She Leads, You Follow: CDGA Awards

Although awards season often pays tribute to those artists in film, television and music, an oft-overshadowed group of people behind the scenes was honored this week at the 18th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills. And of course, guests in attendance came in high-fashion looks worthy of being seen among dozens of the film and television industry’s top costume designers.

Cate Blanchett attended the Feb. 23 awards in an Atelier Versace number, says ELLEThe winner of the LACOSTE Spotlight Award stunned in her all-black ensemble, which she offset with an oversized bib necklace.

Adding a pop of color to the party was The Mindy Project star Mindy Kaling, who shared on Instagram that she was wearing a custom gown by Salvador Perez, the costume designer for her show and the president of the Costume Designers Guild. She paired her bright pink and crystal-embellished gown with a silver clutch and sparkly jewelry to match.

Attending the event in another all-black look was Kate Beckinsale, who wore a lace paneled gown by Hamel, says ELLE. The star completed her look with a black minaudière and drop earrings.

Although these ladies are dressed to celebrate the people behind the scenes — or should be say, behind the ‘seams’ — who make them look camera-ready, there is one very important thing we should take away from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

If you ask any of the costume designers honored at the awards what their biggest style rule is, they will most likely tell you that fit is key. If a garment doesn’t fit, no matter how gorgeous the piece is, it is ruined by a lack of proper fit. Therefore, it is important that we try clothing on before we purchase it to ensure that it fits as best as possible; this means making sure that the shoulder seams hit at the top of the shoulder, that any darts in the chest of a garment hit at your bust, that seaming that the waist falls at your natural waist, that there is no fabric pulling at the hips or thighs and that the hemlines of pants or full-length dresses are not dragging on the floor. If there are certain facets of a garment that don’t fit perfectly, try to see if a tailor can remedy the problem if it’s worth the investment.

Remember: fit is everything, and as our favorite TV stylist and imaginary best friend Stacy London once said, “If you don’t have fit, then you don’t have style.”


She Leads, You Follow: Critic’s Choice Awards Edition

Following on the heels of the Golden Globe Awards, the Critic’s Choice Awards on Sunday, Jan. 17 honored the best in film and television of 2015. The 21st annual awards, held in Santa Monica, California, bestowed honors on the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in The Revenant, as well as Brie Larson for her performance in Room. While the awards played host to Hollywood’s most talented, the awards also brought out their most fashionable looks.

Take Kate Beckinsale, for instance. She walked the Critic’s Choice red carpet in a silver Monique Lhullier gown with intricate beading, says POPSUGAR, which she paired with Butani earrings and a purple marbled clutch.

Wearing a pastel blue Altuzarra number with a geometric print was January Jones, who paired her embellished dress with strappy sandals and a simple updo.

Saoirse Ronan also got the memo to wear light blue, opting for a simple Antonio Berardi gown with silver beading at the shoulders, which transformed into a slight cape at the back. Ronan completed her look with Stephen Webster jewelry.

Breaking the blue trend in a colorblocked ensemble was Abigail Spencer, who wore a light pink and black halter dress by J. Mendel. She polished off her red carpet look with a matching clutch, gold earrings and a gold cuff.

Although Hollywood’s leading ladies are styled for the red carpet, there are some things we can learn from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Simple isn’t boring… – Although Saoirse Ronan and Abigail Spencer are wearing light colors with minimal embellishment, their looks are still compelling. That’s because both looks fit perfectly while also having a small, yet impactful detail to punch up the look. For instance, Ronan’s look incorporates a defined waist on a solid, column-style gown, but it’s accented by a beaded shoulder and cape to add some drama to the look. While Spencer’s gown looks deliberately oversize in the bodice, it is fitted in the waist, which then allows the skirt to pull away from her hips. The light pink of her gown is then contrasted with the black bandeau, creating a colorblocked look that is both modern and elegant. Small details like these create detailed looks that are simple but stylish nonetheless.
  2. …But details don’t hurt either – Kate Beckinsale and January Jones are perfect examples of how to use embellishment to your advantage. The beading on both dresses first emphasizes the bust while also narrowing their waistlines. Then, the embellishment creates curves on their hips; while Beckinsale’s gown has lines of beading that follow the curve of her hips, Jones’ dress has two strips of small floral-like beading that starts at her waist and falls on her hips on a diagonal line, accentuating her curves. These dresses serve as perfect examples of how details and embellishments can create shape in a garment. When you are shopping for any garment, keep in mind anything as simple as a seam at the waist or even pockets at the hips that will accentuate your shape.

She Leads, You Follow: British Fashion Awards Edition

The boldest and the best of British fashion took to the red carpet on Nov. 23 for the British Fashion Awards of 2015. The annual event, which began in 1989 to honor prominent figures in British fashion whose contributions have transcended far beyond the UK, was held at the London Coliseum and saw the likes of Anna Wintour and Victoria Beckham in attendance. But some attendees stood out among the rest for their impeccable style.

First to catch our eye in a sophisticated white ensemble was model Arizona Muse. She floated down the red carpet in this ethereal two-piece gown, featuring a beaded elbow-length crop top and a cascading solid white skirt. A silver frame clutch, a red lip and a classic updo completed her stunning look.

Black and white was far from boring when model Jourdan Dunn walked the red carpet of the British Fashion Awards in this striking number. Featuring a mock-neck and cutouts at her waist and back, this gown revamped the classic combination. Dunn paired her look with a simple silver strappy heel and a few bold rings.

Actress Kate Beckinsale opted for an all-black ensemble for the evening’s festivities, wearing an open-back dress with black heels and a black clutch. She completed her look with her signature high ponytail updo.

Capping off our favorite looks of the night was model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who stunned in a silver encrusted Burberry gown with a plunging neckline. Chandelier earrings and tousled hair completed her stylish ensemble.

Although these lovely ladies are dressed for a night to celebrate British fashion’s elite, there are some things we can take away from their style to apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Simplicity is key – One of the unifying factors among all four of these looks is that they are all fairly simple; while they may have beading, cutouts or interesting necklines, they don’t feature overwhelming prints or over-the-top accessories. Each look has one interesting focal point, to which all other things play a supporting role: for Muse, it’s the beaded crop top; for Dunn, it’s the cutouts; for Beckinsale, it’s the back detail; for Huntington-Whiteley, it’s the plunging neckline. All of the other details of their outfits — from their hair to their jewelry to their shoes and accessories — enhance instead of detract from the focal points of their looks.
  2. Neutrals are interesting – Another common theme among these looks is their color: they are all done in neutral colors. From black and white, to all white, to all black, to silver, these looks are all neutral, but still so appealing. Why? Because of the shape of the gowns and their intricate details. While some have interesting cutouts, others have elaborate beading either at the bodice of the gown or all the way through. These gowns also have inherent shape-creating structures; Muse’s crop top accentuates her waist, while Dunn’s and Beckinsale’s cutouts do the same. Huntingon-Whiteley’s plunging neckline not only frames her face, it also acts as a pointing device to her waist, making it appear even smaller. Details like these are small, but they make all the difference.