Tag Archives: Leighton Meester

Red Carpet Rundown: Met Gala 2011, Savage Beauty

So more people wore Stella McCartney than Alexander McQueen at the Met Gala 2011, despite the fact it was supposed to be held in McQueen’s honour. But plenty of other people fulfilled the theme of Savage Beauty instead, right? Errr… The scratching sound you hear is me desperately scraping the barrel for attendees that were doing anything just a teensy bit untamed. I think you’ll know how seriously said barrel has been scraped when I tell you that Taylor Swift has made this list…

Liv Tyler in Givenchy – Liv was another of my favourites of the night in this Givenchy gown, even if she didn’t pair it with the insane headpiece (which could have turned things literally savage if she poked some fashionista’s eye out with a rogue antler). I usually don’t understood the fuss about Liv but I have to admit, she looks properly ethereally gorgeous here. The dress is from the same collection as Florence Welch’s Grammys gown but in my opinion, this one is so much better. Why? Well, fluorescent yellow feathers of course! The feather detailing down the body is so intricate and ornate and beautiful, and the way it dovetails (hey, see what I did there?!) into the yellow ombre effect is subtle yet stunning. And I love how Liv has pulled that colour out with the pop of her neon yellow clutch. She just looks heaven-sent.

Christina Ricci in Zac PosenThis, my Stella McCartney clad friends, is how you do Savage Beauty. It’s dramatic. It’s overblown. It’s impossible not to notice. And as such, it’s a perfect tribute to McQueen. How appropriate too that it’s Wednesday Adams wearing this Gothic spectacle of a dress. It looks like it was fashioned from cobwebs, with Christina rising above them as the ultimate black widow of them all. It says something about her star presence that, given she’s about the size of an oompa-loompa in real life, she’s not overwhelmed by the huge train or the opulent theatricality of the gown. Instead, she just belongs. A deliciously dark delight.

Diane Kruger in Jason Wu – Diane Kruger was another of my favourites of the night. This might not be the style statement of Ricci but at least it’s trying to do something a little bit different, and it’s certainly enough of a departure from Wu’s typically beautiful but safe designs to merit attention. I love the old Hollywood glamour Diane is bringing to this look and there is something a little bit dangerous about that sexy thigh-high split. She looks sensational.

Jennifer Lopez in Gucci – The first time I saw this dress, I hated it. But as I watched the parade of uninspiring outfits filter by, I began to have a new-found appreciation for this one. Firstly, that striking power-punch of cerise is an amazing colour on J. Lo, and the way she’s matched it with that lipstick – well, I wouldn’t expect anything less! Secondly, the shape is interesting without being overpowering. Thirdly, the flower shrug… well, I love it. It gives the dress so much more drama whilst also being beautiful and romantic and quirky and wild. Jennifer wears it with a sense of ‘Flowers as a cardigan? Why, but I do it all the time! Marc personally plucked these from the garden before we came…’ that just makes me love it even more. With her hair scraped back, I expect her to break out into a passionate flamenco and finish off by throwing bits of her shrug to an appreciative audience. In short, I’m making up a whole story from just one dress. Either I’m mental (and exhausted by so many dresses) or this really is fine work from Mr Gucci. I’m hoping for the latter!

Crystal Renn in Zac Posen – It seems that of all the designers who custom-made gowns for this event, it was only Zac Posen who actually bothered to read the invite. He brings the drama again with this number, which has a Victorian villainess feel to it. In fact, I expect Crystal to be robbing carriages or stealing crystal lockets at balls. How exhausting it must be to be a model and keep up this level of high drama and fierce pouting all night, although I have to say, I did prefer Crystal in her curvier days. I hope she managed to master an evil cackle for the night as well.

Shalom Harlow in Marchesa – What’s this, a Marchesa dress that doesn’t look like a wedding gown?! This dress is more a feat of engineering than anything else, it’s so insanely structural and yet still soft and swirly, which makes for an interesting contrast. That black detail looks so organic, like it just flowed right onto the gown from an ink well, and reminds me of those butterflies you see made out of craft paper on homemade greetings cards; I’m stunned and charmed that Shalom managed to find the one hair grip in the city that exactly matched that effect.

