Saturday, December 31, 2011
Beauty Pageant Gowns--A 2011 Look Back at some of my Favorite, The Hoochies, and The Oh-Dear What Were You Thinking? This past year has been a "mixed" year in terms of evening gowns in the beauty pageant world. There have been some really good ones that displayed modernity, directionality, and a nod to the red carpet and what actual stars like Angelina Jolie or Charlize Theron would wear for an event such as the Academy Awards or Cannes Film Festival. However, for some reason, there still have been plenty of tacky-licious Hoochie Mammas, with plunging tops that reveal too much of the "sisters" and slits so high that well, one would be quite confused whether or not these ladies were running for Miss Universe or attending the Exxxotica Expo LA Adult Entertainment Show and Convention! Since I love discussing beauty pageants and especially the evening gowns here, I thought it would be fun to give you guys my List of the Top--and the Not-So Top Gowns, from some of the most important international beauty pageants, like Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Venezuela, Miss USA, etc., of 2011. So without further ado... The Best: Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011, from Angola: Simply perfect! One of my favorites of 2011. Leila wore a gold-colored strapless lace sequined gown with feathered detail. Now, I know that all of those details sound like a lot, and in the wrong hands it might have come out a MESS. But it did not. The gown was elegant and perfect for her skin color. She accessorized it with those gold stacked-heel pumps and kept it very modern with little-to-almost no jewelry. All these style ingredients helped her clinch the Miss Universe crown. Miss Mexico 2011, Karin Ontiveros, Miss Universe 2011 Pageant: Karin did not make the Semi-Final Round during the Miss Universe Pageant this past year but she did, in my opinion, wear one of the Top Gowns of the Year. This off-the-shoulder lilac metalized satin draped gown was modern and had a nod to the Grecian-Goddess trend. It didn't overwhelm her or take away from her beauty and looked "Red Carpet Hollywood Star" appropriate. Miss Venezuela 2011-2012 Irene Esser: This gown, by Venezuelan Beauty Pageant Designer KING Gionni Straccia, was fit for a QUEEN. A Venezuelan Queen. The gown looked like something one would see from an Armani Prive Haute Couture Collection--the silk lame, the hand-sewn Swarovski crystals and the perfect fit. I also loved it in that she won with a gown that had (GASP!) NO SLIT! A Beauty pageant Winner wearing a gown with NO SLIT?! Who would have thunk it? I would have. Miss New York USA 2011, Amber Marie Collins, Miss USA 2011 Pageant: Another one of my Top Beauty Pageant Evening Gowns of 2011 was this gown worn by Miss New York USA at the Miss USA 2011 Pageant. She didn't make it into the Semi-Final Round but with this gown alone, she should have! The gown was designed by the same designer who created Miss Venezuela's--Gionni Straccia. I love it's simplicity, lack of too-high HOOCHIE slit, and delicate and beautiful shoulder, underbust and torso sequin trim. This is "Pageant Gown Lite" and the direction most pageant gowns should be going. Miss Merida 2011 Yasmeira Gutierrez: Shimmering and simply stunning! This was one of my other favorite gowns from this past year's Miss Venezuela Pageant and well, one of my Top of the Year. It was a strapless silver-and-gold sequined silk organza gown from, yes, Venezuelan designer Gionni Straccia (he's on a roll here in my End-of-The-Year List). This is how I know a gown is good: I can see it on any top actress at the Oscars and see it end up in the "Best Dressed List" the day after. Miss Hungary 2011, Linda Szunai, Miss World 2011 Pageant: I absolutely loved this simple baby blue and turquoise strapless gathered bust empire-style gown, worn by Miss Hungary 2011 at the Miss World 2011 "Top Model" Presentation. This gown shows how you can do Elegant without any be-dazzler machine. It has CLASS written all over it. It's safe, yes, but still impacting. Miss Ghana 2011, Erica Nego at the Miss Universe 2011: Erica wore this during the Miss Universe 2011 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition and I touted it then as one of my favorite gowns of the Prelims. She didn't make the Semi-Finalist cut but to me, she still made an elegant impact with this strapless fuchsia and royal blue split-front empire style gathered bust gown. Gorgeous. Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011 Pageant: Alyssa, who was Miss California USA, wore this emerald green gown--from Pageant-and-Prom Fave Sherri Hill--for the Miss USA 2011 Live Telecast. And she won! As everyone knows, red-heads should wear this color like, ALL THE TIME! It suited her well and the gown, was yes, five minutes away from looking a bit "Pageant Betty Perfect" but somehow it still had enough Runway Couture in its fit and structure to deem it one of my favorites of 2011. Miss India Earth 2011, Hasleen Kaur, Miss Earth 2011 Pageant: In summing up my Top Beauty Pageant Gowns of 2011, I thought I should add a couple "Ball Gown/Princess" styles, since this almost became a trend of this past year. I really loved this pale blue-and-ivory gown worn by Miss India Earth during the Miss Earth 2011 Evening Gown Presentation. It was very Dior Haute Couture in its silhouette and Hasleen carried it well. I'm sure in the eyes of many pageant observers, it might not have been a favorite. But to me, it stood out as