The 2010 Best Dressed List

Honorable Mention: Carey Mulligan, Florence Welch, & Ashley Olsen

Who: Carey Mulligan

What: Vionnet Pre-Fall 2010

Where & When: BAFTA Awards in London, February

Why: England’s favorite pixie proved her status as a style maven this year. Elegant and original, this gown was a serious step forward for this A-lister in the making.

Who: Florence Welch

What: Givenchy Fall 2010 couture

Where & When: MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, September

Why: The front-woman of Florence + the Machine showed she’s more than just a rock goddess – she’s a couture queen. You can’t help but admire the drama of this gold gown and accessories paired with Flo’s shockingly red hair and lips.

Who: Ashley Olsen

What: Erdem Fall 2009

Where & When: In Style/Warner Brothers Golden Globe Awards after-party in Los Angeles, January

Why: The bubble hem, the elbow-length sleeves, the cascading flowers, and that stunning blue color made Ashley a knock-out at the biggest of the Golden Globes after-parties.

Who: Ashley Olsen

What: Alexander McQueen Fall 2006

Where: Art of Elysium charity ball in Los Angeles, January

Why: Just weeks before McQueen’s untimely death, Ashley Olsen reminded us of why we love the luxurious and dramatic looks of the famed designer.

The Label Loyalists: Alexa Chung, Diane Kruger, and Marion Cotillard

Who: Alexa Chung

What: Chanel Spring 2010

Where & When: Elle Style Awards in London, February

Why: Alexa showed off her hipster-chic style with her devotion to all things Chanel.

Who: Alexa Chung

What: Chanel Resort 2011

Where & When: Chanel boutique re-opening in Soho, September

Why: Alexa wisely minimized the accessories with this funky multi-print dress by her favorite designer.

Who: Diane Kruger

What: Jason Wu

Where & When: Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or Closing Ceremony, May

Why: For the Cannes closing ceremony, classic beauty is a must-have. Diane showed that a little bling and a lot of color can go a long way on the red carpet.

Who: Diane Kruger

What: Jason Wu

Where & When: Screen Actors Guild Awards in Hollywood, January

Why: This beautifully draped, one-shouldered mustard yellow gown shows off Diane’s effortless old Hollywood glamour.

Who: Marion Cotillard

What: Christian Dior Resort 2011

Where & When: Paris premiere of Inception, July

Why: You can’t beat a French woman at French fashion, especially in Paris! The black lace, stunning neckline, and voluminous silhouette are proof that sometimes, the French just do it best.

Who: Marion Cotillard

What: Christian Dior Spring 2010

Where & When: Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood, January

Why: Showing a little leg and a lot of style, Marion again represents her home country in an asymmetrical metallic and lace gown by Dior.

The Trend Setters: Kristen Stewart and Keira Knightley

Who: Kristen Stewart

What: Herve Leger by Max Azria Fall 2010

Where & When: Late Show with David Letterman in New York, June

Why: In a victory for grumpy pale girls everywhere, Kristen shows off her porcelain skin and never-ending legs in this one-sleeved modern LBD.

Who: Keira Knightley

What: Chanel Fall 2010 couture

Where & When: Opening night of the BFI London Film Festival, October

Why: Keira’s Chanel dress is revealing – note the sheerness of the neckline, waist, back and sleeves – but still incredibly classy. Proof that a dress strategically cut in all the right places can do wonders, especially on an already beautiful woman.

Best Variety: Cate Blanchett and Emma Watson

Who: Cate Blanchett

What: Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2010

Where & When: Opening night of Cannes Film Festival, May

Why: It’s rumored that Cate hand-selected this dramatic gown from the late designer, and she couldn’t have chosen a more unique look. It’s a rare woman who can pull off a black wedding gown with a giant eagle on it, but of course Cate makes it look chic.

Who: Cate Blanchett

What: Armani Prive Spring 2010 Couture

Where & When: Tony Awards in New York, June

Why: Some mocked this so-called Tin Man look, but Cate again proved that she dares to strut outside the box in her sexy silver suit.

Who: Cate Blanchett

What: vintage Christian Lacroix

Where & When: Gala in Beijing, September

Why: The dress speaks for itself. This work of art is one of the most extraordinary gowns I’ve ever seen.

Who: Emma Watson

What: Christopher Kane Fall 2010

Where & When: LONDON showROOMS closing party in New York, March

Why: Pre-pixie cut, Emma shows off her trendy style with this lace and floral dress by the Scottish designer.

Who: Emma Watson

What: Karl Lagerfeld Spring 2010

Where & When: National Movie Awards in London, May

Why: A dress is only as chic as the shoes you pair it with, and those Louboutins are chic as all hell. This sexy dress is just as stylish – notice the peek-a-boo keyhole and the super-short skirt!

Who: Emma Watson

What: custom Burberry

Where & When: Met Costume Institute Gala Benefit in New York, May

Why: At the biggest red carpet fashion event of the year, all eyes were on Emma, in the gown Burberry designer Christopher Bailey made just for her. The chunky black accessories helped keep this look less bridal and more youthful.

