Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Red Carpet Review: 5 Best Looks From the 2015 Academy Awards

As anyone who has an infatuation with the entertainment industry knows, the Academy Awards are the cinematic Super Bowl. Not only is it a night to celebrate critically-acclaimed movies and create pop culture moments (here's to you, John Travolta), this awards show is undeniably known for showcasing the fiercest celebrity fashion looks. However, this year's red carpet faced a sartorial lull. With fashion month in full swing, the most ensembles felt basic in comparison to the high-octane shows that are spamming every fashion fanatic's Instagram feed. Luckily, there were some get-ups that satiated the otherwise starved carpet. Check out the five best looks from last night's red carpet.

Emma Stone in Elie Saab: From dressy trousers to a stylish suit jacket paired with a sheer skirt, the nominee has been rocking gender-bender threads at this year's major award shows. Sporting a beaded Elie Saab dress is nothing new-- in fact, it feels as if every A-Lister has worn a similar outfit at some point in her career. However, the opened back and up-to-there slit adds a sultry flair to an otherwise conservative silhouette. What makes this look worthy of a spot on most best-dressed lists is the way Stone's stylist put this ensemble together. The matching glitzy bracelets and the dramatic wavy hair makes this outfit feel fresh and youthful. Cool girl Emma strikes again!
Juliane Moore in Custom Chanel: It's no secret that the Still Alice star would take home the treasured statuette at last night's ceremony. After years of nominated performances, it was irrefutable that this was Moore's year. Enter the perfect Oscar dress: shimmery, modern and ridden of any "basic" connotations thanks to the floral detailing along the neckline, hips and train. As most young girls dream of the perfect wedding dress, it's easy to imagine that aspiring actresses lose sleep over what they would wear to accept their Academy Award. "It has to be timeless, but something that will also get me a spot on most best dressed lists," they probably say. "My makeup has to be fresh and though I want to wear Cartier or Fred Leighton, I can't be dripping in diamonds--it'll take focus away from my Oscar." This outfit is everything an award-winning actress should wear. The slicked back updo and scarce (yet decadent) jewels complete a truly timeless look.
Keira Knightley in Valentino Haute Couture: If the 2015 awards season had superlatives, The Imitation Game star would definitely win "most ethereal pregnant woman on the red carpet." With her milkmaid disaster from the Golden Globes as an exception, the expectant mother's outfits consistently offered an admirable ease and comfort without looking too maternity. This Valentino Haute Couture dress was whimsy enough to fulfill Knightley's effortless aesthetic, yet formal enough to be Oscar-appropriate. Equally spot-on was the actress's beauty regime: her waves were coiffed to perfection and the fuss-free makeup perfectly complemented the dress.  Brava!
Rosamund Pike in Givenchy: As a relative red carpet rookie, try saying that five times fast, the Gone Girl star is exciting to watch. Though she doesn't receive as much praise as sartorial stars such as Lupita Nyong'o, Pike is taking risks by sporting balloonish silhouettes, touchable textures and the occasional pop of color. Opting for monochromatic is a sure-fire way grab the attention of style savants; however, sporting a completely red look on the red carpet is dicey. Can we say too much red? But with a textured dress, thin-strapped shoes and a subtly pink pout, the nominee successfully avoided a major faux pas. On the contrary, Pike gives a conventional red carpet gown a trendy twist.
Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent: In the fashion world, chic and sexy are rarely used in one sentence. However, thanks to the good graces of the Focus star, Robbie's outfit is in fact both chic and sexy. Her secret? Pairing a plunging neckline with ultra-stylish add-ons. While the delicately draped neckline turns up the sex appeal in a sophisticated manner, the matte red lip and stunning Van Cleef and Arpels necklace are everything a fashion nerd dreams of. Without this power combo, the dress would look like a slutty Stevie Nicks outfit and the add-ons would be Man Repeller-worthy. Together, the pieces are kind of amazing and create a sartorial force to be reckoned with. Many critics compare Robbie's look to a reinvented Michelle Pfeiffer, but this budding actress is in a league of her own.

Which red carpet looks did you love? Sound off below!
Photos courtesy of Refinery29

