The Week in Celebrity Fashion, Part 1


Let’s take a break from binge-watching all of Beyonce’s new videos – it’s time to hit the red carpet. 

DAKOTA FANNING at the Chanel show in Dallas, Texas
dress by Chanel, shoes by Brian Atwood

Photo: Cooper Neill/Getty

Longtime readers know I have always been a fan of telling bitches to bow down based on red carpet fabulousness; however, now I can do it rhythmically with the help of Bey’s new album. So let’s all say it together: BOW DOWN, BITCHES, BOW, BOW DOWN BITCHES! Because there is a new queen of Chanel couture in town, and her name is Dakota Fanning. I don’t even know how to begin to describe this patchwork quilted dream of a dress, which shouldn’t work on paper, but is brought to magnificent life by the nineteen-year-old starlet. I think the sleeves are my favorite part – they’re so exquisitely delicate, but also completely funky in a mod-meets-modern way. Even the Swedish milkmaid braids somehow work here, which might be the greatest achievement of all.

NAOMIE HARRIS in Dubai
gown by Monique Lhuillier

Photo: Visual/Zuma

The year is almost over, but Naomie Harris is still devoted to making 2013 the year the Democracy Diva fell in love with literally everything Ms. Harris wears. She’s got an old Hollywood grace and elegance to her that elevates every look – like this pink gown, which would be a little ordinary if not for the lace around the neck and shoulders. I’d already be tired of this gown on other actresses, but it’s slightly more romantic and feminine than the looks Naomi normally opts for, which makes it feel fresh and new again. And obviously, she’s positively glowing in this shade of pink.

MICHELLE DOCKERY in New York City
coat by Erdem, dress by Carven, purse by Mulberry, shoes by Rupert Sanderson

Photo: FameFlynet

Michelle Dockery turned 32 this week, but don’t worry, she still has the soft, flawless skin of a newborn baby’s ass. I’ve loved her as an actress since I started watching Downton Abbey, but only in the last year or so has she become one of my favorite people to watch on the red carpet. You only need to catch a glimpse of this Erdem coat to understand why I love her style. I have always been a sucker for British fashion – London Fashion Week often gets ignored by celebrities and fashion industry insiders alike, overshadowed by New York, London, and Milan, but more often than not, my favorite looks of the season come from the London runways. Erdem is, in my estimation, one of the best British designers out there, because LOOK AT THIS COAT. THIS COAT IS EVERYTHING. NO AMOUNT OF CAPS LOCK CAN TRULY CONVEY HOW FUCKING MUCH I LOVE THIS FUCKING COAT. Also, everything else about this look is fabulous. BUT MOSTLY THE COAT.

MICHELLE DOCKERY in New York City
dress by Miu Miu, purse and shoes by Prada

Photo: Janet Mayer/Splash News

Cute, sweet, and romantic. I’d ordinarily object to the blush satin peep-toe platforms, which are a tired trend and often read as bridesmaid to me. But they actually look very sweet on her porcelain skin, and the black toenail polish makes for a nice contrast, and ties the whole look together by calling back to the black purse and the black embroidery in the dress.

MICHELLE OBAMA and BARACK OBAMA in Washington D.C.
gown by Marchesa

Photo: PA

Wow. Just – wow. She looks like an absolute goddess, doesn’t she? I’m by no means a Marchesa fan, but this one has almost none of the label’s signature over-designed frippery, hence why I love it. The way the draping connects the bust to the sleeves sounds like a terrible idea, but it looks so beautiful on her. And Mr. President, you’re looking quite James Bondish in that tux. I approve.

EVANGELINE LILLY in Berlin
gown by Alberta Ferretti

Photo: Patrick Hoffman/WENN

Evangeline Lilly is single-handedly making “hobbit chic” happen, so kudos to her. Actually, there’s something almost Game of Thrones-ish about this gown – it’s very “Queen Cersei pretending to mourn King Robert” to me. And that’s definitely a compliment.

LESLIE MANN in London
jumpsuit by Viktor & Rolf

Photo: Eamonn McCormack/WireImage

I’m all about the jumpsuit – I often complain about this whole “the 70s are back!” thing happening in fashion right now, but when it’s done right, it can be chic and fun and funky and all that good shit. And the coat is a terrific addition to this ensemble. The shoes, while seasonally appropriate, just don’t look as good with the jumpsuit as sandals probably would have. But I suppose Leslie has a right not to freeze her toes off on a London red carpet in December.

LUPITA NYONG’O in Paris
dress by Elie Saab, earrings by David Yurman, shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood

Photo: Visual/Zuma

Lupita, I love you forever, and you are still by far my favorite red carpet newcomer of 2013. However, I am staunchly against the matchy-matchy-matchy thing happening between your earrings, your dress, and your shoes. Don’t get me wrong – you were made for this dress, which makes you look feminine and strong and powerful and glamorous and every other positive adjective I can think of. And the shoes are equally stunning. But it goes to a costumey place when things match this perfectly.

CLAIRE DANES at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert
gown by Valentino

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty

This floral print is best known as the fabric on the plastic-covered couch my grandmother had in her apartment in Queens. Yet somehow, Claire Danes makes it work.

KRISTEN WIIG in Berlin
dress by Martin Grant, shoes by Manolo Blahnik

Photo: Eva Oertwig/Schroewig/AP

Cute. Kristen Wiig seems to have trouble finding looks that suit her personal style, but I think this art deco ballerina thing actually works quite well on her. And the copper shoes are delightful.

