Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Best Bridal Gowns from the Oscars 2012

It was all about WHITE at the Oscars 2012. I'm not a big fan of the color for red carpet dresses as I think they tend to look a tad bridal. But I must say that this year's crop of white were nothing short of chic sophistication and hardly anything that conjured up walking down the aisle. In fact, I hope that this will serve as a cue for any future bride to consider something other than an overdone STRAPLESS and "screaming" bridal gown at their forthcoming nuptials. I mean, can you imagine walking down the aisle in a Givenchy like Rooney Mara's? If I had a more formal ceremony, I would have totally opted for something as stylish and well, bridal white, as this. I loved it.

 Another big white moment came courtesy of Gwyneth. It was sleek and modern but not boring. I liked the minimalism, and the long shoulder duster full length "cape" was dramatic without being over-the-top.

Milla Jovovich wore an Elie Saab sparkly white creation with a one-shoulder trend that was very popular.  We haven't seen Milla in years but she really made a bold statement with her return on the red carpet with her matching scarlet lips and a dress that really made me appreciate Elie Saab. Another bridal stunner if you were doing a splashy evening wedding. Like on New Year's Eve.

Octavia Spencer's gown by Tadashi Shoji was a sunburst of elegance and drapery. Again, I think this would make a beautiful gown for a particular bride-to-be who's looking to get married with some oomph and magic. I used to pull Tadashi gowns for In Style's "Oscar gowns for less stories" back in the late 90s. I'm so thrilled that this longtime dressmaker is now the creator of an Oscar gown himself and not just a "copycat" look for less.

The E! News commentator Giuliana Rancic, a recent breast cancer survivor, looked breathtaking in her Tony Ward dress with "flamenco" styling details. I couldn't help but comment to myself how that shoulder detailing was so great for someone who is mostly being filmed from the waist up for TV. It just framed her face and the television screen perfectly and she was totally on trend with wearing the shade of the night.

For the non-white dresses, I was a fan of Rose Byrne's one shoulder sequin number by Vivienne Westwood. I think her severe bangs, a la Rooney Mara, was a great way to finish off the look. This is definitely a dress if you're a guest at an upcoming evening wedding. Way to make an entrance!

Penelope Cruz looked like Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief and that didn't bother me one bit. Some people commented on Twitter, "Hey Penelope, Grace wants her look back," but I just loved her short romantic curled 'do and the soft 'wisteria' color of her Armani PrivĂ© dress was simple, soft and pretty. Sometimes it's just nice to see "pretty" on the red carpet and this was my favorite moment for that. Reminded me of that Uma Thurman Prada dress from way back. This is a serious option for a bride who wants color at her wedding. It's that perfect grayish, purplish blue that would be fitting for any bride-to-be following the "something blue" guide.

It's not my least favorite look of the evening but it was definitely something that I thought wasn't quite right. I loved the idea of this Glamour magazine editor's dress but it ended up just looking really matronly and mother-of-the-bride to me. So since we've talked about the white dresses of the night being great bridal options, I would say that Louise Rowe's dress should definitely get top honors for the mother-of-the-bride. But I don't think that this 20-something or 30-something would be very happy to hear of this award...do you?

source for all photos except Milla Jovovich

source for Milla Jovovich photo

Oscars 2012 Red Carpet Round Up

The Good: 

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen: This gorgeously embroidered gown made many best-dressed lists, and it's easy to see why. It was a refreshing departure from the more typically over-the-top red carpet gowns, and her overall look was completely effortless and beautiful. 

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford: Refinery29 recently ran an article discussing the problem with a lack of personal style on the red carpet, but I think that Gwyneth embodies her own sense of fashion at every event.  Case in point: This structurally sleek gown (plus cape!) is a look that only a modern maven like Gwyneth could pull off so perfectly. 

Rooney Mara in Givenchy: I loved seeing Rooney stray from her safe spot of all-black gowns and go for this more feminine option. The back was incredible!

Ellie Kemper in Armani Prive: I didn't see this much color variation when watching the red carpet footage, but on-screen this sleek sequined gown was simply stunning. I love the way the rusty shade plays off her hair color - but as a redhead myself, I may be a bit biased! 

Tina Fey in Carolina Herrera: I am always surprised by simplicity, and this navy blue frock was gorgeous on Tina. She was able to look simultaneously classy and trendy (peplums as a major trend this spring). 