a vision of (semi) Haute Couture Fab-u-locity. Miss World 2011 Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela, Miss World 2011 Pageant: Finally, I had to add the Gianni Straccia gown Venezuelan beauty Ivian Sarcos wore when she won the Miss World 2011 title. To be frank, I wasn't a total fan. But...there was something about it that well, I still liked (the top section I think), and yes, the way the almost 6-foot-tall beauty carried it off. When she walked on stage there was no denying she was "in it to win it" and she made all the judges focus on her! If a Hollywood starlet wore this at the Oscars, she would get SLAMMED the next day and be on the Worst Dressed List. But for Miss World and their vision of the "Disney Princess Beauty", it was just right. The Oooh Girl What Were You Thinking? And now, I present to you my "Oh Dear" List. These gowns should be banned forever from beauty pageants, red carpet events,..heck even tacky Quinceañera's. A Note to any women wanting to enter a major beauty pageant and thinking about what evening gown style to wear: please don't EVER wear these. Miss Falcon 2011 Haydee Castillo, Miss Venezuela 2011 Pageant: designed by Luis Perdomo, this ivory satin gown was a mess. The too-high gathered halter-bust sections, the attached petal skirt, then a silver crystal trim waist tie? No, huney. Poor thang, she HAD to know she wasn't even going to be in the Semi-Semi-Semi Finals in this; she must have done something to make Osmel Sousa (Miss Venezuela Pageant Director) mad at her and therefore, she got this gown. Miss Turkey Earth 2011, Merve Saribas, Miss Earth 2011 Pageant: There is something SO TACKY about this concoction above that makes me want to go have many, many Martinis with her! Seriously. It's BAD! Poor Merve--who is just stunning--she was somehow coaxed into wearing this during the Miss Earth 2011 Evening Gown Presentation. Doesn't she have any fashionista gay friends in her homeland who should have advised her against this? It's so bad that the woman (on the left side, front row) in the photo is actually LAUGHING at what a mess this dress is! Miss Colombia 2011, Maria Catalina Robayo Vargas, Miss Universe 2011 Pageant: Oh Miss Colombia. You did it this time. You and this gown (if you would call it that) will enter you into the Drag Queen Hall of Fame. Ru Paul should be wearing this. Not Miss Colombia! It's a Halloween Orange strapless fan-pleated gown and... A gold and bronze stretch sequined jumpsuit. At the same time! It's sooo tacky and bad, it's Drag Queen Good! I need to see this on the female partner of a Figure Skating Ice Dancing Couple from Russia. Like TOMORROW! Miss Dominican Republic 2011, Dalia Fernandez, Miss Universe 2011 Pageant: Dalia thought she was entering the "Stripper of the Year" contest as opposed to the Miss Universe Pageant in this gown. That slit is SO high that well, I feel like she's about to see her gynecologist. Slits that high--up to the you-know-what--should be banned. Period. But then, if that wasn't enough, throw in the polyester satin fabrication and that too-plunging neckline. No Mija. No. Miss Mongolia 2011, Buyankhishig Unurbayar, Miss World 2011 Pageant: Speaking of plunging necklines. This is what I said about this dress back in my Miss World 2011 evening gown post: I can't even focus on the rest of the dress when THOSE things are so propped up and on full display; it's like "Here they are! Y'all want them?" How do you say that in Mongolian? Oh, here's a positive: I LOVE that sequined Disco headband!! So Olivia Newton-John "Let's Get Physical"! Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Finally here are my Top Three Worst: Miss Austria 2011, Julia Hofer, Miss World 2011: Julia Julia Julia...what bad curtain from your grandma back in Vienna did you use to make this gown? She's such a cute girl, why this awful 1984-looking dress? It was bad in 1984...and it's bad in 2011. Miss Belize 2011, Kadejah Tunn, Miss World 2011 Pageant: She is a Cha-Cha Queen, a Mambo Dancer and a come-hither stripper, all in one tacky dress. The low-rent fabrication, the side cut-outs, those tiered Carmen Miranda ruffles, then the open-toe gold pumps. Oh huney, I'm sure you're a sweet, sweet woman, but you have just made my "Oh Dear! Pageant Gown List" of 2011. Miss Belgium 2011, Justine De Jonckheere, Miss Universe 2011 Pageant: The very pretty Justine takes the prize as the WORST of Beauty Pageant Gowns of 2011 in this baby blue and ivory concoction. This is like Scheherazade got attacked by a tacky fabric store in Alabama! The slit, the one blouson sleeve, the connecting midriff trim, those tacky shoes, a CUFF (?), oh and that 1992 French Twist Up-Do? What. Were. You. Thinking? For all that, you get the "Nick V. 'Oh Dear!' Evening Gown" Crown for 2011. What did you guys think? What were your favorite--and not-so-favorite Beauty Pageant Evening Gowns of 2011? Did I miss any? Let me know! I'd LOVE to know your thoughts!!! And... Happy 2012!!! I'm looking forward to more Good and BAD Pageant Gowns in 2012!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
The Russian Nationals bring Costume Changes...and a Plushenko Mullet-Be-Gone! (almost!)...Let's discuss the Men:
A Blooming Flower Long Program Win: Adelina Sotnikova won her third national title at the 2012 Russian Figure Skating Championships. Photo © Anna Kondakova