Who: Emma Watson

What: custom Calvin Klein

Where & When: New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, November

Why: Shedding Hermione’s longer locks, Emma shows off her fabulous pixie cut and her minimalist style in yet another dress custom-made for her.

The Risk-Taker: Lady Gaga

Who: Lady Gaga

What: custom Armani Prive couture

Where & When: Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, January

Why: There was no bigger fashion risk-taker this year than the artist formerly known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known to us all as Lady Gaga.

Who: Lady Gaga

What: Alexander McQueen

Where & When: MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, September

Why: One word: SHOES.

Who: Lady Gaga

What: Franc Fernandez

Where & When: MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, September

Why: Was there a more talked-about fashion statement this year – or possibly even this decade – than Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress? More importantly, this outfit led to my favorite Gaga quote of all time: “I never thought I’d be asking Cher to hold my meat purse.”

Super Starlets: Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, and Rachel Bilson

Who: Blake Lively

What: Marchesa Resort 2011

Where & When: Fashion’s Night Out in New York, September

Why: If you’ve got perfect tits and legs for days, all you need is a funky cocktail dress and a ponytail and you’re ready for the biggest event of New York Fashion Week.

Who: Blake Lively

What: Elie Saab Fall 2010

Where & When: Tiffany & Co. event in New York, September

Why: Blake has her finger on the pulse of 2010’s hottest trends: lace, elbow-length sleeves, and flapper-style fringe.

Who: Blake Lively

What: Chanel Fall 2010 Couture

Where & When: Toronto Film Festival, September

Why: This is my idea of a perfect cocktail dress. I love the flower embellishments around her hips, and the ruby-red color of the dress really pops with that red cocktail ring and matching red lipstick.

Who: Leighton Meester

What: Marc Jacobs Resort 2011

Where & When: V Magazine’s New York Issue Party, September

Why: The pink blush on her cheeks matches the pink in the dress – what a genius move by Leighton’s stylist! Blake’s Gossip Girl co-star looks more beautiful than ever in this fabulous springtime number. (Although, is it a trick of the light, or can you see her nipples?)

Who: Rachel Bilson

What: Christian Dior Spring 2010

Where & When: Spike TV Video Game Awards in Los Angeles, December

Why: Nobody does effortless, youthful style quite like Rachel Bilson. Her stylist’s decision to do an ivory underlay was genius – even better than the runway version. And the little bows on those heels? Perfection.

Who: Rachel Bilson

What: Roberto Cavalli Pre-Fall 2010

Where & When: Roberto Cavalli’s 40th Anniversary Party during Paris Fashion Week, September

Why: A sexy, flowing leopard-print gown is a lot of look, but the red purse as the sole accessory is phenomenal. I love Rachel’s street style and casual wear, but with this look she proved that she’s a formal red carpet force to be reckoned with.

The A-Listers: Michelle Obama, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, and Lea Michele

Who: First Lady Michelle Obama

What: Peter Sorensen

Where & When: State Dinner at the White House, May

Why: Who says the FLOTUS can’t be sexy? Hot Mama Obama shows off the famous First Guns in this glamorous gown.

Who: First Lady Michelle Obama

What: Michael Kors

Where & When: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards in DC, September

Why: All politics aside, no one can deny that the Obamas are one stylish couple. The First Lady is absolutely glowing in her red halter gown.

Who: First Lady Michelle Obama

What: Naeem Khan

Where & When: Kennedy Center Honors in DC, December

Why: She’s the Jackie O of the 21st century.

Who: Anne Hathaway

What: Antonio Berardi

Where & When: Hollywood premiere of Love & Other Drugs, November

Why: You can always depend on Anne for a classic, beautiful red carpet look. Flawless hair and makeup and the world’s best smile take this chic little dress to a whole new level.

Who: Anne Hathaway

What: Valentino Pre-Fall 2010

Where & When: Met Costume Institute Gala Benefit in New York, May

Why: This photo is the definition of Hollywood glitz and glamour.

Who: Anne Hathaway

What: Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

Where & When: Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway, December

Why: The unique print and silhouette of this one-shouldered gown are stunning. From head to toe, this look is clean, classic, and incredibly beautiful.

Who: Natalie Portman

What: Rodarte

Where & When: Venice Film Festival screening of Black Swan, September

Why: Rodarte designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy created the ballet costumes in Black Swan, so this red carpet shout-out to the label was particularly lovely. As if the film wasn’t garnering enough buzz on its own, Natalie got the world talking about her once again in this jaw-dropping red gown.

Who: Natalie Portman

What: Lanvin

Where & When: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Governor’s Awards in Hollywood, November

Why: Natalie’s stylist has been working overtime lately as Natalie promotes Black Swan on every red carpet in the universe. But clearly she’s not losing her touch, because this purple asymmetrical draped gown is simply fabulous. And we all know that best-dressed list without Lanvin is no best-dressed list at all.

