Fashion Week’s 10 Best Looks

And now, for my final fashion week blog post: The 10 best individual looks. You’ve already seen what I’ve loved from the best collections, so get a glimpse of the rest of the beauty that this season has to offer.

#10: Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese Fall 2010

I love my prom dress, but I think this might be the only dress I would have preferred to wear instead. Pink and girly and sweet, but with some interestingly textured draping on the side. Pair it with the badass shoes, the black lace tights, and the funky necklace, and it goes from sugary sweet to a little bit rock-chic.

#9: Cynthia Steffe

Cynthia Steffe Fall 2010

Steffe’s collection was very heavily influenced by the schoolgirl look, and this precious outfit is no exception. I don’t know what I love more – black Mary Janes with socks that go up to those knobbly knees, or this cute little girl’s face paired with the mini leather jacket and matching skirt. It’s so hilariously precious and badass at the same time.

#8: Leanne Marshall

Leanne Marshall Fall 2010

This is easily recognizable as the work of Leanne Marshall, the quiet, mousy, mildly boring winner of the 5th season of Project Runway. I hate everything about this model and the styling of this look, from the awful hair to the clown makeup to the model’s visible lack of experience, bu I cannot stop staring at this dress. Brilliant concept, nicely executed, and so quirky. Subtract the black tights, add a lighter shoe, and put it on a different model, and it’d be a real contender.

#7: Gary Graham

Gary Graham Fall 2010

I just find the shape and volume of the dress, coat, and shoes so intriguing. I love the colors of the dress, and I love that it sort of looks like it’s been stuffed with newspapers to give it that voluminous effect. The jacket is fabulous and perfect with the dress, and the shoes look downright dangerous in the best possible way. I like that her eyes are in shadow but the hair and makeup are simple. Overall, a nice surprise from Gary Graham.

#6: Jill Stuart

Jill Stuart Fall 2010

Anybody who can mix prints and not make the outfit look like it was chosen by a mental patient gets an automatic award from me. These seemingly mismatched prints are stunning together. I love the contrast between the loose-fitting sleeves and the skin-tight dress. I also wish I could pull off those boots. The knit hat is adorable, and this model is wearing the hell out of the whole look.

#5: Vera Wang

Vera Wang Fall 2010

This, to me, is another perfect look. Interesting draping, mixing textures and fabrics, shiny and fun without being too youthful, killer jewelry and shoes. I think every starlet under 25 should be wearing this on the red carpet – I know this is what I’m wearing when my guest starring role on Glee gets me nominated for an Emmy. And a Grammy. (Whatever, it could totally happen.) I do hate this model’s slightly-too-vacant stare, and I highly disapprove of the blatant use of Bump-It happening atop her head, but I am salivating over this dress. Nothing’s better than something black and shiny against that perfectly white background.

#4: Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010

I’ve never seen a designer even attempt to do what Diane mastered with this suit. If it came with a skirt, I think Coco Chanel herself would wear this. That icy grayish purple color of the flowers is so beautiful. This look is just such a breath of fresh air. And check out those little gloves. Too cute.

#3: Herve Leger

Herve Leger Fall 2010

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Herve Leger’s collection. His ace bandage dresses are obviously a huge hit, because they make every woman look phenomenal and fit like a glove, but they’re not particularly innovative or interesting on their own, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to enjoy a collection of his work. But Leger showed true innovation and creativity with this look. Futuristic and modern, but not over-the-top. This is the kind of thing Fergie or Beyoncé should wear when they’re singing about the year 3008 or whatever the hell excuse they have for wearing such bizarre outfits. I think the concept, design, and execution of this dress are impeccable, and I think it’s still flattering and wearable. Kudos, Herve.

#2: Badgley Mischka

Badgley Mischka Fall 2010

I don’t have anything to say. It’s simply beautiful.

#1: Irina Shabayeva

Irina Shabayeva Fall 2010

Believe me, no one was more surprised than I when something by Irina Shabayeva, the winner of the universally hated 6th season of Project Runway, ended up being one of my favorite looks on the runway. I always hated Irina – I felt that she was overpraised by the designers because she was the only one with even a modicum of talent, but she was still a complete no-talent who would have been destroyed by the top 3 in any other season. It looks like she proved me wrong.

