She Leads, You Follow: Diamond Ball Edition

‘Tis the season for giving, and those in attendance of Rihanna’s second annual Diamond Ball did just that. The star-studded event, held on Thursday, Dec. 10 in Santa Monica, California, raised money for Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization founded in 2012 after her grandparents Clara and Lionel Brathwaite which serves to “improve the quality of life for communities globally in the areas of health, education, arts and culture.”

With Kevin Hart hosting and Lionel Richie performing, the charity event was not only a hit with its entertainment, but also with the amount of money raised — according to Billboard, this year’s Diamond Ball brought in over $3 million, surpassing the $2 million raised last year for the Clara Brathwaite Center for Oncology in Barbados.

While the Diamond Ball was instrumental in raising money for an important cause, it also had an extra benefit: the fashion. Hostess Rihanna attended the ball in what InStyle says is a Dior Haute Couture gown in champagne silk satin. She completed her look with Dior pumps and Cartier jewelry.

Walking the ball’s red carpet in a crop top and voluminous wide-leg pant set was Zendaya, who paired her Rosie Assoulin ensemble with diamond earrings and handfuls of diamond rings.

While Rihanna and Zendaya are dressed for a black-tie charity event, there are certain things we can take away from their looks and apply to our own style:

  1. Add some shine – Both Rihanna and Zendaya wore lots of diamond jewelry, but the diamonds weren’t what made the outfits. The shape and placement of the jewelry was actually what enhanced their looks. For example, Rihanna’s bib-style necklace filled in the negative space at her chest and drew our attention up toward her face, while Zendaya’s drop earrings acted in a similar way as a frame for her face. While diamonds do add extra shine and luxury to a look, this effect can be achieved with any kind of jewelry.
  2. Get ‘waisted’ – From the band at the waist of Rihanna’s gown to the crop top/high-waisted pant pairing of Zendaya, both women accentuated their waists in their outfits. Doing so not only creates shape in the garment, it also slims your midsection and creates curves on your body. A defined waist also helps to form a very tailored, crisp look. So when you’re out shopping for a holiday outfit for your family or office party, be sure to look for pieces that accentuate your waist, either in a single garment with a specific band or seam to delineate your waist or in a high-waisted skirt or trousers paired with a tucked festive blouse, creating your own defined waistline.

She Leads, You Follow: Paris Couture Week

From Sunday, July 5 to Thursday, July 9, the City of Lights is being transformed into the City of Fashion as it hosts Couture Week. The Associated Press reports that Monday’s fall-winter 2015-2016 shows featured Giambattista Valli, Ralph & Russo, Dior and Schiaparelli, but it wasn’t the models on the runway that stole the show.

Instead, it was the guests of the Dior show that caught everyone’s attention. The couture show was graced with the attendance of not only Emily Blunt and Olivia Palermo, who are both often praised for their impeccable fashion, but also recent fashion it-girl Lupita Nyong’o. According to InStyle, Nyong’o stepped away from her trip to Kenya where she kicked off her save-the-elephants campaign to attended the show.

And Nyong’o certainly showed up in style. She looked stunning in the hot Paris weather, wearing a red-hot Dior double-face wool dress paired with black Dior pumps, a black clutch, simple earrings and round mirrored sunglasses.

Emily Blunt hit the Dior Haute Couture show in a glamorous all-white ensemble, wearing a Dior peplum dress paired with Dior Fine Jewelry, a black clutch and houndstooth-printed pointy-toe pumps.

Olivia Palermo added some print to the couture party, showing up in a floral Dior sleeveless coat which she brought in at the waist with a metallic belt. She paired the look with modern cat-eye sunglasses, grey pointy-toe pumps and a silver metallic clutch.

Although these beautiful ladies are decked out in Dior for Couture Week, there are a few things we can take away from their looks to amp up our style so we can head into our weeks with a couture flair.

  1. Small details make a big difference – Nyong’o’s gorgeous red dress is fairly simple, with seaming running down the front of the dress and very little seaming around the waist area. However, the dress has a small button and tab detail that cinches in the waist at the perfect spot, defining her waist with an interesting detail instead of with seams. Look for small details like this in your clothing that do double duty: they should not only add visual interest, but also serve a purpose, such as defining your all-important waistline. Details like this will create a more polished, sophisticated and tailored look that will appear as though you spent weeks obsessing over every little detail of your outfit!
  2. Peplums are a blessing – Emily Blunt’s peplum dress shows us just how useful a peplum can be. Peplums are a great way  to not only create the illusion of a narrow waist, but also to camouflage anything you might be concerned about in your stomach area; since the material floats away from your natural waist, it can easily hide anything you are worried about. If you wish to add a little emphasis to your hips, peplums are a great way to do that; the basic shape of Blunt’s dress without the peplum is rather straight, so the peplum creates curves on what would otherwise be a very pencil-like shape. To mimic this look, try a peplum top paired with a pencil skirt; a combination like this will define your waist while hiding any stomach-area problems and emphasizing your curvy hips.
  3. Accessories can make a huge impact – Olivia Palermo added a simple belt to her sleeveless jacket look, and it made all the difference. Adding a belt at the natural waist can take your look from shapeless to cinched instantaneously. If Palermo hadn’t added the belt, the jacket would have looked like a solid rectangle on her body. The belt helps to cinch in her waist, creating shape that the jacket alone could not create. Adding a belt to jackets, dresses and even tops can help enhance the built-in shape of a garment or create shape in an otherwise shapeless piece while also adding a little bit of visual interest to the outfit.