Tag Archives: Rihanna

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

Top 11 Singles Of 2007

The Top 11 Singles of 2007 was the list that, for some reason, was missing from my collection. Compiling it retrospectively was actually pretty easy – there were lots of big, highly memorable number ones that year, plus a few personal favourites that have held a place in my head/heart/mp3 player ever since. Even more amazing – it includes the only time that Jessica Simpson has seemed even vaguely a decent proposition as a pop star.

So without any further ado, let’s count this mother down!

1.            Bleeding Love – Leona (1)
The song that sparked a thousand imitators (many by its own writer/producer, Ryan Tedder) but has yet to be bettered, Bleeding Love showed the world just what Lewis was capable of – namely, the best lovelorn warbling seen since Whitney Houston reckoned she would always love you. Rippling beats, throbbing rhythms and undulating vocals combine to create a true colossus in the temple of pop balladry. Is it too early to declare it timeless?!

2.            Potential Break-Up Song – Aly & AJ (22)
Dismiss the conveyor-belt of Disney dollies at your peril; Potential Break-Up Song shows just what sort of brilliance the Mouseketeers are capable of producing when your back’s turned for too long. Aly & AJ, previous minor gems in the Disney firmament, created this skittish electro blizzard, capturing the exact moment where lousy boyfriend is set to because lousy ex. The venomous lyrics (‘Now all I want is just my stuff back/Do you get that?/Let me repeat that/I want my stuff back!) are spun to the listener in feather-light form whilst staccato stutters run riot over a tango-infused sonic snowstorm. Pure perfect electropop.

3.         Sexy! No No No – Girls Aloud (5)
First listen? A mess. Second listen? A mess… with potential. Third listen? Xenomania are geniuses. A crashing, thrashing dancefloor opera, complete with overblown vocoder-ed intro, a snappy strident call and response section, deliciously d-d-dirty stutters and euphoric wailing, it’s a club-tinged experiment that saw Xenomania continue their bid to get the strangest song structures ever into the upper echelons of the UK Charts. Sexy! No No No announced that Girls Aloud were here to rave. Loudly. There may even be glowsticks involved. Inventive, ambitious, awesome.

4.         A Public Affair – Jessica Simpson (20)
If you’re going to rip off not one but two songs, you couldn’t choose much better than two Teflon-coated classics – Madonna’s Holiday and Marvin Gaye’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. A gloriously infectious summer smash in waiting, A Public Affair dared you to listen without breaking into a big grin and having a surreptitious boogie on the side.

5.            Umbrella – Rihanna (1)
If Bleeding Love was 2007’s contribution to making ballad history, than Umbrella was its lightning-bolt strike at an accessible highly-successful pop/R n B crossover. Turning an innocuous household object into a symbol of undying devotion and the most memorable hook in history, Umbrella takes towering clanging percussion, inescapable beats, a rap including the word ‘precipitation’ (aren’t you glad you took your Biology GCSE now?!) and Rihanna’s robotic tones to create a zeitgeist moment of the highest order. ELLA-ELLA-ELLA-EH-EH-EH.

6.         The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani (2)
Any song that turns professional irritant Akon into a first-class attribute is a winner in my book. A doo-wop saunter capitalising on Stefani’s poppier inclinations, The Sweet Escape has more bounce than a Jack-in-the-box on a pogo stick with springs in his heels. A shiny sun-kissed jaunt with a typically brilliant video to boot that sees a glossy Gwen let down her Rapunzel hair and escape from jail (Harajuku Girls in tow), The Sweet Escape wriggled its way into your head with ease, making it clear it had absolutely no intention of ever leaving again. Akon bits included.

7.         About You Now – Sugababes (1)
A sterling pop song designed to survive world wars, zombie infestations or, even worse, indie takeovers, About You Now couldn’t have been more radio-friendly had it tried. Perfectly-constructed by some of pop’s finest engineers (Cathy Dennis, Dr Luke), About You Now explodes into a chorus like no other – instantly catchy, forever unforgettable. Resistance is futile; the sooner you get sucked into this veritable pop hurricane better. The acoustic version is rather lovely too.

8.         Rule The World – Take That (1)
In any other year, Rule The World would be talked-up as being a future classic. However, it had the misfortune of being released in the same year as Bleeding Love, making its star-studded majesty shine just a little dimmer in its wake. That doesn’t stop Rule The World from a being a heart-stoppingly beautiful love song, which will rightfully provide the soundtrack to first kisses and last dances across the universe.

9.         Grace Kelly – Mika (1)
Grace Kelly marked the moment when we honestly thought Mika could be a big-haired, falsetto-swooping Freddie Mercury for the noughties. In the end, it all went a bit pear-shaped but nothing can take away from the blast of fresh air he initially provided with this invigoratingly different tune. A sparkling glass of pink champagne fizzing over with pure unadulterated pleasure.

10.            Standing In The Way Of Control – Gossip (7)
The rave-up to end all rave-ups, Standing In The Way Of Control became the anthem for hedonists across the country when its thumping beats and strident synths scored the wild wasted house party advert for the first series of Skins. But I’m not going to hold that against it. Standing In The Way Of Control is a chunky beefed-up sweaty slice of party central and everyone’s invited.

11.       The Way I Are – Timbaland & Keri Hilson (1)
It’s only so low because of the glaring grammatical error in the title. A track guaranteed to make me get my funk on (not as naff as it sounds, promise), featuring a pulsating bassline set against souped-up electro beats, it’s a clean and cool three minute adrenaline ride. Timbaland’s grunting never sounded so good.

Three nearly but not quites…
Tony The Beat – The Sounds, Chelsea – Stefy, Back To Black – Amy Winehouse