I think I could spend ten minutes doing nothing but staring at this photo. First of all, I love that she kept her model from Project Runway to work with her on this collection, because her model is quite talented, and it’s just so sweet that they stayed together after the show. Furthermore, this feels so McQueen during a season that desperately missed his beautiful influence. The shape of this feels like it’s keeping Alexander McQueen’s legacy alive without stealing from him. And those feathers are so incredibly beautiful, I forget that she’s a woman and not a peacock. In a good way.

So, you’ve seen the best and worst of it all, my friends. Stay tuned for posts about things having nothing to do with New York fashion week!

Fashion Week’s Best: Ralph Lauren & Marchesa

The Diva is back, and apologizes for the hiatus. It’s been a busy week!

As far as best collections go, Ralph Lauren took the #2 spot for me. The plaids, the tweeds, and the overall 90s feel to it was perfect for this Diva’s taste. And I love to see someone who’s basically the founder of preppy fashion go just a little grunge.

Ralph Lauren Fall 2010

This is head-to-toe perfection. That shirt is the perfect print, the perfect colors, and the sleeves are beautiful. I’ve never seen a vest so adorable, nor pants that fit so well (and do my eyes deceive me, or do the pants have little buttons on the bottom? PRECIOUS). And finally, someone is wearing a belt where belts actually were created to be worn. It’s about time. Cute purse, great styling, and the overall look is just so tailored and stunning. It’s a darker side to preppy, and I love it.

Ralph Lauren Fall 2010

Ralph Lauren filled the end of his show with elaborate, floor-length, floral gowns, worn casually with black lace elbow-length fingerless gloves. (Basically a high-fashion version of what I wore to my 90s themed birthday party, lace gloves and all.) Gown after gown was beautiful and unique, with the models styled like cleaner versions of Rayanne Graff from My So-Called Life


Between the two above looks, I can’t help but think that Ralph designed this collection with me in mind. I’d absolutely kill to wear any of his runway designs from this astonishingly beautiful collection, which you can view here in its entirety.

The Best Collection of Fall 2010’s New York Fashion Week

Marchesa Fall 2010

For this Diva, there was no contest. Marchesa was the winner by a landslide. Just look at the draping on that dress – it’s impeccably made, it’s charming, and it has a sense of humor about itself without being costumey. And the shoes? Yes, please. Though I’m not crazy about the model, I think this is just so loveable.

Marchesa Fall 2010

For me, this dress is the angsty older sister of the dress before it. It’s still red, it’s still fascinatingly draped and the shapes are still rose-inspired, but somehow this gives off an entirely different, and much more intense, vibe. If ever there was a dress that Lady Gaga should wear on a day when she’s only feeling minimally insane, it’s this. The model’s got a quite a “What the fuck are you looking at” expression (but is it just me, or do her feet look extremely diseased?), and I’d love to see the way this dress moves, especially on the red carpet. This is certainly my favorite dress of my favorite collection of Fashion Week.

Marchesa Fall 2010

And here is  Marchesa’s brilliance – it’s not all fun and silly, and it’s not all dark and avant garde. Sometimes, it’s just simple and beautiful with a bit of intrigue. That tuxedo bolero jacket is absolutely to die for. And the way the dress billows out from underneath such a structured top makes me never want to look away from it. I also believe the stockings have designs around the ankles, made to look like she’s wearing anklets or is tattooed or some such thing. I love it. The shoes are killer and the model is gorgeous.

Marchesa Fall 2010

This represents another genius aspect of Marchesa. This is a dress everybody tries to make, from Project Runway contestants to high-fashion designers and back again. But it’s Marchesa who gives it detail, meaning, and intrigue. The multitude of textured fabrics she uses are beautiful, as is the color scheme, which is winter at its best. Again, she used embellished tights that are reminiscent of an ice dancer, except for the fact that I love them. And another pair of shoes that I’d sell my kidney to wear.

Marchesa Fall 2010

And this is just classic Marchesa. Extravagant, innovative, and fit for a queen.

My LAST New York Fashion Week post will be up later today! Stay tuned.