The Bad:

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace: Did she look incredible? Yes. A little too thin? Of course. But my real problem with her was the completely ridiculous stance she made in order to stick her leg out of this slit in this otherwise perfect gown. Apparently, I'm not the only one who found this appaling - her behavior spawned a Twitter feed for her right leg and a new internet craze called "leg-bombing."

Cameron Diaz in Gucci: I don't know why she was at the Oscars in the first place, but you wouldn't have known based on this boring pick with a fairly questionable jagged hemline. 

Melissa Mccarthy in Marina Rinaldi: The color is alright, but overall this choice wasn't flattering on Melissa at all - the strange sleeves made her look far wider than she is. 

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa: It kills me to put a Marchesa dress on this list, but this is a case that's all about the fit. If the top had just been more fitted, I really think this could have been a winner. Instead, it made her torso look like a rectangle.

Shailene Woodley in Valentino Couture: This matronly dress was just a total miss for me. Shailene would have done better to follow the lead of last year's up-and-coming young actress, Jennifer Lawrence, and stuck with something a little more age-appropriate.

Who were your picks for best and worst-dressed? 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Get Inspired!

Spring obviously has not sprung yet, but I'm ready, and so is my wardrobe. Here's what I came up with while staring at the flakes falling...

Where is your inspiration coming from for the warmer months ahead?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Retro-fit your wardrobe for Spring 2012

I've also been following the uber feminine return that is going to be poppin' this spring. To follow up on that idea posted by Jared, I wanted too seek out some of these top pieces and how your wardrobe can get a fresh face without a fresh chunk of change?

Here's what we're seeing and how you can incorporate it with ease!

There's been a huge pop in flirty pastels, big soft floral prints and lace, going back to the waisted fit and flare of the 50's. Its main pieces are extremely feminine but don't expect to be washed out. The key here is in the accessories. My advice... tough-en-up. Bring in your fall leather or military bomber jackets over a modest lace boat neck dress. Lace that looks sheer is classy and sexy at the same time. Chunky or studded jewelry is the best way to stand out. Stick to just one bold necklace or cuff so it's not overdone.

Key pieces you might want to invest in:

You'll want to find a well fitting feminine a-line dress. Make sure you feel comfortable in this piece so it is your go-to dress for any event; weddings, work day to a night out or just a stroll through the farmers market. I'd suggest a solid color for more options to mix and match. I like the silk full skirt shirt dress from Loft , 98-.

~Tailored colored pants. I'm a fan of the Unisex Slim Slack from American Apparel, 74-. An updated Audrey classic that works with sandals, loafers and boots.
One of my personal favorites I've been looking for is a fitted striped blazer like this weekend blazer. I think this piece will add pop and can be worn with most outfits, dress up or casual!

What do you think? How would you incorporate these looks into your own style?

Friday, February 3, 2012

See it to believe it

I've always been a believer in good skincare. I remember being little and I would always try and use my mom's Aveda face wash and do the little three step process with her. She actually started me at a pretty young age on washing my face with good quality product and it has stuck with me till this day.

I just recently started doing chemical peels on my face to get a jumpstart on future benefits. There are different benefits when it comes to doing a chemical peel, and there are also different types. I currently do one with salicylic acid to help keep any unsightly ance appearing. Don't get me wrong, for my age it's inevitable to not have a little here and there but it helps in more ways than one.

Since i'm no expert...the online doc will give you a clearer idea of what exactly a chemical peel is.

Now, I'm not here to educate you on chemical peels, or botox because that would not end well. However, I will tell you where I go for them, which is Skin P.C. in Elkhorn. Skin P.C. is a new dermatology center that gives you an intimate personal setting with excellent skin care service.

They have anything from hair removal to skin cancer diagnosis and can answer any of your skin care questions you may have. All you have to do is call and set up a free consult and you can discuss all options for improving your skin.

Check out their facebook page for tips and promos!

1408 Veterans Dr.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Magazine Clones

The March 2012 issue of the new redesigned Glamour

I have a confession. It's kind of big deal. Are you ready?