Who: Lea Michele

What: Oscar de la Renta Fall 2005

Where & When: Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood, January

Why: The Glee star started the year off with a bang. This gown announced Lea’s status as New Diva on the Block and proved that this pint-sized star is chock full of fabulous.


Who: Lea Michele

What: Catherine Malandrino Spring 2010

Where & When: Screen Actors Guild Awards in Hollywood, January

Why: This gown single-handedly created Lea Michele’s image as a sex symbol. The long, wavy locks, the dramatic makeup, the plunging neckline, the cinched waist, that intriguing green color – every element of this look is perfection.

Who: Lea Michele

What: custom Zac Posen

Where & When: Tony Awards in New York, June

Why: Donning another daring, brilliant color, this Broadway vet absolutely stunned on the Tonys red carpet. Lea’s dress flatters her teensy little figure so beautifully.

Who: Lea Michele

What: Oscar de la Renta Resort 2011

Where & When: Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, August

Why: If ever there was a look that said, “Worship me, bitches! I have ARRIVED!” – it’s this one.

© Democracy Diva, 2010.

Project Runway Recap: S8 E14 (The Season Finale!)

First off, get caught up on the entire season with my Season 8 Scorecard. Compare who won each challenge with who should have won, and analyze the season portfolio for each of the three finalists!

Back to the finale: We’re all angry, dear readers. That is undeniable. But let’s try to rein in our fury and judge these looks with an open mind, and try to forget how much we want to throw things at Michael and Nina.

In defense of Gretchen, Michael and Nina were correct that her design aesthetic is very trendy now. I personally do not understand the appeal of slouchy, oversized jumpsuits and similar relics of the 1970s, but you cannot deny that this aesthetic was all over the runways at New York Fashion Week. Michael Kors designed his Spring 2011 collection around a similar concept of relaxed, casual, wearable garments, so it’s unsurprising that he wanted Gretchen for the win.

However, the blogosphere is ablaze over Mondo’s loss, and rightfully so. His collection had an originality that Gretchen simply cannot match. His overall work in the competition, including his final collection, has been thought-provoking, joyous, and unique. I cannot say the same for almost anything that Gretchen designed this season. (Stay tuned for my post reviewing the entire season, and I’m sure you’ll agree.)

Was Mondo’s collection youthful, as Nina and Michael claimed? Absolutely. But since when does fashion have to appeal to an older customer? Average teenagers and twenty-somethings may not buy as much fashion as older women, but it is young women who inspire designers, and young women rock their looks on red carpets every day. Fashion is not for the elderly, or even the 30something crowd. Fashion is for the people who inspire designers and delight in their work. I think Mondo’s youthful aesthetic is one of the best things about his work.

We can argue for weeks over whether it was appropriate to judge this design competition over whose looks were more commercial, instead of whose looks were more creative or fashionable. The point is, even if we’re judging based on what Nina can sell, you can’t dismiss Mondo as un-sellable. He has an incredible commercial appeal that the judges are, forgive me, too damn old and stubborn to recognize. I’m sure there are many women who will be thrilled to wear Gretchen’s flowy jumpsuits, but there are just as many women who would kill for a Mondo original in their closet. And the fact that the judges neglected to comment on Gretchen’s offensive use of diapers was absolutely ridiculous. The parade of giant burlap panties should have been enough to auf Gretchen.

I could go on like this for hours, but let’s just start the show.

ANDY

Cool pieces individually, but the colors are practically unwearable, even though they’re very eye-catching on the runway. I don’t like the wiry headpieces – they look like cheap Philip Treacy knockoffs, and I think they are primarily responsible for the loss of Andy’s real vision throughout this collection. They substitute his usual Asian Warrior Bitch for some sort of Alien Fairy Queen; it’s not nearly as interesting, and it doesn’t feel like Andy. Furthermore, the judges were right to point out that you need to open with something much bigger and bolder than this.

As soon as this hit the runway, I said, “This is a throwaway piece if I’ve ever seen one.” There’s just nothing to this look – the jewelry is much more interesting than the clothes. If it were in brown instead of silver, I’d swear this was a design by Gretchen, not Andy.

I think the mismatched silvers and greys were very poorly chosen. I think that mix of colors is very unattractive. And I think the blouse is fighting with the jacket for attention, which is nearly always problematic.

The shorts seem cute at first, but I’m not sure I can really picture the customer who is wearing metallic olive green high-waisted shorts that make her look like she has a huge gaping vagina.

I can see too much vag, and Tim was right – it does look like pubes coming out of her bikini bottom. The robe helps, but not much.

I actually agreed with Jessica Simpson that this was Andy’s best look. I love the modern twist on a 1920s flapper – very trendy, wearable, and beautifully done. But this looks like a Laura Bennett creation, not an Andy South creation.

These pants are kind of cool, and I love the neckline to that blouse, but I think the ruffles are awful.

I want to like this, because I think it’s unique, but I just hate the way those shapes make her look. I don’t think Andy understands that the geometric aspects of the garment need to be not just interesting, but flattering. And the shoes are AWFUL.

