Tag Archives: Madonna

Red Carpet Rundown: Met Gala 2011, Stella’s Stars

The Met Gala 2011 was supposed to be in honour of Alexander McQueen… so of course, the greatest number of people chose to wear Stella McCartney. Stella was co-chairing the event… then again, so was Colin Firth… and even though I love a lot of these gowns, I don’t think any of them fit the theme of Savage Beauty. Do you?

Can you believe this is the same woman who was last seen out-slutting her teenage daughter by showing off her bare ass at a post-Oscars party? This is the best Madonna has looked in ages – classy, sophisticated yet far from being contrived or boring. This steely blue colour looks brilliant on her, especially combined with those perfectly-coiffed golden waves, and I love the silver stars that trail their way down her back and onto her train.

Iman looks a bit like Ru Paul. And if you aren’t a fan of high campery and heavy trashtastic-ness, then bling-covered jumpsuits probably aren’t for you. Then again, you’re no shrinking violet if you managed to snag Ziggy Stardust as a hubbie and you can’t deny she is working the hell out of it and looking fiercely Amazonian anyway. And what’s the perfect accessory to gold sequins, a blaze of golden hair and glowing golden skin? A gold belt buckle, of course. Duh.

I’ve long been a fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s red carpet style – she has an easy grown-up grace about her that doesn’t seem too try-hard – and this is another winner in my book. I adore the oceanic blue glitter and the unusual neckline, although I’m slightly concerned by the lack of bra and consequently, the nipple standing to attention that seems to follow my gaze. I know I applauded her lack of try-hardiness but there are limits…

This is such a standard Gwyneth Paltrow gown that it bores me to boring beige tears. A simple nude sheath dress, there’s no doubt it’s super-flattering and suits her but seriously, the carpet is more savage than anything in this look.

Eva Mendes is one of those people that just doesn’t excite me on the red carpet and this isn’t really any exception. This royal blue one-sleeved number has that whole 70s boho aesthetic that McCartney was channelling last season and I love the sense of movement and volume Mendes is bringing for photos, but it feels a bit too carefree and casual for *the* fashion event of the year. If what you really need to set your outfit off is a big floppy sun-hat, you know it probably just isn’t cutting it.

Another super-pretty dress, another complete lack of savageness. I’m gonna stop harping on about it now. I do love the ethereal fairy dust aspect of Naomi Watts’ gown but I feel like I saw it all before with Mandy Moore at this year’s Oscars.

When did Kate Hudson get this pregnant?! Last time I looked, it was a mere bump in the road but now it looks like she’s smuggling watermelons Phoebe-style. The long wavy hair, the embellished bodice and the fishtail train are saying one thing to me – mermaid. That and the sea-shell she stuck on top of her head. I guess there are worse things you can look like than a heavily pregnant mermaid on her wedding day and she’s doing her usual Goldie Hawn-inherited Kate Hudson thing by looking glowy and pretty regardless. At least it looks vaguely comfortable and easy to sit down and pee in, which were probably greater concerns for Kate than say… Daphne Guinness.

Thandie Newton is one of my serial style crushes and as ever, she’s giving me flawless face. I love the top half of this dress, with the deep V-neck with scalloped edging, but I’m not sure about the bottom half. I know it isn’t really her underwear I can see, but I still feel it’s improper of me to look.

I find Rihanna’s dress oddly unflattering, like a jumpsuit that someone has opened up the legs of – and you haven’t even seen the tacky see-through slit down the side yet, which proved lots of fun for the photographers when she bent down to fiddle with her train. Well, I say see-through, it looked more like support tights… Yet that isn’t my main issue. Even from here, through a photograph comprised of pixels on a computer screen, that braid boasts more synthetic material than a Primark sale. I’ve loved Rihanna’s flaming red tresses with some of her more colourful outrageous looks, but it just looks fake and cheap here. Pippi Longstocking would not be impressed.

The problem with everyone wearing the same designer is that things start to get a bit repetitive. So that intricate swirling lace pattern that’s providing interest on Kate Winslet’s gown entirely take over Hailee Steinfeld’s, albeit in a different colour (seen on Amber Valetta’s dress too). Meanwhile, the black lace aspect of Winslet’s gown is also reminiscent of Thandie’s and Rihanna’s outfits too.

Kate Winslet’s dress is elegant, classy and sophisticated but it must be the hundredth time she’s rocked this whole ‘simple black gown with random areas of interest’ look and I miss the Winslet who used to wear bright red Ben de Lisi or mint green Alice Temperley or electric blue Narsico Rodriguez. Guess the colour-loving part of her got airbrushed away with that last magazine cover.

Hailee Steinfeld swept everyone away with her sweet fresh style this awards season but this may be her first serious misstep. I think it would be pretty cute sans train but, overall, it just feels too heavy for her.

So it looks like Stella McCartney saved the most savage of her gowns for herself. Sadly, it’s just a bizarre Project Runway challenge – to make a dress out of a penguin costume. Seems there’s a reason I’ve never seen a neckline shaped like that before. I happily await the gif where someone superimposes a nun’s face over her legs.