Ciara in Prabal Gurung – You may remember Ciara tweeting that her dress was reminiscent of McQueen and me being annoyed that she didn’t just, you know, wear McQueen. At this rate however, anything is better than nothing and this dress follows the feather theme of the other Sarah Burton dresses we saw that evening, even it’s a little less flamboyant. Then again, how much less flamboyant can feathers be?! This dress is a fairly standard shape but the ombre effect is rather dreamy and I am absolutely obsessed with Ciara’s cuff. I want one myself so I can pretend to be She-Ra round the house again.

Karolina Kukova in Jean Paul Gaultier – Another divinely theatrical look being worked by another divinely fierce model. From some angles, this dress was like a Magic Eye picture where you had to spot the leggings; how amazingly mind-bogglingly bonkers an idea to fashion them out of the same lace as the lining of the skirt. Karolina carries this off with such an effortless poise and majestic sense of ownership, as if she walks around all the time fanning out her underskirts for all to see. It’s a startlingly clever dress but it also just looks uniquely magnificent. You can’t get much better than that.

Bar Refaeli in Reem Acra – Opulence personified. Do gowns get more spendidly exotically decadent than this? Bar is totally channelling Cleopatra in this gown and it’s so richly detailed AND GOLDEN AND SHINY that I can’t help but fall for it a little, even if it isn’t doing her figure any major favours. I love the small turquoise elements that are brought out further by her earrings and handbag – I’m a sucker for turquoise and these fashion folk seem to be great at making accent colours pop for the better. Meanwhile, all Bar has to do is be reincarnated as a mannequin in a department store and capture an 80s Brat Packer’s heart and I’ll be one very happy bunny. [This is a long-winded reference to one of my favourite films of all time and ultimate guilty pleasure, Mannequin, starring a young Kim Cattrall, a Golden Girl, a bombastic  Starship power ballad and one of the most preposterous plots of all time. I don’t get to chuck Mannequin references in very often, so please humour me.]

Beyonce in Emilio Pucci – Here’s a gown that really was savage, as Beyonce could hardly breathe/pose/move in it and eventually had to hauled up the stairs by various minions after she almost fell down them. I’m all for suffering for fashion but at least make it fashion that’s actually nice to look at?! This reminds me of another of the ugliest dresses in recent memory, coincidentally also worn by Beyonce at 2009’s Oscars. That was designed by her own line, House of Dereon, and I thought this was too… but in fact, it’s by Pucci! It’s so tacky and vulgar looking, like the kind of cheap imitation Baroque fireplace that’s the first thing people have ripped out of their new home on property shows. Her head looks like it’s ready to pop off due to how long she’s been holding her breath, whilst she actually appears to be listing like the Leaning Tower of Pisa except much more precarious, like she’s ready to keel over. And the glory hole for her boobs? Seriously? At the Met Gala?! I have to leave the final words to Fashion Critic at the Red Carpet Fashion Awards: ‘This might be a custom Pucci design, but it has Tina Knowles written all over it’. Trust me, insults in the fashion world don’t come much greater!

Leighton Meester in Louis Vuitton – Well, the theme was Savage Beauty and this outfit is positively vicious all-round! Every element seemed to have been sourced from some sort of fetish bondage shop and it all just looks a little hard and uncomfortable. Normally Leighton manages to sell her look, however ridiculous (remember that time you could see her entire bare ass in a lace jumpsuit?), but here she looks rather tame and unconvinced herself – more heavy-duty black eyeliner required, methinks! Honestly, it’s a bit of a relief as I’ve always liked Leighton and prefer to think of her without any sado-masochistic undertones.

Saoirse Ronan in Rodarte – This has clearly been cobbled together from charity shop finds. The bottom half is a vintage sequinned ballgown that you’re not quite sure about but hey, it’s so cheap and SJP always makes these things work, so why the hell not? (Said before it languishes in your wardrobe for years on end). The top half is an 80s power-suit, possibly worn by a tv anchorwoman, maybe even Ann Diamond. And the shoes? Well, no-one knows what Saoirse was thinking with the shoes. I’m really happy that Saoirse isn’t going down the typical teen ingénue route with her style choices (hello, Dakota Fanning) but this isn’t Rodarte’s finest effort. Interesting? Yes. Attractive? Hellz no. (That being said, perhaps some model in strong directional make-up and constant Crystal Renn glare might have made it work.)