The blouse is undeniably gorgeous, and I’m warming up to the pants, in spite of their strange vagina. (Once again, Andy can make things look interesting, but he doesn’t take a woman’s body into account.) I just don’t see how the top and bottom go together.

I love the top half of this garment. I think it’s a stunning shape and the handiwork on all that pleating is absolutely incredible. But the bottom is such a let down. First of all, the proportions are way off; that skirt needs to be two inches longer to counterbalance the top. And second, the bottom just seems like a cop-out after all the work that was clearly put into the top. It’s like he forgot about the skirt entirely.

GRETCHEN

The jacket is actually quite cute (although the colors are awful), but I cannot believe that Gretchen opened her show with a giant brown diaper. And the judges praised her for styling her the way they recommended, but I’m still seeing Southwestern Granola all over this. The giant platform wedges and center-parted wavy hair are not high fashion. And I think the necklaces look very elementary. Any first-year design student could have designed that jewelry.

Definitely a step up from the panty, but the accessories are still a nightmare. If Gretchen could just put a simple pump or Mary Jane or heeled sandal on a single model, it would improve things so much. But she insists on these bulky shoes that focus the eye on the woman’s feet instead of her clothes. I don’t hate this dress. I think the cut-outs on top are lovely, but I think she stole that shoulder-slit idea from April. But a mullet hem (longer in the back than in the front) is rarely, if ever, a good idea.

Once again, the accessories overpower the girl. Perhaps this is my problem with Gretchen – she tries so hard for this relaxed, effortless, reachable aesthetic, but her styling is anything but. It’s always chunky and huge, trying too hard, and it’s anything but relaxed. This is also a bit of a throwaway look, because the cut of the top is identical to the look before is, and the bottom is something she’s already done on this show. If the colors and prints are going to be this ugly, I at least expect the design to have some originality.

This seems so much more fashionable than her other looks, and I truly believe it’s because the chunky black shoes and bracelets are gone. The sunglasses and jewelry do maintain that Southwestern ease, and these colors are so much warmer and richer than anything else in the collection. I don’t know that anyone actually wants to wear those giant pants, but I think they’re beautiful to look at (except for the vagina), and the blouse is chic and effortless.

Another throwaway look – a diaper and a grandma sweater, styled terribly to boot. This was downright offensive – I can’t believe Gretchen got away with sending something so half-assed and designless down the runway.

Awful styling again, but this jumpsuit is pretty wearable. The fabric moved in a really fascinating way when she walked. I’m not sure I would want those pointy seams around my hips, flapping in the wind, but I suppose it looks good on a size zero Amazon woman.

What does this have to do with the rest of her collection, besides the fact that she’s wearing a diaper?

And I thought the judges instructed her to put her models in heels (like every other model on every other runway in the universe) instead of flats? Things can almost never look high fashion on the runway without high heels. They just make the model walk in a completely different way – there’s no replacing that.

Those prints together are an absolute nightmare, and I don’t know who the hell is wearing cutoff midriff-baring tees these days. And again, the pants flapped down the runway in the most peculiar way. They look fine in a photo, but their movement is just bizarre.

I know this look is supposed to tie in the black jacket with the rest of the collection, but I still don’t think that fabric makes any sense here. And that shirt is just ugly.

By far my favorite look of the collection, and definitely the best to close with. This isn’t quite a showstopper, but it’s as close as Gretchen is going to get. It’s obviously not something that you could ever wear as evening wear, but it steel feels much dressier and more formal than the rest of the collection. So it seems this is Gretchen’s vision of formalwear. I’d never wear it as such, but it makes a beautiful day dress.

MONDO

It’s interesting that Nina felt Mondo’s looks needed to be edited down, and yet this was one of her favorites. If any look needed to be watered down a bit, it was this. The blouse, scarf and shorts were a lot to begin with. The belt gave it a fun pop, but Mondo should have nixed one, perhaps even two, of the loud accessories. They were incredibly distracting.

I didn’t notice these little robot shoes on first glance, but I think I hate them. Regardless, the blouse and shorts are funky, beautiful, and wearable. The styling is over-the-top, but only in a “That’s Mondo” sort of way and not at all in a circus show way.

This is probably what gave the judges the impression that this collection was too youthful, and I understand that. Few women who are beyond college age would really be able to rock this look. But I truly believe that these pieces, while wild, are wearable by real women as separates. I think those leggings would be unbelievable with a super-short black dress, and you could throw on skinny jeans and boots with that shirt and look totally badass. The judges took these pieces too literally and refused to see their potential off the runway and on the streets, but I stand by Mondo.

Still one of my favorites of Mondo’s collection. Just enough design elements to keep you on your toes, but it doesn’t cross the line into costumey. I think it’s a brilliant use of color.

This was a favorite of the judges, but more importantly, it was the favorite of everyone who I watched the show with. This is the reason Betsey Johnson loved Mondo’s collection – it’s very Betsey-influenced without feeling copied. A strapless poofy plaid bubble-skirted cocktail dress with pockets is something I would absolutely kill to have in my wardrobe. And those stockings are absolutely delicious. I like the pop of yellow in the shoe, but I wish he’d gone for pumps instead of booties. We thought this look guaranteed Mondo’s spot as the winner.