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

Red Carpet Rundown: 2011 Oscar Parties, Part I

Yes, this is a month late but the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar Party and Elton John’s AIDs Foundation’s Oscar Viewing Party turned out to be more interesting than the Oscars themselves. A boat-load of new celebrities crawled out the woodwork, toting gowns that were either gorgeous or grotesque – either way, it’s entertaining stuff. Be prepared to see more black lace than you’d wish for in a lifetime…

Dianna Agron in Salvatore Ferragamo – Remember me waxing lyrical about Dianna’s ‘exquisite elegant Wasp-y style’ that had a ‘modern-day Grace Kelly’ feel about it?! Well, despite writing this but one month ago, it seems that has been ample time for Dianna to prove my habit of cursing people’s red carpet styles is alive and well. Things started slowly, with some strange splotchy eye make-up at the SAGs but this gown edges things even further to the sartorial danger zone. It’s a fundamentally pretty dress in a fundamentally pretty colour but it should have been nipped in the bud at an off-the-knee length. Instead, the whole look is skewed towards the aged and droopy; factor in wilting hair plus sad eyes (it’s amazing what a tabloid break-up story can make you read into photographs) and it just looks frumpy and cheerless in a night where everyone else was reaching for their glad-rags. The Marion Cotillard poodle perm doesn’t seem that far away now…

Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad – At least good old Sofia is on hand to prove me right though. I earlier branded her va-va-voom style ‘vulgar’ and although I tried to steer clear of actually calling her slutty, when you wear outfits like this, surely you’re asking for it. This is underwear. It’s not even nice underwear. Avoid.

Jena Malone in Camilla + Marc – Clearly there was some sort of memo circulating suggesting that underwear was an acceptable dress code. Here is Jena Malone in her training bra and not much else. It’s just as horrible.

Madonna – It’s not just the young ‘uns turning up in their smalls though. Not to be outdone, here is Madonna in an even more horrible version of Jenna’s outfit. I guess the nasty fur gilet is what counts as Madge’s concession towards modesty these days. If you would like to see her butt cheeks (and you’re a braver soul than me), click here.

Michelle Rodriguez – More underwear, more sheer (literally, ho ho ho!) WTF-ness. A change of colour can’t salvage the fact that LOOKING AS IF YOU’VE TURNED UP IN YOUR UNDERWEAR IS WRONG.

Zooey Deschanel in Valentino – Zooey is included merely to prove to my boyfriend that his number one celebrity crush really does have crappy dress sense. I imagine he’s zooming in on the hunt for nipple on those strange plastic-looking boobs… about now. She is wearing tights as sleeves. She is also wearing four variants on black lace, in a night that has made the band who brought Agadoo to the world seem like the preferable use of the words. Seriously, what was with black lace at this party? Did you get a better goodie bag if you wore it?

Jessica Szohr – Another outfit, another misguided use of black lacy stuff… and this time it really does look like a last-minute attempt wrapped round a perfectly respectable outfit in order to get a better goodie bag. The design on this stuff looks like clothes left on a washing line, the overall effect is of a white skirt considered too dangerous to be let out in a public without a muzzle.

Paz de la Huerta – Paz forgoes the titillating black lace brigade to simply flash us her underwear straight up. Sisterhood points for the fact that they appear to be Bridget Jones big pants but even so…

Eva Mendes in Donna Karan – Either an evil black oversize butterfly or an evil black oversize bow tie wrapped itself around Eva’s torso and passed itself off as a top to some unsuspecting stylist. I’m pretty sure it also ate the bottom half of this outfit, as that netting is clearly an underskirt. Meaning it goes under something. And that something was about five sizes too big for Eva anyway.

Georgina Chapman in Marchesa – Black lacy stuff done well? WTF?! Although some may call this dress silly, I think it’s pure theatre, totally gorgeous and most importantly, doesn’t resemble underwear. [Chapman is the designer for Marchesa so the poor love probably has to pop down to Tesco in one of their massive structural ballgowns too]. It’s like the climax to an opera – overblown, dramatic, outrageous, enthralling – and even incorporates the flowers thrown on at the end (or is that just for figure skaters?). The way Georgina has picked up the pink of the roses in her earrings and lipstick is lovely too. Never has looking vaguely like a flamenco dancer’s pencil shavings looked so stunning.

Gabrielle Union in Diane Von Furgensberg – Let’s try and end this post on a classy note, shall we? (My purple obsession spreads to clothes too, you know). I just adore this deep rich aubergine jewel tone and the fluttery way the material drapes makes this pure goddess dress stuff. The darker, less revealing sister to Mila Kunis’ Oscar gown, it’s just beautiful.

Top 11 Albums of 2005

And so begins my obsession with making my ‘Top 11’.

Firstly, why eleven? A combination of a Spinal Tap joke, that eleven is obviously one better than ten, the need to be that little bit different and the fact that when you make top tens, you’re always plagued by that one you had to leave out! 11 is quite an aesthetically pleasing numeral as well, don’t you think? All long leggy streamlined strokes… (ok, obsessing too much now, please stop).

