugly for this dainty and delicate floral gown. And given that there’s a black thing dangling down that doesn’t appear to be part of the belt anyway, was the extra belt even necessary in the first place? However, in a red carpet swarming with simplicity (less kind people would say mediocrity), this ultra-pretty print stands out, especially given that Danes is usually one to head down the minimalist route. It might have a slight 70s curtain/tablecloth feel, but those appliquéd flowers at the bust are a really beautiful touch.

Helena Bonham Carter in Marc Jacobs – Believe it or not, HBC was actually on my list of ‘Yays’ at one point. That was before I saw that she’d showed up in those blasted sunglasses again – does she have some sort of eye condition (in which case, I am a truly horrible person)? Luckily, the photographers managed to coax her out the shades for most photos, yet this was the only shot I could find that shows off her super-cute ‘Pearls Of Wisdom’ clutch (matching the pearl necklace, wouldn’t you know). Having got angry at Helena’s contrived eccentricity with the mismatched shoes at the Golden Globes, this look shows effort being directed into the right places nicely. I absolutely love the lacy dress – it’s got a slight 50s ladies-who-lunch vibe to it and would look incredible with kid gloves – but the sheer shoulder straps almost ruin it for me (wish they’d been made out the bodice material instead). A lighter lipstick colour wouldn’t have gone amiss either but given this is Helena Bonham-Carter we’re talking about, I’d be amazed if there was any understated anything in her make-up box.

Amy Adams in Herve L. Leroux – You last heard me wishing for Amy Adams to recover her style mojo and step away from the jewel tones. I kind of got my wish, as here she is in blinding white, which was enough to make me give her a win without much thought. But then on closer inspection, I decided I didn’t actually like the dress too much (mummy’s bandages, anyone?!) and that maybe white wasn’t a great colour for her anyway. Perhaps if she’d let her awesome red hair down rather than sporting this severe pony, that would have broken the milkiness up – and scored her a potential L’Oreal commercial too.

Dianna Agron in vintage Chanel – True to form, as soon as I’ve hailed Dianna my latest red carpet one-to-watch, she goes and messes it up. Admittedly, this isn’t a balls-up of Marion Cotillard’s squashed boobs and poodle perm level because the dress is actually beautiful and typical Dianna. Feminine, classic, exquisitely pretty and working the underrated combination of navy and black; again, it’s got that whole 50s tea-dress thing going on and I’m experiencing those kid gloves urges again. The problem is the heavy smoky eye make-up (the same amateur who sooted-up Jennifer Lawrence?!), which doesn’t suit Dianna’s look at all. Shame.

Naya Rivera in Aurelio Costarella – Well, it was nice of Naya to attempt to put the girls away, but you can see they’re still squishing their way to a bid for freedom. This dress is understatedly lovely in a retro vintage way yet its clingy nature makes her look a little too slender for my liking… and most probably for her boobs’ liking too, as they desperately wonder how they’re being kept up by that tiny a ribcage. I like that she keeps switching up her style and doesn’t always give us the typical va-va-voom Latino look (more of them later), I LOVE that her lipstick complements her nail varnish, I’m not so keen on the lifeless limp hair. No L’Oreal commercial for you!

Sofia Vergara in Roberto Cavalli – I don’t like Sofia Vergara’s red carpet style at all. For me, she falls into every stereotype of a ‘Latino lovely’, always squeezing into va-va-voom dresses that hoist her boobs up somewhere near her hairline. I find her just that teensy bit vulgar – I know, grab Grandma over here the smelling salts – and just so Eva Longoria five years ago. Her and Cavalli are practically made for one another. She’s included because this might just be my favourite ever look from her, primarily because of that amazing electric cobalt blue colour and absolutely nothing to do with her boobs staring me cold in the eye. It’s essentially a slutty version of Kate Middleton’s Issa engagement dress and that dress was so lovely that even the slutty version ain’t half bad.

Eva Longoria in Georges Hobeika – Speak of the devil and she shall appear… This colour is absolutely dreamy (and since greys are going to be the spring trend for nails, why not dresses too?!) and I like Eva’s complimentary soft eye make-up (thank God the Agron/Lawrence make-up artist didn’t get to her). I actually even like the shapes that this dress makes but it’s essentially slutty on a classier scale – imagine the side-boob on that! I feel that Eva’s very overt style of glamour is losing relevance on the red carpet at the moment and will be interested to see how she evolves, especially once Desperate Housewives is over, but this could be a step in the right direction from the OTT ballgowns and big trains she usually favours. Sofia, say hi to yourself in five years… if you’re lucky enough to still be famous that is

Rosario Dawson in J. Mendel – Rosario misses the best-dressed list purely on being so meh in general. What films has she actually been great and really memorable in? *Racks brain* However, this pale lemon colour is just divine on her skin-tone though the shape is a little boring… but those turquoise earrings! Well, let’s just say, if I could have put them on their own on the ‘Yays’ list, they’d be there by now.