Taylor Swift in J Mendel – Yes, Taylor Swift managed to make a list with the word ‘Savage’ in it. Sweet, pretty, innocent Taylor, with her long curly hair and guitar and songs about love and butterflies and John Meyer being a douche. But this is a pleasant departure from her usual spangles o’ clock setting and in fact, she looks genuinely classically beautiful whilst the stronger make-up is a sophisticated more grown-up touch than we’re used to getting from Taylor. The gown is yet another in the nude brigade but there’s darker forces at work too. I love how that black detail cascades up one shoulder and how, if you look closely, the same detail is continued in the main fabric of the dress too. The frayed edges, the aged beige colour (that you got by swishing about a used tea-bag in art), the way that black pattern feels like a vine slowly climbing over and covering the dress like a rambling old mansion or a strangely beautiful type of mould – yes, there I go creating a story again but there’s an intriguing sense of decay about this gorgeous gown that makes it so much more than stereotype pretty.

Doutzen Kroes in Giambattista Valli – Uh-oh, someone got out-Giselled! Under normal circumstance, this might have been a show-stopping dress but once you’ve got Giselle throwing shapes the other side of the room in an even more show-stopping dress, this striking red number becomes almost ordinary in comparison. What I do like is the juxtaposition between the very clean, almost harsh lines of the top half, compared with the pouffy volume of the bottom. Pretty… but just not Giselle.

Keri Hilson in Atelier Versace – More juxtaposition (yay as it’s one of my favourite words) with this gown, where there’s some overtly sexy form-fitting knitwear up-top contrasted with some princess-gown tulle clouds floating around the bottom. I love the dusty periwinkle colour but I’m not so in love with what Keri’s bringing to the gown. The tacky yellow rootsy hair? (Whose natural hair colour is that; it sure as hell isn’t hers!) The overdose of eyeshadow? The vast array of bling? The boobs clinging on to that neckline for their life? What on the model looks like an interesting neckline, Keri makes look like visible bra straps. Which just about says it all.

Blake Lively in Chanel – Well, I had to put Blake in here didn’t I? Love her or hate her, at least she’s never boring with her style choices. I’m really not sure about the new strawberry blonde hair though – I loved it on her debut redhead look but here, I think something needs to give, either the tan or the dye, as they’re just jostling around too close for comfort colour-wise. I’m not crazy about the dress either; half toga party, half raunchy figure skater. And however much Blake tries to sell it to me with her trademark attitude and orgasm-face, it’s still kinda tacky. Even if it’s Chanel. (Don’t tell Karl).

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

Red Carpet Rundown: Golden Globes 2011, Part I

You know awards show season is starting to hot up when there isn’t a Kardashian in sight.

The Golden Globes is usually one of my favourite red carpets of the year because of the intriguing intermingle between movie stars and TV actors. The former still have more prestigious ceremonies to come, often opting for more unusual, less safe outfits this time round but for the latter, it’s the glitziest and most glamorous awards show of their year and probably the pinnacle of their red carpet season. They tend to grab their moment in the international spotlight with big ballgowns, statement dresses and demeanour set to dazzle, especially given the unpredictable nature of American television networks, which means they might not be around to enjoy it the year after.

Having said that, I was a little disappointed with 2011’s Golden Globes. There was a little too much beige and blah happening, some of my usual favourites have seemingly lost their red carpet marbles and finding nine unmitigated favourites to write for this first post was tricky. Here goes anyway…

Green Goddesses

The most noteworthy trend for this red carpet was green, a bright bold choice for stars who definitely didn’t want to go under the radar. Thank God.

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace – I was beginning to wonder if the world’s most famous vampire found wearing colour as scary as wooden stakes and garlic. Had Angie’s clothes all gone in the wash with a rogue black sock of Brad’s? Thankfully, this stunning emerald green number proved this wasn’t the case. It’s sparkly, it’s flattering, it’s elegant and it takes absolutely years off her. A simple (even dowdy) shape made stunning through a bold colour choice. Angelina looks positively invigorated and this is the best she’s looked in ages. Can you guess that I approve?

Catherine Zeta-Jones in Monique Lhullier – This sweeping ballgown has had a Marmite effect across the Interwebz but I love it. I love the classic shape, the kind of dress CZJ was surely born to wear. I love the colour, a deep forest green that complements CZJ’s porcelain skin and dark hair perfectly. And I love the attitude, the big ostentatious chandelier earrings, which just totally work with this big ostentatious dress, which just totally works with CZJ’s diva persona. The brocade-style texture is a bit much – making the dress sit somewhere between a roll of turf and Scarlett O Hara’s curtains – but I’m willing to let it slide for the overall effect. She looks like the star she’s never quite lived up to being.