This is deceptively simple from afar, but totally beautiful in a close-up. The sequined, patterned top is seriously amazing. I can picture so many different kinds of women incorporating that blouse into their wardrobe. And those shorts look pretty badass, although I’m not sure how comfy I’d be in high-waisted black leather shorts.

These pants are nuts, but I love them. I can see the arguments about their unwearability, but I can’t deny that they look kickass on the runway, especially with that jacket. I wish he’d nixed the long sleeves, and I think the shirt is too busy with those pants, but it’s not a bad look overall.

Another favorite. I had found the full-length polka dot dress to be too much; I agreed with Michael that it needed some skin to balance it out. And this was the perfect balance. These pieces are totally wearable as separates, and look incredible together. Again, I think he could have stepped down a bit on either the jewelry, the headpiece, the purse, or the shoes, but the clothes are beautiful.

Everybody loved this but me. I think it’s totally 80s, and not in a good way, and I think it’s the only piece that gives the collection too much of a youthful vibe. I think the judges loved it because unlike many of Mondo’s pieces, it wasn’t overstyled, but I thought it was too simple and too junior.

This has grown on me since last week, but I still think it’s so awkwardly long. I think if it stopped at the knee, it would be a total knockout. But those shoes were an absolute mistake.

So, congrats, Gretch. I won’t lie and say you deserved the win, but I suppose disco granola girls need to get their diapers somewhere. But let’s hear what you think:

And your results from last week’s episode:

Don’t miss the Season 8 Scorecard, a guide to this past season of Project Runway!

© Democracy Diva, 2010.

Red Carpet Predictions: Spring 2011

Get ready, dear readers, because it’s time to play stylist to the stars! I’m taking the most glitzy-glamorous, red carpet-worthy gowns from ALL the Spring 2011 runway collections – NEW YORK to LONDON to MILAN to PARIS – and I’ll be deciding which of your favorite celebs will be wearing them out on the town. Let’s have some fun!

ANGELINA JOLIE will wear…

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

ANNA KENDRICK will wear…

Commuun Spring 2011

ANNE HATHAWAY will wear…

Elie Saab Spring 2011

BLAKE LIVELY will wear…

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2011

CAREY MULLIGAN will wear…

Carmen Marc Valvo Spring 2011

CHLOE SEVIGNY will wear…

Viktor & Rolf Spring 2011

CHRISTINA HENDRICKS will wear…

Christian Siriano Spring 2011

DAKOTA FANNING will wear…

Julien MacDonald Spring 2011

DIANE KRUGER will wear…

Wes Gordon Spring 2011

ELIZABETH BANKS will wear…

Elie Saab Spring 2011

EMMA WATSON will wear…

Versace Spring 2011

FREIDA PINTO will wear…

Gucci Spring 2011

HEIDI KLUM will wear…

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2011

JANUARY JONES will wear…

Valetin Yudashkin Spring 2011

JENNIFER ANISTON will wear…

A. F. Vandevorst Spring 2011

JESSICA BIEL will wear…

Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2011

KATY PERRY will wear…

Manish Arora Spring 2011

KIM KARDASHIAN will wear…

Gianfranco Ferré Spring 2011

KRISTEN STEWART will wear…

Matthew Williamson Spring 2011

KRISTIN CHENOWETH will wear…

Collette Dinnigan Spring 2011

LADY GAGA will wear…

Manish Arora Spring 2011

and GAGA will wear…

Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2011

and of course, GAGA will wear…

Viktor & Rolf Spring 2011

Vikto & Rolf Spring 2011

LEA MICHELE will wear…

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2011

LEIGHTON MEESTER will wear…

Chapurin Spring 2011

MADONNA will wear…

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

MARION COTILLARD will wear…

Carlos Miele Spring 2011

MICHELLE WILLIAMS will wear…

Alexis Mabille Spring 2011

MILEY CYRUS will wear…

Vivienne Westwood Spring 2011

RACHEL BILSON will wear…

Cacharel Spring 2011

RIHANNA will wear…

Gareth Pugh Spring 2011

SARAH JESSICA PARKER will wear…

Jason Wu Spring 2011

SCARLETT JOHANSSON will wear…

Chloé Spring 2011

SELENA GOMEZ will wear…

Victoria Beckham Spring 2011

TAYLOR MOMSEN will wear…

Chanel Spring 2011

TAYLOR SWIFT will wear…

Tibi Spring 2011

ZOE SALDANA will wear…

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

And with that, your Spring 2011 posts are complete!

New York Fashion Week’s 10 Best Looks

10. The Retro Swimsuit

 

Vintage-style swimwear is one of my favorite fashion trends. Bandeau tops, high-waisted bottoms – I’ll take that over a barely-there string bikini any day of the week. And in this gorgeous color, with the matching sweater and shoes? Who could possibly say no to this?