Red Carpet Rundown: Screen Actors Guild Awards 2011, Part II

The Nays

Proof that my initial tweet about the 2011 SAG Awards (‘there’s a whole lotta ugly on the red carpet’) still stands. Incidentally, I don’t want to feature her because that’s exactly what she’d want but what the hell was Kim Kardashian doing there? Please remind me what work of hers was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award??? I thought the SAGs were supposed to be the “serious” awards show. The day when Snooki shows up isn’t as far-off as I’d hoped.

Jennifer Lawrence in Oscar de la Renta – This is inexplicably making lots of people’s best-dressed lists. God knows why. I think this shade of bright pink looks cheap and tacky in general and this gown isn’t doing anything to disprove my opinion. Not cheap and tacky enough? Let’s match it with black! Still not looking as if Jane Norman/Reveal/Hypnotic/* insert tacky local clothes shop of your choice here * turned it down for being too tasteful? Let’s customise those shoulder straps so it looks like a low-rent Herve Leger knock-off! Add on a make-up artist’s first attempt at doing smoky eyes, a Croydon facelift pony-tail and ugly clompy shoes, and you have a look that no doubt cost thousands yet looks as if it was found in New Look’s sales section. If it wasn’t for that slit, I’d be convinced it was lycra.

Julie Bowen in Malandrino – The top half got lost on its way to the Cabaret auditions, the bottom half got lost on its way to a good tailors. Someone give Julie Harry Shum Jr’s number! You could take a swim in those pooling hems! Anything vaguely reminiscent of a jumpsuit makes me think of Tina Fey’s Great Jumpsuit Disaster of 2010, which then makes me want to cry. Diane Keaton, you have a lot to answer for.

Angie Harmon in Monique Lhuillier – Is there any pink fluff left in the world? It looks like Harmon covered herself in superglue then rolled around in the flamingo pens at the zoo. Rather than being overtly ugly or too avant-garde to understand, this just looks deeply silly. I’m happy that she looks so delighted with herself though.

Kate Mara in Herve Leger – What is this?!?! It can’t have started life as a dress. My bets are on coffee filter paper, an accordion or strapping that athletes wear on injured parts of the body. The top part was made during a basket-weaving course, the bottom half is a handy Ikea invention for you to store bottles or shoes in. It was so monstrous that I’ve only just clocked the headband. Ladies, Black Swan has already happened. It’s over, finished, in the can. Stop trying to throw in your last-ditch ballerina auditions, please.

Cara Buono in J. Mendel – What is this?!?! The longer I stare at it, the more I start to see gargoyle-esque faces in the weird tumour mushrooming from Cara’s hip. There is enough material here to make five dresses but, on the grounds of just this one, I’m not sure any would be nice. The whole thing is crumpled, pleated and scrunched to an inch of its life, so much so it’s reminding me of the bit in sanitary towel adverts where they show you how their revolutionary quilting technology makes it hold more water than a camel’s hump. I never want to think of sanitary towels when I see a dress. NEVER.

Christina Hendricks in L’Wren Scott – What is this?!?! Goth’s bath-robe? Ladies smoking jacket? Yet another gown that clearly doesn’t fit her? It makes her look an alien-shade of pale, which in turn makes her hair look a wig-shade of fake and adds stumpy, lumpy and bumpy into the bargain too. And when you’re using words that sound like names for the seven dwarves to describe a dress, you know you’re in trouble.

Nicole Kidman in Nina Ricci – The other day, my boyfriend and I saw Nicole Kidman on a massive billboard advertising watches. ‘She looks baaaaaaaad,’ pronounced the boyfriend (and we’re not cool enough to use ‘bad’ to mean ‘good’). If she’s looking bad even with a SWAT team of stylists, make-up artists, lighting crews and air-brushers, it’s doubtful that she’s ever gonna look truly great on the red carpet again. Given what we’ve seen so far, this isn’t even that offensive, but the inclusion of the busy necklace on top of the already busy neckline is just bizarre. And up-close, it really does look like it was put together using off-cuts from a haberdashery.

