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.

Diva’s Choice: The Cocktail Cruise Dress

Giambattista Valli Resort 2011

I often find myself aboard a cruise ship, wishing I had something funky yet nautical cocktail dress appropriate for the occasion, as I sip my Perrier with lime, no ice. [Note: This may or may not be complete bullshit.] Well, Giambattista Valli has anticipated that unique but dire need, and showed this fabulous little number in his Resort 2011 collection. I love everything about this, with the exception of that model’s terrifyingly small head. Seriously. I’m kind of concerned for her.

A sleek bodice – draped yet tailored, asymmetrical with an adorable little shoulder. The perfect cinched waist – most of my favorite bridal gowns have that little ribbon around the waist, and I think it’s darling. And then the black skirt, which could seem out of place in a resort collection, but instead it just adds a little grit to an otherwise angelic summer dress. It somehow makes the dress badass, more formal, and more unique all at the same time. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have neverending legs like Ms. Tiny Head over here. But I digress.

Runway Review: The Week In Fashion

This week had a little too much fashion for just one blog post, so I’ve divided your weekly fashion recap into two parts: runway and red carpet. Here’s the runway edition, as the Resort 2011 collections have exploded this week.

Best Accessory: Vamped-Up Stockings

 

The gams are getting glamorous on the runway this week! Though the effect feels much more fall than spring, many designers chose vamped-up stockings and ornate tights as accessories. I have always been a fan of the embellished stocking – somehow it always makes an outfit more interesting and way sexier.

Worst Accessory: The Tube Belt

 

I tend to support eccentric accessories, particularly those that bring an element of grittiness into an otherwise tailored, feminine outfit (or vice versa). But if the fashionistas start wearing these ugly, unflattering belts that look like they belong at a gas pump, I’m going to have to scream. I beg you, ladies. No matter how badly you need a belt, rubber tubing is not the answer.

The Saddest Girl on the Runway

 

There is a such thing as “so bad it’s good.” Examples include the earlier seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation, “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus, and the entire High School Musical franchise. Unfortunately, Cynthia Rowley’s Resort 2011 collection is not “so bad it’s good.” Because it’s downright fugly. From the white shoes to the shapeless “dress” to the patched, frayed fabric – I understand the point is to make a statement using ugliness, but the only statement this makes is “I’m a little homeless boy in my mommy’s shoes”

The Legend of Oscar

Oscar de la Renta Resort 2011

As per usual, I had nearly every look in Oscar de la Renta’s Resort 2011 collection tagged as one of my favorites this week, but I managed to narrow it down to two looks that explain the genius of Mr. de la Renta.

The above look is what designers like Leanne from Project Runway constantly attempt but never quite achieve. She, like Oscar, made full skirts of fabric pieces to make it look like waves, but she limited herself with her desire to stay within a specific structure and color scheme. This blood-red beauty catches like feathers in the wind, moves like waves, possibly could have been made by Elmo’s taxidermist, and is romantic and sweet all at the same time. The rose-looking twist at the center is exquisite.

Oscar de la Renta Resort 2011

And this kind of gown is what Christopher from Project Runway always tried, to no avail. But to create something like this is so much more than making a dress. It truly stands as a piece of art, carefully and thoughtfully draped, sewn, and constructed. I personally love the different polka-dot prints, the black sash at her waist, and the ornate bodice.

The Ill-Fitting Crotch Award

 

These pants were apparently draped intentionally to give the appearance of a giant cameltoe.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Resort 2011

The Democracy Diva would like to take this opportunity to remind all designers, not just Givenchy and Marc, that vaginas do not need a square foot of breathing room.

90s Throwbacks

 

This My So Called Life meets Coco Chanel hybrid has all the modernity of the new millennium with the grittiness of the 90s. The tweed dress is lovely (and such an unusual shape) and those peep-toe combat boots are destined to be in my closet. But the black long-sleeved lace undershirt really amps up the alternative rock sensibility, and the contrast between the tailored and the distressed is incredibly beautiful.

Diva’s Pet Peeve

 

Now, I KNOW we’ve talked about sweatpants on the runway before. I don’t care if it’s the resort collection – fabulous casual vacation lounge clothing and bright yellow elastic waistband sweatpants are not the same. And this poor soul isn’t helped by that boxy T-shirt, the horrible choker, and the mismatched purse.

Best Bollywood Influence

 

I love the way Naeem Khan’s entire collection felt like it lay somewhere in between Hollywood and Bollywood. Gowns like this one – perfect red carpet gowns with just whispers of sari influences – simultaneously have old Hollywood glamour and a completely modern, global sensibility.

Costumes by Marc Jacobs

 

Doesn’t this have Emma Pillsbury from Glee written all over it? If McKinley High has a prom or Emma and Will have an engagement party, I think our neurotic little guidance counselor should wear this chic, flowery ensemble from Marc Jacobs.

Marc Jacobs Resort 2011

If this Diva were Katy Perry’s stylist, this is what I’d put her in for a casual day or hot summer night. This is what Katy should be wearing – zany, revealing costumes that hearken back to the 1940s pinup girls. She should go less wild and more conceptual, and her wardrobe would be intriguing instead of just weird.

The Dragtastic Dress

 

Since the model above does not appear to be a tennis pro by day / drag queen by night who is addicted to ecstasy, I can’t imagine where she plans on wearing this dress.

My Favorite Mini-Dresses

 

A girly print with a fascinating belt and truly fabulous straps. And that matching bag? To die for.

I call this look “Little Red Riding Hood Goes Bad.” Youthful, sexy, and fresh.

Because, let’s be honest, it’s not summer until you whip out your wildest neon dress.

More fashion to come! Check back here soon for the Tonys red carpet and more!

 

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