9. Lady in Red

 

From the way Project Runway is going, I’m not sure Valerie will actually make it to the top three, but her collection said otherwise. Architectural and feminine, like season 2 winner Chloe Dao. I hate the fake-looking wigs she used on every damn model, but this dress is truly stunning. It’s got complexity and intrigue but still feels classic.

8. Mad Men Meets Babydoll

 

The fabric choice is mod-chic, but the babydoll length is totally 90s. I love the sleeves and the way it flares out, flattering her teensy waist. A classically beautiful shape and print.

7. Architectural Chic

 

Totally modern, totally gorgeous. All those lines would be overwhelming if the dress wasn’t broken up by the clean white stripes in the middle. And that white sheer underlay? Delicious.

6. A Skirt for the Ages

 

Well, looks like I’ve found my new lawyer-chic ensemble. A crisp button down and a skirt with serious attitude is all a professional woman needs. That draping is so meticulous and it completely modernizes a classic outfit. I love the black bow at the waist, and I like that the skirt has some volume without making her look hippy.

5. Color Me Fabulous

 

Marc wins the award for best use of color. He didn’t hide behind taupes and whites – Mr. Jacobs went all out with gorgeous, rich, unique colors (and it happens to match my Ted Baker purse perfectly). Say what you will about the prairie-girl silhouettes – those colors are the only ones I want to wear this spring.

4. A New Silhouette

 

I’m just obsessed with the shapes of these pieces. Totally fresh and totally Vera. And that hair is so perfect for a Vera show – a pumped-up, volumized classic.

3. Hervé Strikes Again

Hervé Léger Spring 2011

Hervé Léger is beloved by celebrities for making skin-tight, incredibly body-conscious dresses. His infamous “bandage dresses” have been worn by the likes of Elisabeth Moss, L, Kim Kardashian, Anne Hathaway, Victoria Beckham, Blake Lively, and countless more starlets. He also nailed the number three spot in my post last season about the ten best looks from Fall 2010 (for a dress later worn by Lea Michele). And he’s back with a vengeance this season, with more awe-inspiring designs that show off a woman’s body like never before. Gorgeous, architectural, and above all, totally smokin’.

2. The Perfect Print

 

Fabulous silhouette and fit, but it’s the print that makes this truly unique. Those colors are beyond incredible. I hope this print shows up all over the runway this spring.

1. The Modern Classic

 

That fade from nude into navy is gorgeous. Such a dramatic effect in such a simple and timeless dress. Voluminous on the body, angelic on the top – a beautiful dress for any woman.

Need more NYFW? Check out the worst looks, the hottest trends, and the best collections from New York Fashion Week. And for all your overseas fashion needs, don’t miss out on the best of London Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week!

 

 

Trannies & Cameltoes: The 10 Worst Looks from New York Fashion Week

10. Vagina Cleavage

Project Runway's Andy South Spring 2011

It makes me very upset to say this, but I need a word for when you can see a little side-vagina action, a la Lady Gaga. Side-gina? Vagina cleavage? Peek-a-vag? (I think that’s my favorite.) Maybe we should name it after Gaga and call it a Gagagina. Dear readers, I wish there were not a need for me to invent such a term, but Andy committed a serious fashion faux pas by letting this model walk down the runway in an over-designed bathrobe and a cooter-revealing panty. Andy, I believe that your model got a bikini wax before the show. You really don’t need to prove it to us.

9. The Tiny Backwards Apron

Charlotte Ronson Spring 2011

Really? That’s the part of the body we’re choosing to emphasize? The area between the boobs and the bellybutton is not something that women want to highlight with window curtains. That square patch of exposed skin is beyond unnecessary. Also, is it just me, or is this Kurt Cobain in a skirt?

8. Drab and Sad

Richard Chai Love Spring 2011

Anybody in the market for an over-sized denim tunic and a saggy double-layered skirt? No? I didn’t think so.

7. My Lovely Lady Lumps

Doo.Ri Spring 2011

Oh, lord. Why would anybody place seams in those places? It just makes this poor bitch look like her (nonexistent) fat is busting out of that dress. And the diagonal pieces across her tummy? No, no, no!

6. The Worst of 1999

Y-3 Spring 2011

I had that belt in seventh grade, and even I knew it was lame. Also, that shirt is so tacky I’m pretty sure Jessica Alba wore it in Never Been Kissed. (Yeah, she was in that. So was James Franco. Look it up.) And I’m pretty sure MC Hammer would look at those pants and say, “That’s a bit much.”

5. The Tranny Orchestra

Elise Øverland Spring 2011

Okay. So this is a dude with a mohawk wearing pants under a skirt while playing the violin. And he had Taylor Momsen do his eyeliner. If this is fashion, I may as well just give up right now.

4. Ugly Pants: The Sequel

Malandrino Spring 2011

For some reason, Catherine Malandrino neglected to read my last post about her ugly pants, and continued her trend of saggy crotches. One season of jodpurs may be forgivable, but two? I will not stand for such offensive clothing.