Sunday, 1 February 2015

5 Favorite Trends from Pre-Fall 2015

To the untrained fashion follower, resort and pre-fall collections experience middle child syndrome. Unlike ready-to-wear or couture collections (let's take a brief moment of silence to reflect upon the sheer beauty that was Valentino's Sala Bianca 945 collection, shall we?), the intermediate seasons tend to be overlooked. Besides Chanel's Austrian runway and Dior's Tokyo show, pre-fall and resort shows rarely require big-ticket venues and an A-List front row. Not only do these collections have the longest shelf-life, they oftentimes provide shoppers with the most wearable pieces. Stretching over several weeks, not to mention an entire holiday season, keeping up with the latest pre-fall shows is no easy feat. For a condensed review of the créme de la créme, check out these five must-shop pre-fall trends.
Bold Monochrome
Preen by Thorton Bregazzi, Look 23
Monochromatic dressing is not an earth-shattering revelation: goths and stereotypical city dwellers have been sporting this look for years. However, giving this classic styling strategy a jolt of life with high-octane hues is perfect for pre-fall. Yes, these looks may highlight one color; however, each designer's take on this trend offers a different feel from the next. With a flouncy peplum and a silky texture, Preen's variation  is unapologetically girly and au courant at the same time. At Gucci, Frida Giannini presented a strong competitor for the modernized Carmen Sandiego's ensemble with a belted jacket and flared trousers. It was an utter throwback at Tomas Maier with a leather newsboy-inspired cap and a cinched sueded trenchcoat-- talk about blast from the past! If you're craving a relaxed, colorful outfit, look no further than Lemaire's combination of oversized jackets and baggy pants. With a more muted color palette than the rest of the trend's pack, The Row's earthy green getup offers an effortless, new-aged vibe.

Unconventional Checks
Derek Lam, Look 2
Every few seasons, tartan makes a comeback. This time, however, plaid's quirky cousin (the windowpane check) is back with a vengeance. Designers are at all marks on the spectrum with polished palettes and mismatched ensembles. With contrasting color palettes, Derek Lam offered a quirky mod vibe with his double-barred checks. Proenza Schouler's Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough revitalized an otherwise tired version of this print with lengthy fringe and boxy figures. At Christian Dior, Raf Simons smartly paired wide checks with short, A-line dresses and dainty jackets. The end result? Something that's as traditional for any Londoner yet progressive enough for a Tokyo townie. Ever so preppy, Tory Burch mixed clean windowpanes with touchable stripes and autumnal tones. But of course leave classic elegance to Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, who played it cool with a cinched silhouette in an undeniably chic black and white combination. 

Micro Mini Dresses
Valentino, Look 7
Over the past few seasons, the runways have run rampant with 60's and 70's inspired apparel and accessories: wide-legged pants, a-lined skirts, and up-to-there boots are just a few examples. In keeping with the industry's retro vibes, and adding a flirty flare to the pre-fall collections, micro mini dresses are exactly what your wardrobe has been craving. Between the high-octane color palettes and op-art patterns, Giulietta's slew of mini dresses perfectly encompass that groovy spirit. Meshing feminine florals with celestial prints, Valentino's shortened hemlines rejigger patterns that are also projected on red carpet-worthy silhouettes. Leaving little to the imagination was Francisco Costa's array of sexy baby-dolls at Calvin Klein. While Calvin's collection showcased pretty pastels that would've been visionary on a young Brigitte Bardot, Fausto Puglisi's ultra-minis come in vibrant hues with warrioress embellishments. On a less sultry note is Erdem's balloon-esque shape. But don't write this look off as a childish dress: the semi-sheer fabric offer a tongue-in-cheek element to an otherwise innocent frock.

Touchable Coats
Stella McCartney, Look 14

On a chilly morning of after a long day, nothing feels better than wrapping yourself in a heavy fabric. A heavy coat has always acted as a sartorial hug; however, pre-fall's array of coats are extra covetable. With fuzzy exterior, these picks bring huggable to the next level. And thanks to a slew of different variations, there's a textured coat out there to satisfy every style savant. Available in a vest, Stella McCartney's shaggy coat is begging to be worn. With McCartney's passion for environmentally-friendly goods, it'll be hard to find someone who has any objections. Equally as cozy (not to mention zany) are the bevy of furs in brooding neutrals from Sonia Rykiel. Chloé's Clare Waight Keller joined the texturized bandwagon with a combination of neutrals and patchwork picks. From a simple shearling collar to a full-on shag coat, Burberry Prorsum's picks range from zero to 100 in a single collection. If you're looking for a cozy coat that is free of any Penny Lane associations, Balenciaga's  teddy trench offers a polished take on this trend. 

Thought-Provoking Tweed 
Thakoon, Look 11
Over the years, tweed has received a nasty reputation of  being strictly suitable for grandmothers worldwide or stiffy trophy wives. Gone are the days when "tweed" and "hip"belong in two separate sentences. With the help of some smart styling, as displayed by the latest pre-fall collections, tweed is cooler than ever. Take Thakoon's selection of tweeds, for example, which are paired with androgynous clogs. The ultimate way to bid any pre-historic connotations ado. With an unmistakable penchant for the textile, wide-leg trousers and airy maxi-dresses spiced up Chanel's classic tweed. Conversely, Maiyet's tweed was instantly revived with the looks' accompanying mismatched prints. To give an old fashioned a contemporary twist, the geniuses at DSquared2 coupled tweed with leather. Not a typical match made in heaven, but consider us sold. Tweed is usually associated with fitted jackets and skirts; however, Fendi defied all expectations by opting for a beautifully voluminous coat.

Which pre-fall trends are you obsessed with? Sound off below.
All runway photos courtesy of Style.com