Nicole’s Favorites: High Fashion & Bold Feminism

Sometimes, designers like to make a statement in the styles they create, while others like to literally inscribe a message on their designs.

Take, for instance, these new tees by Dior and Stella McCartney, both of which offer an inspiring message of female empowerment. According to PopSugarDior opened their Spring 2018 show with “a Brenton-striped slogan top that read ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?'” Inspired by a 1971 essay by Linda Nochlin, PopSugar says the top highlight the very themes Nochlin explore in her essay, which dove into the gatekeepers barring women from succeeding in the art world. What’s more is that the tee hold even more significant, as it was designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri — Dior’s first female creative director.

But Chiuri isn’t the only one to take a stand with her T-shirts. Stella McCartney used her design talents to create an exclusive top for Glamour that reads “Women, Power, Love.” The shirt, which Glamour says they co-designed, is featured on all 17 of its editions around the world and benefits the The Girl Project, a charity created by Glamour to help girls around the world earn an education. The shirt, says McCartney, aims to not only empower women to speak up and love themselves as they are, it also serves as a reminder to reclaim what it means to be a “powerful” woman.

“I think when the words powerful and women go hand in hand, certain generations believe it’s not a compliment,” McCartney told Glamour. “But this [belief] was something generated by men to make women feel bad if we have something to say. That’s not the case anymore.”

Now, she explained, women are owning their voices and rejoicing in their power.

“Young women see power as something to be celebrated and to be proud of. I feel powerful when I’m being honest and when I’m not compromising who I am,” she offered. “Also, when I speak for other women who don’t have a voice—that’s when I feel that I’m being the best woman I could be.”

I love that these fierce women are using their talents to assert the voices, power and presence of women everywhere. Let’s hope the trend continues!




She Leads, You Follow: SAG Awards Edition

The best and brightest stars of Hollywood came out in droves to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 30 for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. The awards, presented by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is a celebration of the year’s best performances in film and primetime television. But prior to the awards ceremony, the honorees took to the red carpet to show off their best style.

Catching our eye first was a hot pink number by Sofía Vergara, who became the object of everyone’s gaze as she took her turn down the red carpet in a stunning Vera Wang gown, says E!Online. She topped off her look with a gold statement necklace and a fuchsia clutch to rival her bright dress.

Following suit in another pink ensemble was Saoirse Ronan, who opted for a subtler blush look by Michael Kors, says E!OnlineThe Brooklyn star let the simple elegance of her lace gown be the star of her look, as she swept her hair up in a tousled top-knot and accessorized with sparkly diamond earrings.

Kristen Wiig decided to take a different approach, opting for a chic Rouland Mouret jumpsuit instead of a gown. Wiig paired her black, white and embellished one piece with a silver barrel clutch and heels to match while styling her hair in a refreshing updo.

Bessie star and SAG Award winner Queen Latifah showed us just how beautiful a simple black gown can be when she hit the red carpet in a sparkly Michael Costello number. Done in a kaleidoscope pattern, the gown’s beading caught the light of every photographer’s flash, illuminating the already-glowing Queen Latifah.

Draped in merlot was Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox, who opted for a flowy Prabal Gurung number for the night’s festivities. She completed her goddess look with wavy tresses, strappy heels and a sparkly clutch.

Rounding off our favorite looks of the night was Amy Poehler, who wowed in a black embroidered Stella McCartney gown, according to E!OnlineThe actress completed her simply, yet elegant ensemble with straight locks and simple diamond jewelry.

While these stars are all dressed up for an event in the height of awards season, there are certain things we can take away from their looks and apply to the way we dress every day. Each star obviously wore an outfit that accentuated her shape, done by seaming, beading or embellishment. Although color, in its various hues and shades, was a big theme throughout the night, traditional black was elevated through beading and embroidery, as well as through a modern black and white color combination.