3. Ugly Pants is Better than No Pants At All

Malandrino Spring 2011

Knitwear legwarmers as pants? Plus a nipple-tastic ratty tee and a giant panty? Okay, Malandrino. I’ll take the saggy-vag pants over this shit.

2. Creature of the Underworld

Jen Kao Spring 2011

Dear readers: If you ever see me in a greasy mullet, scary bottom-lid eyeliner, thick-thighed sheer pants, and whatever the fuck those “shoes” are, please commit me to the nearest rehabilitation center. Thank you.

1. The Cameltoe

Sachin + Babi Spring 2011

Look at this poor model’s face. She’s saying, “I’m wearing a jumpsuit in a pattern best suited for your grandmother’s couch, with a karate belt, Wonder Woman bracelets, and queer little bows around my ankles. AND LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID TO MY POOR VAGINA!” In other news, I don’t think  I’ve ever used the word “vagina” so many times in one post. I’ll work on that, dear readers.


Up next: The ten BEST looks from New York Fashion Week! Follow me @democracydiva for updates.

Best Collections of New York Fashion Week

No surprise here – in a week full of tans and taupes and creams and whites, two collections stood out from the crowd: Oscar de la Renta and Marchesa. I highly suggest you check out the full collections and weep over all the unattainable beauty for yourselves.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

Too many designers took “spring” to mean droopy, dreary, washed-out clothes that lacked color or personality. Not Oscar. He emphasized the vibrancy of spring in his color palette and was unafraid to emphasize the woman’s body in his silhouettes. His tweed suits and dresses were very Coco Chanel, and the entire collection felt like a more modern, more luxurious version of the Mad Men. It may not have been the most innovative or forward-thinking of collections, but we love Oscar for taking what’s classic and making it feel new again, and that’s exactly what he did.

Marchesa

Marchesa Spring 2011

Marchesa Spring 2011

Marchesa Spring 2011

Marchesa Spring 2011

Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman knows drama. Her collections don’t change drastically from season to season, but somehow every voluminous dress looks newer, more spectacular, and more gravity-defying than the last. They’re far from wearable – I mean, can you imagine sitting down in that blue gown? – but you can see the detail and creativity that goes into each piece. And although I’ve seen Marchesa and other designers do those intricate cut-out designs before, they never cease to amaze me.

Up next on the blog: The 10 best and 10 worst looks of New York Fashion Week! Stay tuned and stay updated @democracydiva.

New York Fashion Week: Spring 2011’s Biggest Trends

The great thing about having the flu is that I have all the time in the world to blog! We’ve got some serious fabulous to get through, so let’s start with New York Fashion Week’s hottest (and nottest) trends.

Splattered Paint

Project Runway: April Johnston Spring 2011

I first noticed this fabulous trend while flipping through the Project Runway collections. I couldn’t believe how strange and sexy the paint splattered across the models’ thighs seemed. This absolutely gorgeous top is also paint-splattered. It’s hard to make something like that look expensive instead of gimmicky, but April nailed it, through and through. And clothes artfully splattered with paint made their way up and down dozens of other runways during New York Fashion Week.

Richie Rich Spring 2011

Carlos Miele Spring 2011

Alexandre Herchcovitch Spring 2011

Betsey Johnson Spring 2011

The American West

The wild wild west was a huge trend last season, and the love of the heartland permeated this season as well. The influences ranged from Native American to prairie girl to old-time saloon whore, and they spanned collections from Ralph Lauren to Anna Sui.

Anna Sui Spring 2011

Anna Sui Spring 2011

Betsey Johnson Spring 2011

L.A.M.B. Spring 2011

Vivienne Tam Spring 2011

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011

Fugly Sunglasses

The world’s ugliest sunglasses made appearances on the face of every malnourished woman over 5’10” this season. Inspired by John Lennon, that atrocious remake of Willy Wonka, and those little plastic glasses they make you wear at the tanning salon, an embarrassingly large number of designers showcased some seriously fugly sunglasses. Let’s take a look.

Tracy Reese

Alexandre Herchcovitch Spring 2011

Anna Sui Spring 2011

Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2011

Leifsdottir Spring 2011

Knitwear

Nothing like a little crocheting to get your through the spring! Knitwear, particularly in black, white and cream, was all over the runway this season. Shirts, coats, dresses and more, designers focused on the beautiful intricacies of knit garments in their collections.

Anna Sui Spring 2011

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011

Tibi Spring 2011

Vivienne Tam Spring 2011

Check back here for more Fashion Week updates! Look out for posts on my red carpet predictions, my favorite collections, and the best and worst looks of New York Fashion Week! Follow me on twitter for all the latest news @democracydiva.

The Week in Fashion

The Fashion Professionals

Vogue Editor Lauren Santo Domingo

This bitch has “fashion editor” written all over her. She’s a doppelganger to Dianna Agron (Glee‘s Quinn), only twice as fashionable. That skirt is beyond gorgeous and belongs in my closet immediately. Why don’t we all own perfectly fitted pencil skirts in crazy gorgeous prints? And those heels scream Vogue from a mile away. The perfect highlights, and that glance over the shoulder like she owns Manhattan. God bless her.