Fashion Week’s Best and Worst Models

Pretty in Yellow

Peter Jensen Fall 2010

This woman is Molly Ringwald’s doppelganger. What’s not to love? She’s got Molly’s red hair, her doe eyes, and of course, those infamous lips that made America fall in love with her. If anyone knows her name, please let me know, as I just want to stalk her and gaze at her face all day long while “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays softly in the background.


Proenza Schouler Fall 2010

I don’t mean to be rude, but I simply do not believe that this person was born with a vagina. I’m not opposed to men modeling women’s clothes in edgy photo shoots and such, but if you’re going for cross-dressing on the runway, at least be up front about it. The design is hideous, but the audience isn’t even given the chance to consider what the outfit looks like, since they’re all just trying to get a glimpse up her skirt for proof. I guess if I designed something this ugly, I’d need to put a man in it just to keep people’s focus away from the garment, too.

My Top Model: Tao Okamoto

I think I first noticed her at the Zac Posen show. She already looked familiar, as if I’d seen her in other shows, but I stopped and stared at her perfect features and impossibly adorable bowl haircut for several minutes when I saw her in Posen.

Zac Posen Fall 2010

Tao Okamoto’s stunning face and charming haircut followed me from collection to collection, and I started recognizing her face everywhere.

Ralph Lauren Fall 2010

Jason Wu Fall 2010

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010

Ms. Okamoto, age 22, also walked in the Fall 2010 runway shows for Tommy Hilfiger, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Narcisco Rodriguez, Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors, Lacoste, and many more – around 25 shows in all. A few other ladies may have walked in a few more shows this season, but she got the hottest designers and caught my eye time and time again. She’s pretty versatile – I’ve seen her in formal and casual, girly and edgy and everything in between. Though I prefer her with less makeup, she can certainly also rock a more dramatic, made-up look. I just can’t get enough of her, and though she’s been on the runway since 2006, I hope she stays forever ageless so we can enjoy her beauty in many more runway shows to come.

I’ve got at least three Fashion Week posts left in me, so keep checking back for more!

Fashion Week’s Best: Zac Posen and Oscar de la Renta

There was a whole lot of gorgeous happening on the runway this week, so obviously I could not choose one particular best collection or look. I’ve actually chosen 4 different collections as the best of the best. This post will cover Zac Posen and Oscar de la Renta’s collections; I’ll have plenty more to say later on about two other delectable designers, plus an additional post with a cornucopia of the best looks from many designers. But for now, let’s look at some beauty.

Zac Posen

Zac Posen Fall 2010

Beautiful from head to toe. I cannot get enough of this particularly talented model’s neverending legs and super-sassy expression. The dress is a unique shape and silhouette and it flows practically like liquid, and it keeps drawing your eye to different places without seeming overworked. I also appreciate when a designer lets their work stand for itself instead of over-accessorizing and distracting from the beauty and intrigue of this dress. It’s wearable but with a touch of intrigue, and this model is wearing the shit out of it. She puts the pose in Posen! (Yeah, I made a pun. You love it.)

Zac Posen Fall 2010

There is a lot to be said for simplicity with a twist. It’s a very spring dress for a fall collection, but not so much that it feels out of place. I just think this is incredibly sellable and wearable. I can’t imagine this not showing up in US Weekly’s “Who wore it better?” section, because every starlet is going to want to wear this everywhere she goes. The colors and the assymetrical panels are so simple but so beautiful, which is basically what Zac Posen is all about.

The Final Look

Zac Posen Fall 2010

Designers tend to choose very formal gowns or their most elaborate red carpet-worthy looks for the final look of their collection, but Posen has made an empire out of cocktail dresses instead of full-length gowns, so I think he was wise to stick with what he knows best. The print, the fabric, and the colors are unbeatable. The pink/red sheer stockings are delicious, if a bit unwearable. (I mean, I’d wear them, but I own an ungodly amount of brightly colored tights. Seriously, it’s weird.) I think this model is a bit too unattractive to be featured in the final look of the collection, but the dress fits her well and flows beautifully.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2010