I don't read any of the fashion magazines. Sad to say, but that ship has sailed long ago. I'm a little heartbroken about it if you want to know the truth. Magazines were so much a part of my life; from growing up in Buffalo and reading my older sister's subscription to Vogue, to my high school years in Pittsburgh and devouring my own subscription to the "brand new in the U.S." Elle. And then of course, my many years working at some of the most glossy of the fashion mags: Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and In Style.

My disinterest in magazines didn't just happen once I had given birth to my now 1 year old daughter (yes, Miss Thing has turned 1 already as of Jan 31st!). It was a slow process that started....well....about a few years before I resigned from my job at In Style!

But it really kicked in once I got to Omaha and continued in full force as the years passed. My interest in looking at fashion just wasn't there anymore. But didn't I need to know what was "in fashion" and "trendy" for Trocadero?

Nah, not really. My store has always been an homage to "the little finds" those things that I loved while living in NYC and continue to enjoy. It's also more about the classic, solid, seasonal items that are perennial favorites. And then it's about discovering the perfect _____ and showcasing it. When the store is peppered with a few "trendy" items for the season, that's enough for me. And I really don't need a fashion magazine to tell me what is in right now. I have my own radar for that (or the internet!).

When I saw this article today in the New York Times, it made me think about the magazines I used to read and love. I never was much of a Glamour reader except for a brief period during college. So my initial reaction was, "Good for Cindi Leive! (the editor-in-chief)" for changing it up....except that by the  words of the article, it doesn't sound like it's much different from what Cosmopolitan is offering these days...or Marie Claire....or In Style.

I flipped through an In Style about 2 years ago and it had photos of people I used to work with on its pages. I don't remember the last time a model was on the cover of Glamour. And I don't know about you, but I am so much interested in seeing on the pages of my fashion magazines, clothing and accessories that we can't see or get, instead of the "copycat" items that aren't really the same. I don't want to see the watered down versions -- I can do that myself by driving to the mall -- I want to see the real deals, the stuff that we "normal folk" don't get to see. I want to see on the pages of fashion magazines the designer stuff, the runway, the exclusives.

Instead, magazines have all turned into one another (In Style is now Lucky, Glamour is now In Style, Marie Claire is now Glamour). And they're all mini catalogues showcasing -- dare I say it -- mass advertiser's products. I don't want to see the funnel coat from Ann Taylor. I want to see the original from Prada. I don't get to see that living in Omaha. If I want to see the Ann Taylor version, I can hop online or drive to Village Pointe. I also think it's important to let the consumer interpret their own version and "discover" the look-a-like. I'm not into the masses wearing the same thing because it was featured in a magazine. And, yes, I understand the business of magazines...and that they are bound to editorially feature all those advertiser products or else risk losing hundreds of thousands of dollars if the company decides to...well, pull their advertising for lack of editorial coverage! I know. I know. It's one dirty game....but it's the truth, Ruth (and not Ruth Whitney, the landmark editor of Glamour, who was unfairly pushed out by the Conde Nastys and then died less than a couple years later).

I don't want dumbed-down fashion in my glossies. And I also don't want every magazine looking like one another. So until that changes, I think I'll stick to my ban. I don't know; what do you think? Am I missing something?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"The Artist" makes a boldly quiet statement

People are talking loudly about a silent film. Why?

Because it was made in the age that can produce technology of video with sound that can fit in your pocket. Though they weren't the first to try to recapture the silent film era ie. 1976 Silent Movie a parody comedy by Mel Brooks.

Being an old movie buff and a huge Charlie Chaplin fan I found myself curious and almost skeptical about why a silent movie would be essentially re-produced to emote the ghost of movie past. What happened when I went to see it? I laughed out loud, I got teary and short of breath and was flat out charmed. I'm sure that there is a large population of spoiled modern viewers who would liken watching a silent movie to a supreme form of torture. Though I wouldn't be surprised that they find themselves laughing and crying along with the rest of us.

Funny thing is, it didn't really remind me of any old movie, I'd ever seen. It didn't try to copy anything in particular instead it seemed to carry a deeper message behind it than to purely entertain. Being silent in a world filled with sound, it forces us to pay attention and fill in our own blanks. And once I was paying attention, there was a unmistakeable strong, albeit unspoken, dialog about our own constant struggle to make way for new technology. Which in this current age is more relevant than ever.

"The Artist" is now playing at Film Streams through February 9, 2012

More Links:
NY Times review