The details of every single red carpet look are important, but what is perhaps most important is the way each actress carries herself — with confidence. Because each woman is confident in who she is, her outfit merely complements her personality and enhances her sense of confidence.

Beauty doesn’t come from a stellar outfit, flawless makeup and flashy accessories; it comes from the confidence within. And each woman on the SAG Awards red carpet showed us that very thing.


She Leads, You Follow: MTV VMAs Edition

Award shows are as much about the awards and their recipients as they are about the pre-show red carpet fashion. And the MTV Video Music Awards, which took place on August 30 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, was no different. While the VMAs featured some zany performances and some shocking award results, the fashion on the red carpet was really what caught our attention!

In the midst of some over-the-top looks, there were some really beautiful red carpet fashions that may have been overlooked. Take for instance Demi Lovato‘s pink minidress by Nicolas Jebran. The semi-sheer dress features a pale pink geometric overlay done over sheer nude fabric, allowing for subtle peeks of skin without being too revealing. Lovato kept the rest of her look simple, letting her dress be the star of her red carpet appearance by slicking her hair back from her face and keeping her makeup dewy and soft.

Model Chrissy Teigen followed suit in an equally sexy, sheer number, stunning in what E! News reports is a black Marchesa gown with sheer panels in the skirt starting at the top of her thigh. The dress features beaded lace-like details at the bodice that cascades down into the the straight sheer skirt. Teigen completed her all-black ensemble with black teardrop earrings and a few bracelets and rings.

Hailee Steinfeld took an ultra-modern approach to her red carpet style, wearing a white jumpsuit that E! News says is designed by Stella McCartney. Steinfeld added a bid of edge to her look, pairing it with a large gold collar, a round gold clutch, and gold heels. She completed her fashion forward look with sleek pin-straight hair and dramatic eye makeup.

The last look to take our breath away came courtesy of Lily Aldridge, who wowed on the red carpet in yet another all-black ensemble featuring an ultra-low v-neckline. And if the neckline wasn’t sexy enough, her Alexandre Vauthier gown also has cutouts at the waist that extend onto her back. Aldridge let her gown speak for itself, completing her look with loose waves, natural makeup and minimal jewelry.

Although these ladies are all dressed up for the red carpet, there are certain things we can take away from their looks to apply to our daily fashion choices:

  1. Go for a deep v-neck – Demi Lovato’s sheer pink number and Lily Aldridge’s all-black ensemble both feature deep v-necklines, but they are done in different ways. Lovato’s neckline is a slimmer v-shape, flanked by pink details; this provides a little extra coverage while still opening up the neckline. Aldridge’s gown features a plunging neckline, which, while it’s a sexier look, still opens up her neckline and draws attention upward to her face and shoulders. Deep v-necklines in a top or dress not only direct attention to your face, they also lengthen your body and make you appear slimmer.
  2. Sheer doesn’t always mean revealing – Both Demi Lovato and Chrissy Teigen wore sheer styles, but they didn’t show off so much skin that it rendered the outfit too revealing. Lovato’s sheer dress shows small peeks of skin in between its pink geometric pattern, while Teigen wore a dress with a sheer skirt, which showed off her legs while covering her neck with its high neckline. If you decide to wear a semi-sheer dress, top or skirt, be sure to let the sheer details be the main focal point of the outfit; this would mean wearing a higher neckline if you’ll be wearing a sheer skirt or wearing a longer skirt if you’ll be wearing a piece with a sheer neckline.
  3. Try a statement piece – Hailee Steinfeld took a risk not only by wearing a modern jumpsuit, but also by pairing it with a statement collar. Doing this creates a very dramatic, high-fashion look, which paid off. If you want to go for a statement piece like Steinfeld’s thick collar, be sure to make that the star piece of your outfit; keep your other jewelry to a minimum to let your statement piece be the main focal point of your look. You can also take your statement piece to the next level by pairing it with a sleek modern look (like Steinfeld’s jumpsuit!) to create a bold, fashionable look.