This is my personal idea of a perfect look. Over-the-top or avant garde hair and makeup are fun and can be a blast, but for a ready-to-wear collection, this is the look I love. Beautiful and wild hair, exaggerated street makeup (I actually prefer the face to be more bare, just emphasizing lips and eyes, but if I had those cheekbones, I’d paint them up too). And the dress is glorious – the color pops, particularly against the bare-bones background (another argument in favor of surrounding beauty with simplicity so the beauty can shine). Fabulous tailoring, with the rouching/wrinkling effect making her look more sophisticated instead of disheveled, which is a difficult thing to nail. And we don’t see a lot of long-sleeved dresses that aren’t sweaterdresses or shirtdresses or other clothing-dress hybrids. And as my sister Haley has pointed out about the late Alexander McQueen, it’s particularly impressive when a designer who is known for their extravagance (like McQueen and de la Renta) can nail a simple and wearable design. The Zac Posens of the world can rock simplicity, and others can nail the avant garde or ultra-glamorous, but someone who can do both is even more unique.

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2010

As my mother would say, That is a suit. I’d like to cut off the woman’s head, because she actually looks like a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but that jacket is exquisite – it would have gone into my Coats post, except for the fact that this is all about the look as a whole. The gloves (are they a part of the coat? If so, that’s awesome, if totally impractical), the tights (I NEED THOSE IN MY GIANT DRAWER OF CRAZY TIGHTS), and it just screams, I am a fabulous fall suit that you’d be an idiot not to want.

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2010

This deeply saturated, gorgeous blue color popped into several runway collections this year, and for good reason. It’s stunning. And the world always needs a dress draped in a new and interesting way. I’d nix the matchy-matchy purse, but that color really makes her glow.

These weren’t my favorite individual looks overall, but these collections had the largest amount of designs that I loved (besides the two designers I’ll be blogging about later). My full list of the 15 best looks will be up this week.

Don’t take my word blindly. Check out all the beautiful pictures from Zac Posen’s collection and Oscar de la Renta’s collection at New York Magazine.

Fashion Week: The Ten Worst Looks

#10: The Confused Burlesque Dancer/Office Worker

L.A.M.B. Fall 2010

I’m going to pull a Nina Garcia and ask, “Where is this woman going?” Because to me, she’s spent a long day at the office and was late for her moonlighting job as a burlesque performer, and hastily applied enough eyeliner to appease Taylor Momsen for the next ten years, and threw on the first piece of lingerie she could find over her work clothes. Now that’s a day-to-evening look.

#9: If George Jetson and Fred Flintstone had a lovechild…

And that lovechild was an anorexic wannabe rebellious teen with a permanent bad hair day, she’d look something like this:

Project Runway: Mila Fall 2010

I know the bar is set low for the Project Runway Fashion Week collections, since they let practically everyone and their mother show a collection to amp up the suspense of who’s actually in the top three, but this is just tacky. And it wasn’t even the worst look of the Project Runway family – but we’ll get to that later.

#8: Christina Aguilera’s Farewell Tour Gown

Altuzarra Fall 2010

There is something so sad about this dress. It just screams desperation. You don’t need a slit up to the bikini line, cutouts at the armpits and both sides of the body, a leopard print choker-collar, AND a blood red color. Something tells me it has a low back too, though I have no proof of that. Not to mention it’s poorly fitted (or poorly draped, or both) around the top, and even the model looks as if she knows this is her last shot at stardom. If this isn’t what Christina Aguilera wears when she’s 60 on her farewell tour, then it’s what Blake Lively will wear to the Emmys.

#7: A Reject from the Cast of Rent

William Rast Fall 2010

Sometimes I truly wish I could be in on the meetings where these concepts are created. I just want to hear William Rast say to his team, “I know. She’ll be in baggy, unflattering cargo pants, tucked into ugly boots. And she’ll wear a grey T-shirt – but it’ll have those little shiny rhinestones that you can buy for $1 for a pack of 500! But wait, wait, she’ll also have a dead possum wrapped around one hip, and on the other side, she’ll carry a big black blanket!” And when they stare at him in silence, he’ll add, “And her beautiful strawberry blonde hair will be so overprocessed that even Britney Spears wouldn’t wear it as a wig.” [Edit: William Rast is not actually a person, it’s just the name of the brand, but I was lazy and decided to just personify him instead of going into the whole Justin Timberlake/whomever else runs that line explanation. Thanks to Amy for pointing out my confusing remarks. If it helps you to imagine JTimber saying those things to his design team, feel free.]