Winona Ryder in Alberta Ferretti – If you’re thinking, ‘This looks bridal’, you’d be right. This is bridal. As in, has come from a designer’s bridal collection. I don’t understand why any celebrity would do this to themselves unless they’re so deadly desperate to wear a wedding dress that they decide the red carpet is a decent enough substitute to actually getting hitched (hey, don’t knock it, I’d probably do it if I could). The dress is actually lovely but Winona has been wearing this same finger-in-socket/how did you know I’m hearing Rachel’s coconuts knocking against each other face ever since she started doing promo for Black Swan and it’s just deeply odd. Stop it.

Paz de la Huerta – Cripes, how many parts of her body did Paz dip in chocolate? Tight-fitting brown dress = chocolate body. Strange brown tips to her hair = more chocolate-dipping action. Brown-smeared lips = why’s Willy Wonka not sucked her up a pipe or drowned her in a vat of chocolate yet? Final thought – what’s shinier, the dress or Paz’s face?! Even the leopard-print lining can’t save you now.

Red Carpet Rundown: Screen Actors Guild Awards 2011, Part I

You know it’s not been a vintage red carpet when Tina Fey is amongst the best-dressed at 2011’s Screen Actors Guild Awards…

The Yays

Tina Fey in Oscar de la Renta – The days of the Great Jumpsuit Disaster of 2010, or the Great Southern Belle/Mary Poppins/Tiki Mask Boobs Disaster of 2010, are long gone. This can only mean she has a new stylist. With great taste. This intricate red lacy number is so stunning it would probably be a knock-out even on someone like Snooki, but thankfully the time when Snooki gets an invite to the SAGs hasn’t come (yet!) and Tina is knocking it out the park. The detail on this dress is A-MAZ-ING (yes, I just had a Craig Revel Horwood moment). She looks fab.

Lea Michele in Oscar de la Renta – Yes, she’s giving us diva face but with a dress like this, it’s totally deserved. A shimmering sheath of loveliness, classic but with a touch of modernity thanks to the thin gold belt. Her red carpet run since she shot to fame (have a quick perusal via the ever-fabulous Red Carpet Fashion Awards) shows she has good taste in gowns (if not always in make-up and hair styles) and this is one to file in the ‘mightily impressive’ section. Will she ever top last year’s turquoise Malandrino, though?!

January Jones in Carolina Herrera – When I first saw this, I was ready to dismiss it as another ‘Look at me! I’m not Betty Draper!’ choice, but it’s grown on me to the extent that this is actually my favourite outfit from the show. The lace-like print is unusual but beautiful, the black and gold colour combo is outstanding, the fit is flattering and feminine and Jones carries it off with an old-school grace and elegance. Joan, you just got pwned.

Heather Morris in Romona Keveza – Heather is just going from strength to strength red carpet-wise. Following her dazzling turn at this year’s Golden Globes, she continues to mine the neutral palette but with spectacular results. In the wrong hands, this could turn a bit Swan Princess wannabe, yet Morris pulls it off with charm to spare. She just looks so… pretty. Really pretty. Really REALLY pretty. I think I love her.

Julia Stiles in Monique Lhuillier – Julia turned up at the Golden Globes in an outfit that made her look like a dumpy saloon girl and looked almost as pissed about it as I was. The less than overjoyed expression is still with us yet the moonlighting as a Wild West extra is over, as this sweeping lavender cascade is just gorgeous.

Jayma Mays in Jenny Packham – Welcome back to the Jayma we all know and love, as opposed to the period-attired skeleton who showed for the Golden Globes. Gone is the spider’s snot make-up, replaced with a light fresh and peachy look, which just feels so much more right. I’m not quite sure how she’s making the red hair work with the burnt orange colour, but it looks all sorts of lovely floaty and yummy. Surely the L’Oreal contract courtesy of those lust-worthy locks is in the bad? Not sure why she’s only been allowed one angel’s wing as a sleeve though.

Kyra Sedgwick in vintage Thierry Mugler Couture – Mrs Kevin Bacon was unlucky to not be included in my Golden Globes write-up, as her mustard-coloured gown followed the time-honoured tradition of rather gorgeous mustard-coloured gowns, a code created by Michelle Williams and upheld by Diane Kruger. This dress is much less interesting but, in my opinion, even more effortlessly gorgeous. It oozes class, sass and sophistication, her figure is to die for and I want her hair. Another L’Oreal contract in the making.