Mila Kunis in Vera Wang – After watching Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I was all ready to elevate her to coveted ‘girl crush’ status, alongside my all-time fave, Rachel Bilson. Unfortunately, unlike Bilson, who looks absolutely adorable both on and off red carpets, Kunis has racked up appearance after appearance of screen-smashing mediocrity for her promo tour of Black Swan. Seems someone had read one too many Angie vs Jen style showdowns, as she was either clad in boring blacks or even more boring beiges (see here for exhaustive evidence). Thankfully, just as Jolie woke up to the world of Technicolour, so did Kunis – alas, the pair of them picking the exact same shade of the rainbow. Jolie steals Kunis’ thunder but there’s still plenty to recommend this dress. There’s something a little crepe paper-esque about the texture but it gives the whole thing a lovely fluidity and the emerald green complements Kunis’ colouring perfectly. More of the same please, Mila!

Other Loves

Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive – Just when you thought there wasn’t a princess dress Annie would turn down, she does a style 180 on us all. A modern shape (well, if by modern, we mean Dynasty rather than Regency inspired), an edgy colour (bronze rather than gold) and even a little bit of sex (unlike Jolie’s similar style, this had a cutout back, albeit with severely unsexy nude material covering the back). She looks stunning – from the front anyway.

Olivia Wilde in Marchesa – Wilde is still scrambling up the tv to film transitional wall, which I think explains her all-out double-or-nothing bling-tastic ballgown, in a year where these big pouffs of romanticism were mostly left on the stylists’ racks. She looks like a princess. I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me the gown was magical – it’s the kind of dress that makes you believe. It’s like someone draped the night sky (you know, when it still had stars in it) over Wilde’s body, fluffed it up, then sprinkled some additional fairy dust for good measure. And let’s just have a moment for her bewitching Louboutins, presented in all their gold glittering glory below.

* Dramatic pause, longing sigh * OK, on we go…

Jennifer Lawrence in Louis Vuitton – The first time I saw this dress, I loved it a lot more than I do now. It’s flamenco flouncy, it’s romantic ruffly and it has those wide straps that I loved so much from that whole 50s-inspired Vuitton collection (see Rachel Bilson and Maggie Gyllenhaal). However, it is essentially pretty papier-mâché and as such, reminds me of this dress on Veronica Mars, whilst also looking like something Dolly Parton might have worn in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Oh well, we’ll always have my love at first sight to remember, Jennifer…

Some Slightly Half-Hearted Love

January Jones in Versace – This is doing the reverse Jennifer Lawrence on me. I’m sure that at least half of the population aren’t even aware she’s wearing a dress at all but I think this is one of those times that January’s edgy ‘I’m not Betty really!’ style has really worked. The fascinating cut-out details of the top makes it look like someone turned a superhero outfit into a red carpet dress, the fringing of the bottom suggests it was at the height of the 1920s that they decided to do so and the scintillating vermillion suggests they were going for the pure sex jugular in the process. We’ve seen January channel her inner bizarre superhero before with disastrous results but this a super-sexy superhero I could get on board with. Hell, it’s more convincing than her look in the new X-Men movie. Her classic hair and make-up, meanwhile, is flawless.

Amy Adams in Marchesa – That this gown was a Marchesa was a no-brainer. Interesting structure, highly romantic, hugely flattering – all the typical trademarks of the best Marchesa gowns. Alas, it’s all a bit Marchesa by numbers, meaning I feel like I’ve seen it all before even if I haven’t. I do still like the gown, certainly wouldn’t kick it out my wardrobe given the chance and there’s no doubt that these rich jewel tones complement Amy’s colouring nicely (they match her eyes perfectly!) but it’s just lacking a bit of spark and dynamism. Which is how I feel about Amy Adams in general recently. She needs a trip back to Andalasia stat. Here’s hoping the Muppets fix her red carpet mojo.

Leighton Meester in Burberry Prorsum – This is growing on me, in the manner of some murky fungus rather than a pretty flower. I feel that filming Country Strong may have infected B’s mind, as this does have a hint of country pilgrim feel to it. Like she should be in Big Love. That being said, it’s striking just because it’s so different from everything else that night and she’s still blinging it up via sandals, earrings and gold inkpot-looking bag. The beautiful hair, soft make-up and Leighton’s dreamy expression also make the whole look feel fresh and rather lovely, as opposed to Mormon and dowdy. Queen B’s selling it and I’m just about buying.