#6: I’m Underwhelmed

Michael, Michael, Michael.

Michael Kors Fall 2010

How can I believe in any of your bitchy opinions on Project Runway again, when you send a girl in a a ribbed tank, Old Navy sweatpants, possibly legwarmers, and two belts down the runway? I may never trust again.

#5: There Simply Aren’t Words

Wayne Fall 2010

It’s a fanny pack. SHE’S WEARING A FANNY PACK. I’m going to have an aneurysm.

#4: Fix Yourself, Girl – You’ve Got a Cameltoe

Erin Wasson x RVCA Fall 2010

I’m not sure if it’s awkward placement of strings, bad draping, or just a vagina that starts at her neck that creates such an unflattering image, but there is some serious weirdness happening in this woman’s nether regions. Factor in her $5 hair extensions and the fact that she is wearing a full-length satin jumpsuit, and I just want to weep for this poor girl who will have to take off all her clothes to pee, and whose extra-long vagina will haunt my nightmares forever.

#3: Best Actress Award

Edition by Georges Chakra Fall 2010

This woman should be the highest-paid model of all time. I can’t believe she can walk down the runway with such a serious face when she’s wearing Clifford the Big Red Dog’s cousin’s skin / the Drag Queen Smurf’s pajamas / what Blue from Blues Clues sees in the mirror when he’s tripping on LSD. Kudos to her.

#2: The Future of Booby Tassels

Project Runway: Jonathan Fall 2010

I think she’ll be the star of the sequel to The Hangover, when one of the bros wakes up next to this exotic dancer whose pants look her at least thirty pounds heavier than she actually is, and who felt the need to shield her breasts from his withering stare with cocktail napkins. Jonathan, you’re the one I actually like on the show. You look kinda like Brad from The Rachel Zoe Project, and you usually make stylish things, and you’re just a little bitchy, but in the good way. I can’t believe you’ve disappointed me so much that I genuinely hope you get kicked off the show before the finale, so that I don’t have to relive my nausea over this ensemble in a few months.

#1: Madonna meets Gothic Firefighter

Jeremy Scott Fall 2010

Dearest readers: Next time I decide that my definition of fashion includes the world’s most cheaply made pair of vagina-high boots, Steve Urkel’s shorts, and suspenders with black cones in lieu of a shirt, please put me out of my misery.

Honorable Mention: Kim Kardashian, Fashion Designer

There was no one particular look in the Bebe/Kardashian collection that disturbed me enough to be in the top ten, but the overall collection is just one cheap, under-designed, trend-pimping, tacky piece of crap after another. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t believe that something like that could come from Kim Kardashian’s brilliant influence, but if you don’t, see for yourself.

Best of Fashion Week: Fabulous Coats Edition

I, like my mother, have a thing for coats. I put so many coats into my “BEST” folder, where I’d been keeping links to every single thing I loved this week, that I decided they deserved a category of their own.

#5: Fall in London

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2010

Simple but chic, feminine, and classic. This is what I imagine basically every wealthy London woman wearing around town, minus the hat.

#4: A Twist on a Preppy Classic

Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2010

I. Want. A. Sleeveless. Trench. What an absolutely fabulous concept.

#3: The Tahari Suit


Tahari is famous (in my family, anyway) for making incredible well-tailored and truly magnificent suits. But with the fur shawl and the belt, this becomes more of a coat than a suit jacket, as far as I’m concerned. But I could just sit and drool over this photo for hours.

#2: Casual in Eggplant


I generally prefer much more tailored, streamlined coats than this, but the casual slouch to this makes it that much more beautiful. And I also generally disapprove of belts outside of beltloops, but how can you not love that deep brownish burgundy belt with the sparkly buckle?

#1: A Vision in White


The collar, the belt, the cut, and the design on the right side – it’s all beautiful, modern, and unique. I’d also kill for those leopard-print stockings, but that’s irrelevant. Kudos to Vivienne Tam for knocking it out of the park, and winning out over quite a few much more high-profile designers (at least, according to this Diva).