Harry Shum Jr – A man! Again! Harry is included to show (yet again) how to be different and continue to get it so so right. I’m not sure many people could carry off a metallic suit, pink shirt and navy tie but he makes it look downright easy. The key? The cut is perfect (it’s amazing how many actors wander round treading on their hems, their tailors having used the height on their CVs rather than reality to measure things), the fit is perfect and the little details are all just so – the matching pocket square, the hint of shirt showing at the cuff. Good work, young sire.

Susan Sarandon in Nicole Miller – As some of you may know by now, I’m a sucker for purple (see Katy Perry, Sandra Bullock, many nail varnishes). This dress proves why. Again, it’s simple, sexy and sophisticated and there’s not much more to say than that.

In all honesty, this is a bit of a blah year, especially when you compare it with last year’s stellar showing. But just wait ‘til you see ‘The Nays’…

Red Carpet Rundown: Golden Globes 2011, Part IV

The final red carpet rundown from 2011’s Golden Globes (and let’s not dwell on how many times I’ve mistakenly typed Golden Gloves) is a collection snappily entitled: stuff I wanted to talk about but couldn’t fit anywhere else.

Emma Stone in Calvin Klein – As soon as I saw this dress, I knew it was Calvin Klen. Sleek, chic, minimalist – it’s basically Diane Kruger’s Met Ball dress in peach. It’s also from the same collection as Claire Danes’ Golden Globes dress but Danes is just a bit blah whereas Emma is obviously fun and sparkly and cool, meaning I’d rather dedicate 100 words to her instead. Plus, there is the whole blonde hair thing to discuss… Yes, it’s for a role and yes, her PRs can keep spinning the whole she’s a natural blonde thing but she was clearly meant to be a redhead. If it’s true that Judd Apatow was the one that made her do it for Superbad, then that’s easily the best thing he’s done since Knocked Up. Red makes her look fiery, sexy and unique; blonde makes her look like just another cookie-cutter dead-behind-the-eyes starlet (I’m looking at you, Kate Bosworth). However, the peach gown would definitely not have worked with red hair but with blonde, it looks deliciously cool, refreshing and somewhat edible, like a melon sorbet. It’s a more grown-up, refined look for Emma and she pretty much pulls it off. That gold clutch is rather yummy too.

Mandy Moore in Monique Lhullier – I’m glad Mandy Moore made the transition from pop star to actor, rather than being stuck in the post-Britney/Xtina hellhole that Jessica Simpson currently inhabits. Her rich chestnut brown hair is far more becoming than the bottle blonde of old and this ballgown is sweepingly sophisticated, in a knockout royal blue colour. The only thing I’m not keen on is the transparent asymmetrical yoke thing, which is just unnecessary and spoils the lines. Otherwise, it’s positively dreamy.

Megan Fox in custom-made Armani Prive – It’s nice to see Megan not going straight for the groin with this gown. We’re used to seeing her clad in vampy colours with dresses that stick to her like a second skin, so this delicate breath of romance was rather unexpected and much appreciated. I love the intricate lattice-like criss-crossing of the bodice and the soft palette of creamy shimmery pastel pinks but what’s up with Megan’s face? She looks as if she’s been embalmed and whoever did it lacked some serious skills. And as ever, that hideous Marilyn Monroe tattoo shows up to spoil the party once again.

Jane Fonda in Georges Hobeika – I really adore this dress. It’s black without being boring and Jane shows she still knows how to work it with the best of them. While it’s an inspired choice for the more mature woman offering that element of upper-arm coverage Mirren is always sporting, I think it would work just as well on someone younger and would be interested to see how that panned out. Either way, it’s classy, it’s sophisticated and just a little bit sexy too. Nice work, stylists!

Scarlett Johansson in Elie Saab – It’s a shimmering, romantic and oh so pretty dress beamed down direct from Cloud Nine. So, of course it’s by Elie Saab! It would be an astoundingly beautiful dress whether worn by fairy queen or evil troll so that’s not the issue… it’s Johansson’s bizarre Bride of Frankenstein hairdo. I’ll leave you to mull over this strange experiment in back-combing and toxic amounts of hairspray…

Oh, hello Robert Pattinson. I’m not sure how you got here… think of it as my treat to myself after 4000 words of Golden Globes coverage. See you at the Oscars.