Tag Archives: Alexander McQueen

Red Carpet Rundown: I ♥ Kate Middleton/Duchess of Cambridge/Princess Kate

There was a time when I didn’t even like Kate Middleton much. I even preferred Prince Harry’s spunkier beau, Chelsea Davy, because she actually seemed to be doing something with her life, as opposed to just hanging around with immaculate hair waiting for her boyfriend to pop the question.

How times have changed.

Now I can’t get enough of Princess Kate. Thankfully, the media can’t either, so I have been happily gorging on photos of her daily thanks to Wills & Kate’s Great North American Adventure. And now I don’t just want her hair… I want her wardrobe too!

Kate’s style has been criticised as ‘boring’, but I can’t remember the last time I didn’t think she looked lovely. Isn’t it refreshing to see a young woman in the public eye who isn’t slavishly following every trend going or trying to reveal as much boob as possible? Kate’s style is elegant, refined and obviously, totally her own. No stylist required.

Obviously, being a royal means there’s some element of conservatism to her look – yes, wah wah wah, she has to wear skin-coloured tights but frankly, she wears them so well that I’m considering buying some! Yet she still looks young and fresh, un-stuffy and gorgeous – and I suppose being in love with the future King of England helps too.

My favourite looks from the North American tour are numerous… so this post is as much for my personal squee-ing viewing pleasure as for yours.

I knew it was going to be a good few weeks when Kate’s first look was this navy lace shift dress from Erdem. Subconsciously, I’d been longing for Kate to wear Erdem since… well, forever. Erdem does lacy florals in a way that is so far away from grannie’s doilies and cushion covers that you’ll forget chintz even existed; instead, they’re contemporary, chic and oh-so-breathtakingly pretty dresses every time. I LOVE this dress. I want it. You’ll hear this phrase a lot this post.

The marriage made in heaven (and I’m talking Kate & Erdem, not Kate & Wills!) continued with this second Erdem dress. This time it’s a more vibrant shade of royal blue, a colour we’ve seen Kate wear a lot recently, obviously purely coincidentally setting off that engagement ring. Again, I love it. I want it less than the navy one though. The navy was just SO effortlessly classy yet still a little bit sexy. This is beautiful though. See what I mean? Modern yet conservative and still young and fresh. Delightful.

Another designer that Kate should wear more of is Jenny Packham. Packham is actually British-born, yet has so far received more attention from young American starlet types who are drawn magpie-esque to her sparkly feminine designs (see Emma Roberts, Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, Jayma Mays and Sandra Bullock). This is also an excuse for me to shoehorn in my second-favourite Princess Kate look of all time (second to THE wedding dress, obvs) courtesy of Ms Packham from the ARK Gala – delicate blush colour, shimmering silver sequins, a floating romantic princess dream topped off with ribbons on her shoes. She looked stunning in every single photo, from every single angle – the power of a totally magical dress.

But back to the dresses from the tour. They’re just such a perfect fit for Kate. Delightful, charming and pretty, simple yet with an easy sophistication. She got a bit windswept in the primrose yellow frock so I’m hoping this will get another Reiss engagement dress re-run because it’s utterly gorgeous. Easy and breezy without a Covergirl advert in sight. It’s a shame Kate tends towards nudes and neutrals as colours like this really light her up. She looks years younger. Adorable.

Similarly, she should totally wear more prints. She can carry them off – and so easily too! Ideally, she needs to amalgamate these two looks and do *quelle horreur* a bright print! Baby steps, I know… This is yet another effortlessly gorgeous outfit and the print, in an array of pale neutral hues, is just beautiful, light and chic. I love the way those butterfly-like sleeves fall too. It’s the little details!

Onto the Alexander McQueens, forever destined to be overshadowed by THE wedding dress. Part of her duty as a royal is to champion British fashion so well done Kate for finding McQueen pieces that work with her sensibilities – and not only work, but weeerk (you know, said with a Tyra hip thrust or Mr Jay finger wag). This vaguely nautical-themed cream cable-knit dress is just that little bit quirkier than Kate’s usual choices; it was worn for her visit to the place where Anne Of Green Gables was set and she just looks… delightful. What’s the word count for that adjective already? Classic but cute. Hair up looks good too, huh?!

The biggie of the tour was this full-length lavender ball-gown with a crystallised waistband worn for the Baftas Brits To Watch event. If this isn’t a princess dress, I’m not sure what is. It looks like it was designed by Disney artists for that final romantic waltz in the clouds accompanied by the Disney choir reaching crescendo. The sparkly waist reminds me of the after-wedding McQueen gown, whilst accessories are strictly from the school of sparkly princess stuff too. It’s so soft and silky and swooning. On a night when Hollywood’s A-List were out strutting their stuff (and, in celeb anecdote gold, J.Lo was apparently shoving Mary Louise Parker out the way), Princess Kate wafted down the red carpet like she’s been doing it for years. Beautiful.

So these dresses are the proof why Kate should give colour a few more spins. Look how much brighter and vibrant and youthful she looks in these bold eye-popping shades. The purple Issa and green Diane Von Furstenberg are both very simple shapes that let the colour do all the talking – but it’s one hell of a conversation! Issa’s speciality is flattering shapes in vivid colours (remember the engagement announcement dress?) and this is no exception. I just wish I could make unforgiving jersey look this easy! Meanwhile, it’s always been one of my aims in life to buy myself a DVF – the designer has a reputation for making flattering, quality clothing for women of any age in all kinds of lively prints and colours. This is just selling the brand to me even more.

One of my other favourites from the tour was rather understated and underrated. I’ve loved Roksanda Ilincic’s designs for a long time now – there’s just something about the way she drapes her fabrics that’s artful, interesting, tactile and feminine; structured but unstructured, if that makes sense. She isn’t afraid of a bright colour either and most of her pieces have an effortless grace to them, yet are still very modern. In short, Kate should be wearing this British designer much more! And also in short, I obviously want this lavender pale blue grey Peridot dress for my own. See that twist at the neckline? The way the material folds so beautifully around the figure? The way it just feels feather-light and delicate and dreamy yet could see you through practically any occasion? LOVE.

I have to mention the Reiss Nanette dress re-run too. It’s always endearing to see celebs wear outfits again – Camilla recently trotted out her entire wedding guest garb! – and it feels a very British thing too. It’s such a high-profile dress to recycle (worn for one of the official engagement photos) yet shows how much new life can be breathed into an outfit through stylish accessorising… and of course there’s the whole Canadian flag, red-and-white theme going on. The Lock & Co red maple leaf fascinator is charmingly quirky, the Lulu Guinness fan clutch is AMAZING and I want one, the maple leaf brooch borrowed from Her Majesty herself is a lovely touch and the ruby heels tie everything together. And the dress is still the very gorgeous clean crisp and modern thing it always was.

Finally, the Catherine Walkers, my least favourite of the favourites. For me, these are a little too mature for Kate yet still have some exquisite features about them. The dress-coat feels a little old-fashioned for Kate (I think it’s that heavy collar) but the shape of that full skirt is rather wonderful and I’m getting a cute Mary Poppins vibe off the whole outfit. Kate’s colouring actually suits red very well and I’d love to see her wear it more often.

The grey pencil dress is a little too formal – it feels too much like work-wear and consequently feels a little uptight. But the collar is very cute on Kate and from the back – well, it’s a whole much nicer, more interesting, more modern dress.

For those that can’t be bothered to traipse through 1500-odd words of fawning, here’s the short version: Princess Kate, I love you, can I have your clothes now please?

Awwwww…

Photos: Daily Mail, Just Jared, Go Fug Yourself, My Hollywood Life

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