Secondly, this list required a lot of editing. When this was originally published, I included greatest hits collections, frankly because I hadn’t been bothered or inclined to listen to many other albums that year (the top seven on this list are still some of my favourite albums of all-time and completely hogged my CD player… yes, back in the days when we all still listened to CDs). I’d still love to include Basement Jaxx’s Singles Collection in the list as it’s a totally perfect record but it really doesn’t seem fair. Meanwhile, Natalie Imbruglia’s Counting Down The Days has always quietly been one of my all-time favourites without me ever having any conception of when it was released; also, with the benefit of hindsight, age and wisdom (ha!), two albums that actually made my ‘Worst’ list also reach the top eleven! So you can’t say I never admit to being wrong!

The Top 11 Albums of 2005 include the first great Girls Aloud album, the last great Sugababes album and the only great Rachel Stevens album. Enjoy!

1.            Girls Aloud Chemistry
Words cannot express the pure unadulterated joy and pleasure Chemistry brought me. In fact, it’s orgasmic stuff. Girls Aloud took every rule about pop music and stomped all over them in white stilettos, whilst rapping nonsense, slinging hooks like a heavyweight boxer, making train noises and generally looking rather beautiful. Vive la Aloud.

2.         John Legend Get Lifted
There has not been a more beautiful voice, or a more beautiful album, this year… FACT. Legend lives up to his name with this absolutely stunning debut, whilst that super-smooth voice slips down like errrr… a really lovely cough lozenge?! OK so the similes aren’t really working for me tonight…

3.         KT Tunstall Eye To The Telescope
People tried to say she was the new Dido, the new Melua or the new *insert boring female singer-songwriter here* but trust me, she’s much much better. The heartbreakingly beautiful Other Side of the World meant fans of afore-mentioned boring female singer-songwriters bought the album, only to be surprised by this surprisingly varied and accomplished debut. The real highlight – Tunstall’s gorgeously throaty voice and the amazingly infectious, potentially defined as folk but never mind Black Horse and The Cherry Tree. All together now… (it’s off the ads) woooooohoooooooo….

4.            Rachel Stevens – Come And Get It
The British public didn’t really go and get it but more fool them. For sheer pop, it’s hard to better Rachel’s sophomore effort, which sees her spin an electro tour-de-force with the might of pop’s best producers behind her. Ignore the personality vacuum that is Rachel herself, quietly sucking away all charisma with Dyson-esque efficiency, and instead concentrate on pop gems that sparkle even more brightly than Queen Madge’s disco-ball.

5.            Madonna – Confessions On A Dancefloor
With Confessions, the Queen of Pop returned, polished crown and lyrca leotard in tow, to create her best album in years. Disco taken to new levels of sleek and shiny glamour, this was an album that really worked well as one (ultra-toned) body of work, proving the 47 year-old still has what it takes. Dancefloor euphoria, plus it has an Abba sample… awesome.

6.            Sugababes – Taller In More Ways
Missing Mutya already (actually scrap that, because Amelle is my new favourite girl-group member since the halcyon days of Ginger Spice and whichever member of Girls Aloud I’m into this week), Taller In More Ways marked a triumphant comeback for Britain’s coolest girl group. Showcasing a perfect blend of vocal harmonies, the Sugababes dish up plate after plate of daily specials, proving why they’re still the best in the business. Pulsating electro, cool r n b, lush balladry and pure pop storms are all served with consummate ease – and not a dance routine in sight.

7.            Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway
Worth a place just for the anthemic Since U Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes, Miss Clarkson’s album is perfect for anyone whose love life makes the comings and goings at Hollyoaks seem pedestrian. Or just anyone who appreciates the best pop-rawk you’ll find this decade. Full of throaty gutsy angst, backed by tunes strong enough to blast your ex back to the hole from which he crawled, Breakaway is the album Avril Lavigne should have made… if she was actually any good.

8.            Natalie Imbruglia – Counting Down The Days
An album far more delicately beautiful than you’d expect with a Neighbours alumni at the helm, Counting Down The Days made no bones about its main asset – glorious, ethereal loveliness seeping from its every pore. In fact, it just about makes up for the days when Natalie and her artfully floppy hair was never off our screens during the Torn-era.

9.            Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
Jollier than Santa after a dozen brandies, the enjoyable thing about the Kaisers is that they take themselves far less seriously than the likes of other supposed indie bands, instead making songs that just holler to be pogo-ed along to on a Saturday night out. ‘Ooooooooooo… watching the people get lairy’ is possibly one of my favourite opening lyrics… ever.

10.            Pussycat Dolls – PCD
Sexy, skanky, slutty – but hey, they have great dance routines! Less an album and more a smorgasbord of hit after hit, if you can ignore the fact that the PCD have less soul than they do revealing clothing, this was a great party album.

11.            Goldfrapp – Supernature
Black Cherry will forever be my favourite Goldfrapp album, but Supernature does a decent job of diluting Black Cherry’s dark sparkle to a more mainstream audience. From the irresistibly sexy Ooh La La to the swoonsome slink of Number 1, this glacial glide through electro couldn’t be more cohesive unless it was held together with Superglue.