LILY COLLINS at the Chanel show in Dallas, Texas
dress and boots by Chanel

Photo: Cooper Neill/Getty

The cap sleeves are stunning (though you have to have Lily’s perfect arms to pull them off), but everything else about this dress is kind of shapeless and strangely underwhelming. I’m not sure the Chanel boots were necessarily the best choice to pair with this gliterry Christmas ornament of a dress, either. But at least we know that two trends of 2013 are refusing to die even as the year ends: 1) the fuller eyebrow, also known as the best thing to ever happen to women who are too lazy to tweeze regularly (read: me), and 2) the ear cuff, that strange piece of jewelry that hasn’t left the red carpet since the punk-themed Met Gala.

ALLISON WILLIAMS in Los Angeles
dress and shoes by Calvin Klein

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

For someone who absolutely hates dresses that match the wearer’s skin tone precisely, and who isn’t a fan of Calvin Klein’s minimalism desire to make the same dress over and over again, I was actually amazed by how much I enjoyed this look. That might be a mark of how terrible most of Allison Williams’s wardrobe choices are, that by comparison, this was downright fabulous. I think the textures work really well here – a leather dress with cashmere trim is a brilliant idea (for someone who can afford the dry cleaning bill). Up close, I can sort of get behind this look. But from across the room, she looks like a naked girl who lacks nipples and a vagina, and that’s kind of a problem.

BLAKE LIVELY in New York City
dress by Marchesa, jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, shoes by Gucci

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty

It’s almost adorable that Blake Lively still thinks she doesn’t need a stylist. How many obedient sycophants does she surround herself with? Who are these people constantly telling her how great she is at dressing herself? Why did they fail to mention that this dress looks like old-fashioned lingerie (and not in a good way), and that amount of diamonds doesn’t work on anyone except Liz Taylor, even if you’re at a jewelry designer’s event?

MILEY CYRUS in Los Angeles
top and skirt by Calvin Klein

Photo: Daniel Robertson/Startraks

Eh. Not different enough from what she’s already worn in the past to really be remarkable. And let’s all spend the rest of the month praying that 2014 sees the end of those claw-like nail tips.

UMA THURMAN at the Zac Posen show in New York City
gown by Zac Posen

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Uma is flawless, but even she can’t save this sadly draped bridesmaid’s dress. All that business happening on the bodice is just distracting. Also, if this dress is too long on Uma, who is fucking 5’11”, who on earth does it fit? Or is Zac Posen now designing for giants and just hasn’t informed the media yet?

DITA VON TEESE in New York City
gown by Carolina Herrera, jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty

I absolutely adored the runway version of this look, which was bright fuchsia, fabulous, and my red carpet prediction for Kerry Washington. But this red carpet translation of it leaves a lot to be desired. First of all, at least half the power of the dress is taken away when it’s not in that fabulous shade of pink. Second, the fit here is an absolute nightmare – the proportions might have worked on the model, but someone really fucked with the fit when it came time to make a version for Dita. The diamond flower necklaces or whatever is happening on her neck are fabulous, but everything else is below her usually high standards for red carpet gear.

DITA VON TEESE at the Zac Posen show in New York City
gown by Zac Posen, necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

It’s fine, but let’s not pretend we haven’t seen this Zac Posen mermaid gown approximately five thousand times before. I love the burgundy color, which is absolutely everywhere this season, but everything else reads as middle-aged Park Avenue princess, and that’s not an aesthetic I recommend for anyone.

ROONEY MARA in Dubai
gown by Lanvin

Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Oh, would that Rooney Mara had worn the green runway version of this dress, which was my red carpet prediction for Jessica Chastain. It probably would have been my favorite red carpet look in the history of ever. Instead, Rooney gave us something we’ve seen from her at practically every red carpet event since the first Girl with the Dragon Tattoo premiere – a goth-chic white gown. What the fuck else is new?

KRISTEN STEWART at the Chanel show in Dallas, Texas
top and pants by Chanel

Photo: Cooper Neill/Getty

Seriously? This is what you wore to the Chanel fashion show, and you’re now THE FACE OF THE LABEL? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. SHE HAS A SWEATER WRAPPED AROUND HER WAIST LIKE IT’S 1995. This is NO ONE’s fashion icon.

LADY GAGA in London
dress by Vera Wang

Photo: Sianderson/Bauer Griffin

And a merry fucking Christmas to you, dear readers.


© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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2 responses to The Week in Celebrity Fashion, Part 1

  1. You are so much kinder than I am to several people here that I think look dreadful, but it’s all because of fit–or mostly. Um looks tacky. Blake looks like her chest is falling toward her waist. Lily’s and Kristin Wiigs dresses are too geometric and stiff. They’re interesting projects but not flattering at all. I’m not a fan of Dakota’s look at all (OMGosh, especially those braids). I know you have good taste. I’m not putting you down personally. I’m just disappointed in most of these looks. Kristin Stewart is often too casual; she thinks it’s cool to rebel against the status quo. But at least she is dressed by Chanel. Without that dumb sweater wrapped around her, she’d look better than most of the other ladies here. I love Claire Danes, and her dress has potential, but it doesn’t get there. Lady Gaga has so many fans that it won’t bother her a bit if I think she looks ridiculous. I wish she’d quit wasting energy trying to get attention. She’s so bright. What the hell is she doing?

    • democracydiva – Author

      Don’t worry, I don’t take disagreements over fashion personally! I knew not everyone would agree about Dakota’s look, but I still love it. God knows what Gaga is ever thinking – maybe it’s safer for all of us if we don’t try and enter her brain.

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