Sunday, 25 May 2014

10 Best Looks From the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

Let's be honest: it's easy to forget how glamourous the Cannes Film Festival is. While the Academy Awards is every style savant's super bowl and the Met Gala is the perfect time to nerd out over avant garde ensembles, the summer film event is a fashion marathon. Extravagant evening gowns, fun party dresses, and beachy casual wear-- this fête has it all. But between resort collections and mentally planning your summer outfits, this film festival tends glide off the radar until that first phenomenal outfit is a viral sensation. With so many days, and loads of red carpet home runs, it's hard to choose one outstanding moment. In no particular order, these ten looks highlight the creme de la Cannes.
1. Blake Lively at the Grace of Monaco Premiere (Gucci): From Céline's brushstroke prints and fringe scarves to Givenchy's flowing silhouettes, neo-tribal ran rampant on the spring runways. The Savages star took the trend and translated it for the mainstream red carpet. Lively's high slit combined  with a halter neckline keeps this look utterly sophisticated. For a finishing touch, the braided ankle straps perfectly complemented the dress's aesthetic while the slicked back hair allows the dress to take center stage.
2. Cate Blanchett at the How to Train Your Dragon 2 Premiere (Givenchy): The Oscars cemented the universal belief that Cate Blanchett can do no (sartorial) wrong, and this embellished Givenchy gown is no exception. With minimal jewels and slicked back hair, the Academy Award winning actress allows the spectacular bodice to be the focal point of this look; however, her pink pout and position as a bonafide movie star enables Blanchett to wear the dress, as opposed to the other way around. 
3. Eva Longoria at the Saint Laurent Premiere (Gabriela Cadena): It's been quite some time since the former Desperate Housewives actress graced the red carpet, a what a reunion it was. A vision in white, this look is major. The heavenly white is an ideal contrast to her naturally tan complexion. With such a petite frame, it's easy for a large dress to completely overwhelm Longoria; however, the simplicity of the gown permits the actress to take control of this ensemble. 
4. Kendall Jenner at the Grace of Monaco Premiere (Chanel): It''s no secret that the Kardashian klan is seamlessly transitioning from a televised guilty pleasure to genuine fashion fixtures. And unlike most models on the red carpet, this is truly a fashion moment. The textured bodice is perfectly balanced by the dress's clean skirt, which fits Jenner like a glove! Plus, the pair of costume earrings complements the bodice's chaos without compromising the whole look. Sleek hair a a poppy-colored lip, welcome to the Kardashians 2.0.
5. Jess Weixler at the Foxcatcher Premiere (Armani Prive): A breezy silhouette with thoughtful beading, this look marries ethereal beauty and high-impact fashion together. And it's kind of amazing. Weixler proves that there are more ways to make a statement at Cannes than by wearing a voluminous evening gown (though those are pretty major). The simple drop earrings complement the dress's texture without overwhelming the look.
6. Blake Lively at the Captives Premiere (Gucci): Completely different from the actress's other Gucci number, this dress is a bonafide leading lady look. The regal train is pure heaven while the former Gossip Girl star perfectly completes this look with luxe diamonds and a stunning red lip. And how chic is that chignon? Such a Grace Kelly moment.
7. Hilary Swank at The Homesman Premiere (Atelier Versace): The Million Dollar Baby  actress is known for sporting narrow silhouettes with bold features--who doesn't remember that amazing low back Guy Laroche number from the 2005 Academy Awards? The powerful asymmetrical strap adheres to her sartorial M.O. while the side-swept hair offers some balance to the overall look. And let's not forget to talk about how divine her jewels are! Colorful gems are the perfect way to make a quirky statement on the red carpet without looking like Helena Bonham Carter, and pairing some jewel-tone bling with an angelic neutral is completely on point. 

8. Liu Wen at the Two Days, One Night Premiere (Saint Laurent): Though the silhouette is nothing we haven't seen before, the super sexy slit and voluminous bodice  turn this look into a "wow" moment. While a sequined waist has the potential to look kitschy, the model's understated approach to this look prevents a major film festival faux pas. Wen's bold lip and high-octane earrings are the perfect way to command attention in a column black dress. J'adore.