Fashion blogger Emily Theobald

This is proof of how a few classic but simple items are all you need. A vintage sundress, a skinny belt, brown sandals, and oversized sunglasses – all perfect for a late summer’s day of running around the city. It’s quirky and casual, like a professional blogger should be – you can tell by her laid back appearance that her work day involves a comfy chair, a dog on her lap, and a strong cup of coffee.

Joanna Hillman, senior fashion market editor at Harper's Bazaar

And this lady’s outfit says fashion/business all the way. The blouse is gorgeous, very European-looking, but crisp, so you know she’s serious. Those pants are the perfect cranberry color and make this skinny bitch’s legs look about eight miles long. The sunglasses, purse, lipstick and shoes say “I’m fabulous and you better not fuck with me,” but the casual braid says “See how I don’t even have to try hard to look this good?”

Jilian Sanz, fashion director of Haute Living magazine

And this woman looks like a Parisian socialite – she’d be complete if she were holding a Lanvin shopping bag. The sheer blouse compared to the long, sturdy skirt is a nice mix, and that greyish pink mauve leather is gorgeous. And the little eyelet peep-toe heels? Precious. Not to mention the jewelry, which makes the outfit.

The Fashion Show Attendees

Leighton Meester at the Derek Lam fashion show

Combat boots? With white sweatsocks? Leighton, are you trying to give me an aneurysm?  The dress (or perhaps sweater/skirt combo) is dull as they come, and the metal bracelets taking over both her wrists give off a Wonder Woman vibe, and not in a good way. And what’s with the lack of hairstyle and makeup? This is New York Fashion Week. You’re going to have to try a hell of a lot harder than that.

Jenna Ushkowitz at the Rebecca Taylor fashion show

Attention, universe: Jenna Ushkowitz is clearly in desperate need of a stylist. That awful color, the oversized top, the whole peasant vibe it gives off, and that dreaded headband – this girl needs to be saved.

Portia de Rossi at the Richie Rich fashion show

Portia, who cut your bangs? Actually, let me put that more accurately: How fucking drunk was the blind mental patient who cut your bangs? Seriously, Portia is ordinarily a beautiful woman and here she looks like a seven-year-old boy.

Sarah Jessica Parker at the Diane Von Furstenberg fashion show

The hair looks as if she just barely escaped and wind tunnel, and the dress looks more like my grandmother’s droopy old apron than anything that should be in the same room as Diane Von Furstenberg.

The Fashion Party-Goers

Leighton Meester in Marc Jacobs

Way to turn up the heat, B! Leighton redeems herself in one of my favorite looks from Marc Jacobs’s Resort 2011 collection. The dress is breathtaking on her, the purse is completely badass, and I think the white shoes were a bold and wise choice. And see the difference it makes when her hair and makeup are done? Poof, instant starlet.

Alexis Bledel

Our very own Rory Gilmore was all over the Fashion Week scene. I’m liking the lighter hair color, and though the dress is pretty overdone, it’s cute enough. Particularly for someone who doesn’t dress particularly well. The pumps and clutch were an obvious choice, as was the matchy-matchy gold bracelet, but who can say no to those blue eyes?

Outside New York

Alexa Chung in Rachel Antonoff

Alexa Chung takes over London in this fabulous little yellow number. Perfect cut and fit, a bright and fun print, and freaking adorable grey booties.

Cate Blanchett in Christian Lacroix

Holy hell. Now this is a dress. The sleeves, the neck line, the colors, the fit, the draping of the skirt, the impeccable details – Cate truly looks like royalty in this gown. Her porcelain skin and boyish haircut just add another element of high fashion to an already fantastic look.

Emma Stone

Too big on top, too short on bottom, too long in the sleeves, tacky colors, and a vomit-inducing print. Yup, this is about as many mistakes as you can make at once on the red carpet.

Carey Mulligan

Oh, jeez. What is it, Carey, your bat mitzvah? What post-adolescent woman would be caught dead in something so Tinker Bell? It’s just incredibly immature. Even the cut of the dress looks more appropriate for a little girl than a woman. And the shoes only make matters worse. Glinda the Good Witch would look at this and go, “Whoa, girl. Chill out on the sparkles.”

Blake Lively in Chanel Haute Couture

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Blake Lively was the best dressed of the week, in my humble opinion. I am literally drooling over this blood red Chanel dress, which shines like it was laquered. And although it brings to mind awkward images of flowers sprouting from Serena’s nether regions, I think the red flowers are absolutely breathtaking. It looks so meticulously made, and it fits Blake like a second skin. The matching shoes are intense, but I think they make a strong statement. Her cocktail rings are what truly complete this look, especially the one that matches the dress. And with her red lipstick and effortlessly sexy blonde hair, Blake looks damn near perfect here.

I’m reviewing all the collections from New York Fashion Week, so keep checking back for updates! And follow me on twitter @democracydiva.

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