Fashion Week: Predicting the 2010 Red Carpet

The Democracy Diva has the power to see the future. She, after looking at literally thousands of fresh-off-the-runway dresses, will predict who will wear what to this year’s red carpet events. And if she is wrong, it is only because celebrities too often listen to their stylists instead of the Democracy Diva. Shame on them.

Kate Hudson

Erin Featherston Fall 2010

I immediately thought of Kate Hudson when I saw this dress. She’s definitely worn a metallic dress with the same shape as the top of this dress, but that extra bow switches it up a bit. And she’s become more and more fond of flowy dresses at events over the last few years; I could certainly see her pairing her love of flowing skirts and her love of shiny objects together and rocking this dress at the Academy Awards.

For Cougars and Glamour Queens

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2010

This gown simply screams, Wear me to the Oscars! Actually, if I’m going to personify this gown, I should do it more properly. She’s holding a long cigarette, and in a sultry rasp, she purrs, “Darling, you’re not wearing me to the awards. I am the award.”

Regardless, I could easily see Kim Cattrall clinging to her youth for a few more milliseconds by wearing this to the Sex and the City 2 premiere in Los Angeles (it’s a much more L.A. dress than New York). Really, any cougar, or any aspiring cougars (like Hayden Panettiere, who inexplicably has been styled to look twice her age lately), could easily pull off this dress. I’d honestly be shocked if I didn’t see this shiny, Grecian look, or something intensely similar to it, at the Oscars in a few weeks.

Dressed to Win

J. Mendel Fall 2010

This is the kind of dress that you see on the red carpet and you think, Obviously, she knew she was going to win, if she wore that dress. Which is kind of problematic for this year’s Oscars, because Sandra Bullock knows she’s not glamorous or graceful enough to pull off this dress, and it’s not something Mo’Nique would wear either, and they’re both basically shoo-ins for the female acting awards.

But I could see several of the nominees rocking this gown. Maggie Gyllenhaal in particular would nail this; I personally would like to call her stylist and recommend it, because she epitomizes the intrigue and style that this dress conveys. Carey Mulligan’s boyish looks would go great with a look like this that’s feminine in shape but not overly girly. Penelope Cruz would wear this, but probably in red, black, or silver. She’s not exactly a woman who epitomizes subdued colors.

But most of all, I see this as Lea Michele’s next great wardrobe step. She’s got the makings of a style icon, and can rock high fashion without seeming like she’s trying to dress too maturely. She may be playing a sixteen-year-old, but she’s 23, and certainly old enough to glam it up instead of running around with no pants on like half of Young Hollywood seems to be doing lately.

Fit for The Queen

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2010

To me, if you take the neckline up just a bit, this dress is made for Helen Mirren. She has a knack for dressing better than most women half her age, and, most importantly, not trying to grasp onto her youth (that’s right, Jennifer Lopez, I’m talking to you). This is classy, but still fun and interesting and basically ageless. Just like Dame Helen Mirren. (I don’t think she’s technically a dame, but she is in my heart.)

Who is Divalicious enough for Christian Siriano?

Christian Siriano Fall 2010

This is a gown fit for a diva.

No matter how much I desperately wish that Beyoncé would, after a decade in the music business, finally learn how to dress herself (or hire people with the skill to do so), I know it’s a lost cause. But she would look phenomenal in this, with hair down and jewels blinging. Assuming she wore it in her actually size, instead of two sizes smaller, which is what she seems to do with her entire wardrobe.

It’d be a waste on Rihanna, who brings no grace to anything she wears. And it’s far too simple for my Lady Gaga. If Taylor Swift were two years older, she could nail it. And it’s a little too obvious for Pink. Because, you know, it’s pink.

But if Carrie Underwood ever gets out of her phase of wearing white/silver/ivory sparkly dresses (I almost wrote an entire blog post about it – I found literally 20 pictures wearing practically the same dress to almost every red carpet event of the last few years), I think she’s the lady for this dress. Young and hot enough to pull it off, and she’s got a sense of fun and light-heartedness about herself that would help nail down this look.

Check out The Democracy Diva later tonight and this week! We’ve got tons more to say about this fabulous week. And by we, I mean me.

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