9. Rosie Huntington Whiteley at The Search Premiere (Gucci): What comes to mind when you think of a metallic dress? Gold lamé at Studio 54? A Vegas showgirl after hours? This semi-pleated metallic dress is a game-changer. With a dash of sheen and super subtle pleats, this Gucci number wards off the flashy reputation most metallic dresses receive. This model is never afraid to sport extravagant appliqué or vibrant hues; however, the subdued hue combined with a simple silhouette makes this red carpet trend undeniably chic. Pairing the silver gown with drop diamond earrings offers a monochromatic look, which is tres au courant.

10. Sofia Coppola at the Foxcatcher Premiere (Michael Kors): As Hollywood's resident Queen of "Androgynous Chic", this Michael Kors number is Coppola's standout moment of the festival. The silhouette is so easy; however, the slit keyhole opening and dainty embellishments makes this dress Cannes ready. Plus, the mid-hemline and black and blue color combination is beyond chic. But would we expect anything less? 
Which looks are you loving? Sound off below! 
All photos courtesy of

Monday, 19 May 2014

Spring 2014 Trend: Patterned Jackets

Coats were huge for fall, literally and figuratively.  Not only did they monopolize last season's runways, but their volumes were incomparable. Carven and Céline debuted a series of pastel pieces while fashion heavyweights such as Prada and Rochas offered powerful alternatives with feminine florals and "girl next door" checkers. Lucky for us, this season's "it" jacket has the same high-octane impact. Style trailblazers, meet the patterned jacket. Consider it the spunky younger cousin to fall's statement coat, commanding attention from anyone and everyone in a mile radius. While Miu Miu and Eudon Choi boasted vibrant day jackets in feminine colors, Antonio Marras opted for mono-print landscapes throughout entire looks-- an artistic take on monochromatism. For a "borrowed from the boys" vibe,  Jil Sander Navy transferred punchy patterns onto sporty bomber jackets. If you don't have a penchant for energetic day coats and bombers, Phoebe Philo showcased a slew of heavy-weight tribal prints in wintry silhouettes. A key piece for seasons to come, don't you think?

Miu Miu Look 12
Eudon Choi Look 5
Antonio Marras Look 9
Jil Sander Navy Look 17

Céline Look 7

Though it's so easy to write this trend off as a phenomenon that's strictly reserved for zany fashionistas who love prints as much as Mary Katrantzou, think again! In fact, some of the chicest ways to sport this fad is by styling your statement jacket with clean neutrals or soft pastels. While a bold jacket against a monochromatic ensemble offers a striking contrast, there is some thing intriguingly mod about sporting pastels with this trend, preferably softer shades of the colors that are featured in your coat. But what if your wardrobe doesn't include a wide range of hues? Nothing says effortlessly chic quite like a statement jacket, white tee, distressed jeans, and strappy heels. Voilà! An easy, yet completely covetable, ensemble.

patterned jackets

What do you think of this trend? Sound off below!
All runway photos courtesy of

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Red Carpet Round Up: 2014 Met Ball

It should go without saying, but allow me to make one thing very clear: the Met Ball is the queen bee of all red carpets. Ever. Outrageously avant grade ensembles, celebrities and industry heavyweights mingling, and a drool-worthy exhibit--what more could a complete fashion nerd need? While it is one of the very few times when the red carpet welcomes (and celebrates) outfits that dare to be different, there are always a handful of major looks and awful get-ups. Without a moment to spare, let's take a look at this year's best and worst gowns, shall we?

The Worst.