Red Carpet Rundown: People’s Choice Awards 2011, Part III

The final part of my rundown of People’s Choice Awards 2011 fashions and finally… people I’ve heard of! Is it coincidence that they’re generally better-dressed? It is also coincidence that so few walked the red carpet, complete with the ‘People’s Choice’ shower curtains in the background?

Leighton Meester in Vionnet – My best-dressed at this event was Leighton Meester. But a few short months ago, Leighton would have been on the second list, a name that I saw continually cropping up on the fashion pages alongside Blake Lively but without me having a clue who she was. But I finally started watching Gossip Girl and Leighton is clearly the best thing about the show… and her dress sense ain’t too shabby either. Her style is generally a bit more interesting than Lively’s, a bit girlier and a lot more unpredictable. This dress is so unassumingly pretty, with a naïve handmade feel that made me tumble head over heels for it. I love the flattering ruched neckline, I love the gauzy quality of the grey over the subtle flash of the yellow, I love the appliquéd flowers, I love those peachy drop earring and I love Leighton’s stunning natural make-up, especially those smoky eyes. In short, total swoon.
Boyfriend says: Leighton has come straight from playgroup. Looks like there are food stains on that too too. [Suddenly, I don’t like this feature anymore…]

Kristen Stewart in Reem Acra – How awesome is this photo of Kristen Stewart? She looks like some blissed-out goddess, with nary a trace of the awkward teenager in sight. This gold sequin mini was an obvious choice for Stewart (can’t remember the last time she didn’t bring out the pins) but also, a more unusual choice as she tends to favour darker colours. It’s a total winner though – so glittery and gorgeous that it’s a real shame she denied it its red carpet moment. I love the subtlety of the nude satin back, which turns it from High Street to high fashion. It makes her look like the total star she is – and about time too. Embrace it, K. Stew!
Boyfriend says: A bit tranny-ish.

Taylor Swift in J. Mendel – Actually, the gold spangly number is more of a Taylor Swift thing. The former magpie of the red carpet (she could never resist anything shiny), Swift is finally branching out and discovering that amazing things happen when she does. After Minka and Leighton, this was my next favourite look from the awards. As the amazing Red Carpet Fashion Awards pointed out, there’s something very Rodarte inspired about this dainty blush gown – I’m gonna stick my head out and say it’s the slightly deconstructed nature to the delicate fabric. It fits in perfectly with the Black Swan ballerina fever (or should I call it bird flu?!) going round at the moment; Taylor’s even got a bit of a dancer’s pose going on too! But this is a signature look for her – sweet, innocent, demure – and she looks stunning.
Boyfriend says: I agree with the ballerina theme.

Katy Perry in Betsy Johnson – Imagine you asked your six year-old self what she would wear to the Oscars. You have this dress. Honestly, this shade of purple seems to do weird things to me where I lose all objectivity to any gown that features it (remember Sandra Bullock’s beloved Quality Street moment?) but this is sooooo pretty and girlie and just… gush… love. It’s all big flouncy skirt, lilac ruffles, veins of electric blue and Perry just looks like she loves wearing it. What’s more, the fuchsia peeptoes are amazing, as is the slash of bubblegum pink lipstick, as is the second pose. If Taylor Swift was butter-wouldn’t melt ballerina, then Perry is the ballerina butter-wouldn’t melt ballerina really wanted to be. My inner six year-old just did an excited hand-clappy dance.
Boyfriend says: Too much.

Jennifer Aniston in Dolce & Gabanna – Yes, most of us have been dying for Jennifer Aniston to step out of her style rut. But is this the look we were dreaming of? I highly doubt it. Women working menswear is meant to be an edgy cool look so I’m not entirely sure how Aniston has managed to make this look so safe, drab and 90s – the waistcoat looks like it was stolen from Chandler’s wardrobe on early Friends (or indeed, Penn Badgley and his never-ending parade of old man clothes on Gossip Girl). I don’t think it’s flattering, I don’t think it’s exciting and compared to every outfit I’ve featured (yes, even Tiffany Hines!), it’s just downright dull. That’s why I needed two pictures of Katy Perry – to plug the energy vortex Aniston had created! I’m sure Jen has a few more tricks up her sleeve, but this just ain’t it. Oh well. At least she looks better than she did in The Switch.
Boyfriend says: Just no.