Cara Delevingne in Stella McCartney: Though it's basically assumed that we will never see an off-duty Delevingne sport a regal gown, the funky "it" model has never looked so trashy!  A trouser to the Met Ball can be a rewarding risk, but full hair and a skimpy top scream more Olivia Newton John in Grease than fashion-forward. This number would've been perfect for last year's punk theme, but the night was all about paying homage to America's founding couturier! Charles James would not approve.
Kristen Stewart in Chanel: One word: too much mixed media! Yes, the Met Ball is the ultimate time to wear such a high-octane dress; however, the feathers, metallic belt, and abundance of sequins equals sensory overload. At least the Twilight star didn't add statement accessories to boot. Oh, the horror.
Maggie Gyllenhaal in Valentino: A sartorial acid trip gone completely wrong, this is simply too much dress for the actress. Gyllenhaal's low-maintenance hair and simplistic makeup make it feel as if the dress is wearing her! And though a cape is always a great way to make a statement, the polka dots completely overshadow the silhouette. A classic case of trying too hard, don't you think?
Shailene Woodley in Rodarte: Just no. As one of the coolest young actresses in Hollywood, the Divergent star looks extremely frumpy. Not to mention the grandma chic dress completely juxtaposes her edgy chop, and not in a good way. The use of seven too many fabrics, plus the forced smirk on her face, makes me wonder if this was an arts and crafts project the Mulleavy sisters did way back when.
Sandra Lee in Dara Lamb: Dressing in theme? Yes. Cheap fabric and poor execution? No thank you. This is the Met Ball-- time to pull out the top tier designers! 
Elizabeth Olsen in Miu Miu: As the sister of two megawatt designers, who let her out of the house in this condition? If the dress wasn't mediocre enough, the fit is atrocious. Since when is wearing a bra to the event of the year optional? And the steam job on the skirt of the dress is just dreadful. It's all about execution! 
Lupita Nyong'o in Prada: Supposedly at the apex of her career as America's favorite fashionista, this ensemble is a huge let down. While her dedication to the embellished flapper theme is admirable, the look is just a little too kitschy. Additionally, the clashing necklines is very distracting from an already busy ensemble. The Academy Award winner would've nailed her first Met Ball carpet with a cleaner, yet equally attention-grabbing ensemble. This evening called for a Ralph Lauren redux.
Katie Holmes in Marchesa: Shipwrecked Belle? I think so. Between the hair and the crinkled skirt, the ensemble looks insanely sloppy. Suri would've had a better dress.

The Best.

Beyonce in Givenchy: Did she wake up like this? Because the whole look is flawless. The partially sheer Givenchy gown is equal parts sexy and sophisticated. Plus, the gothic makeup and netted veil perfectly make this look Met Ball ready. And good news: Bey and Jay Z were also the evening's best dressed couple. The rapper's crisp white tuxedo jacket is an ideal match to his lady's noir outfit. As Queen B would say, "Bow down, bitches." 
Victoria Beckham in Victoria Beckham:  While it's nothing special, the growing minimalist in me can't help but adore this ensemble. Though the Met Ball serves as the perfect time to let your inner fashion freak loose, this is the Spice Girl-turned- designer's aesthetic. It's admirable that no event could shake her strong perspective. The sleek silhouette and soft color palette make her outfit ideal for the summer. On the accessories front, Beckham layered just the right amount of jewels. Translation? A crisp and classic look for the books. 
Stella McCartney: Out of all of Stella's Angels, the designer's outfit is ironically my favorite.  The trousers mixed with the striped asymmetrical top is innovative (and looks comfortable). The chunky bracelets on one wrist offer some balanced to this look. The natural makeup works with McCartney's nonchalant get-up while the chunky peep-toe heels and oval clutch give this look a whimsical twist.
Taylor Swift in Oscar de la Renta: A perfect blend of avant garde and relatable, Swift couldn't have chosen a better gown for the big night. The delicate embroidery is perfectly counteracted by the dress's dramatic train. To prevent an over- styled look, she smartly throws on dainty jewelry. As everyone knows, the singer rarely attends an event without her signature red pout, and Swift smartly uses the dress's pale pink hue as a neutral. The result? An all-star lesson in color theory.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta: Doesn't it sometimes feel as if the Met Ball should be renamed "The Sarah Jessica Parker Appreciation Ball?" Always perfectly in theme, this ensemble was bonafide scene stealer. The voluminous silhouette is balanced by a neutral black and white color combination. While she kept the jewels to a minimum, the gloves and ultra-glamorous hair supply a necessary dash of drama. Together, the look is extravagant whilst sophisticated and streamlined. 
Diane Kruger in Hugo Boss: Can Diane Kruger do no wrong? The icy hue mixed with the textured fabric stands out from your run of the mill neutral column dress. In addition, the pleated draped portion gives some more dimension to this ensemble and makes the dress Met Ball worthy. To exude a modern je ne sais quoi, Kruger opted for minimal jewels and a crisp white clutch. And let's not forget that Kruger's signature feminine makeup is flawless. But really, can Diane Kruger do no wrong? That was a serious question.

Hailee Steinfeld in Prabal Gurung: What's black, white, and chic all over? Not only is the execution of this dress supreme--the button details on the back of the gown is major and the color-blocking perfectly outlines her curves-- Steinfeld does a glorious job of wearing this ensemble. Unfortunately, a lot of dress with such a young girl tends to be a red flag; however, the actress has enough confidence and fashion star-power to carry such a lavish gown. Lastly, Steinfeld's thick brow and icy purple lip creates enough drama without competing with the dress.
Emma Stone in Thakoon: For the Met Ball, this dress is unusually plain to be on a best dressed list; however, what's not to love about sexier and sleeker side of the funny lady than we've seen in a long time? The different shades of pink makes the girly color modern, not to mention the high slit and cropped provide fun alternative to an otherwise basic silhouette. Stone completes this look with a youthful side braid, which was one of the evening's surprising beauty trends.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in Vintage Chanel: Impeccably tailored? Check. Event appropriate? Yes. A strong runner up for "Best Dressed Couple?" Naturally. Even though the designing duo have two different aesthetics, their ability to wear dresses that play off each other without perfectly matching is impressive. With natural makeup and slicked back hair, the stylish sisters have earned their title as fashion plates.  
Dree Hemingway in Proenza Schouler: Call this look "too basic for the Met Ball," but I'll refer to this look as lovely. Could the model/ actress have worn a jaw-dropping gown to the event? Yes. Should she have? Perhaps. However, I love how the crisp silhouette is juxtaposed with old Hollywood curls and a red pout. Plus, the craftsmanship of this dress is so superior that it completely justifies Hemingway's no frills choice.
Anna Wintour in Chanel Haute Couture: Though the Vogue Editor in Chief always sports an outfit that is both classic and au courant, Wintour hit this look out of the sartorial ball park. Simply put, the dress is phenomenal. Not only do the details photograph beautifully, the dress's color palette is remarkable. In true Anna fashion, she smartly styled a statement necklace to give her look some extra pizazz. 

All photos courtesy of The New York Times.

Which outfits did you love and which ones were a little much? Sound off below!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Spring 2014 Trend: Slits of Skin

After months of being hidden in loads of layers, it's finally time to show some skin. The sun is out and it's about time we soak up some Vitamin D. Lucky for us, the industry's leading designers have allowed spring to be one revealing season. And equally lucky for us, we don't have to have the perfect abs to flaunt the latest trend. Though Barbara Bui took the ab fab fad to the extreme with thin bandeaus, the minds behind Salvatore Ferragamo layered their cropped top underneath some semi-sheer shirts. Gaia Trussardi gave this phenomenon a 90's twist with baggy leather pants navel-baring tops. But don't worry trendsetters, you can highlight your cleavage, as seen in Proenza Schouler's spring collection, or prove that your hips don't lie in one of Alexander Wang's slashed tops. And let's not forget Joseph Altuzarra's array of sexy slit skirts. Translation? You can have your cake and eat it too.

Barbara Bui, Look 10
Salvatore Ferragamo,  Look 11
Trussardi, Look 31
Proenza Schouler, Look 19
Alexander Wang, Look 14
Altuzarra, Look 3
Whether you're highlighting your cleavage, showing off your abs, or letting your legs take center stage, you must feel comfortable when rocking this trend. An exposed ensemble sans confidence is a major faux pas. In order to wear this trend on a day to day basis, it's important to not show too much skin. Leaving something to the imagination never goes out of style. If you're wearing a cropped top, try pairing it with a high-waisted trouser. Showing some leg? Complement your sexy skirt with a cozy sweater. But just because you are subduing the rest of your outfit doesn't mean you should hold back on your makeup and accessories. Paint that fire engine red lacquer on your pout and sport those strappy sandals, if your outfit permits.

What do you think of this trend? Sound off  below!