The 2012 Russian Figure Skating National Championships (in Russian: Чемпионат России по фигурному катанию на коньках 2012) occurred starting on Christmas Day (Dec 25th) and ended today. I know, it seems odd to have a MAJAH Figure Skating Competition at this time, but in case you may not know, Christmas for Russia--and other Eastern Orthodox Religion-based nations--is celebrated on January 7th. So basically, this is not a "Holiday" time--well, not just yet! Irregardless, this very important competition took place and naturally since it involves Figure Skating and Figure Skating Costumes, I must report back to my blog readers. In terms of Costumes--which is, of course, what I discuss here--there was some news. Shall we begin with the Ladies:Adelina Sotnikova: Above is Adelina Sotnikova, the Ladies' Gold Medal Winner, as she performs to Ravel's "Bolero" at the 2012 Russian National Figure Skating Championships. I've talked about her Free Skate Costume before during Cup of China. But the big news was that she changed her Short Program Costume AGAIN...to this lipstick red dress with matching leggings/tights over the skating boots ensemble featuring silver encrusted crystals. I thought this was a rather interesting design and about five minutes away from an Elie Saab-inspired look. Yet, I was dumbfounded by the noticeable "accentuation" of the *cough cough" breast area. I liked the crystal detail, not sure if they should be done in that manner...especially for a FIFTEEN year old girl! But it was definitely a dramatic look. While it was definitely an unusual approach to a costume it actually worked for me, especially with this piece of music. I was also happy that she is such a fashionista that she continually changed her costume throughout the season until she got it right. If you want proof, check this out:
Cirque Du Soleil Futuristic Blue: Here she is at the Cup of China 2011-2012, same "Bolero" Short Program. This was very Judy Jetson Meets a Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show. And well, really had nothing to do with what Nijinska--the original "'Bolero" choreographer--designed the music to be about: a female dancer inside a Spanish tavern, becomes more and more animated in terms of her dancing, as the applause of the tavern's crowd cheer her dancing on.
Vampire Diary Goes Bolero: The above photo--and costume--is from the 2011-2012 Rostelecom Cup/Cup of Russia. Again, same "Bolero" Short Program. Just different costume... a rather "Vampire-tastic" (color-wise) costume. At least, she's embracing a little bit of the Spanish Red in her costume. I give her maybe 5 out of 10 points--costume-wise. Thank goodness in her latest "Bloero" costume incarnation, she has become a little more "España" and less Vampira.
Photo © Anna Kondakova
Evgeni Is BACK: The last time Plushenko professionally skated in a competition was at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. So, you KNOW he was the "Star Attraction" at this 2012 Russian National Figure Skating Championships. I have a feeling that someone must have payed him a PRETTY PENNY (or many MILLIONS of DOLLARS!) to come out and compete, but that's neither here nor there. Let's get to his costume: Above we see Evgeni Plushenko performing to "El Tango de Roxanne" from the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack. He wears a very bedazzled "Razzle-Dazzle" costume featuring a skin-tight silver-gray sequined top, with an attached "vest" in black, red and silver-gray and black tuxedo pants with a crystal-encrusted outseam band. He's very Bob Fosse "Chorus Line" meets a Buenos Aires Tango Bar. I must say. I rather like it!! Most of all, he is OWNING it! Another thing he is owning is is his "new-and-improved" hairstyle. Plushenko is known for his Mullet (seen above in a past photo). So much so, there's a Facebook page strictly devoted to it. But at this recent 2012 Russian Nationals, he was sporting a more modern version, a more "2010 Shag". Hey, at least he's leaving that 1988 mullet and coming closer--hairstyle-wise--to the 21st Century.
Two of the top teams were absent due to injury. Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov did not compete due to his groin injury and Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov did not skate due to his leg injury. Note to self: never do Competitive Figure Skating and stick to designing gowns and commenting on the Red Carpet. Anyhow, with that in mind, here is the lovely Russian Pairs couple who captured their first national title:
Photo © Anna KondakovaIce Dance:
Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov: For their Free Skate (above) they skated to "Doctor Zhivago". I liked her blue and white costume even though I admit, it looked slightly amateur-design wise; it just did not have the stylistic refinement of other Top Pairs skating costumes. I've always said that once you attend an actual World Class Skating Competition, you can instantly tell the Top Tier skaters by the expensive look of their costumes. Bazarova and Larionov definitely don't have that here. And don't get me started on Yuri and his "I'm a Host at a Disneyland Restaurant" white shirt and pants ensemble. Seriously Yuri, next time, try a little bit harder.
Photo © Anna Kondakova
Fire Dancers: Gold Medalists Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev perform to "Walpurgis Night" for their Free Dance at the 2012 Russian National Figure Skating Championships and guess what? They changed their costumes! I like these costumes better than what they wore before (check out that silly little bedazzled "heart" applique below). These costumes are a little more impacting. Yes, everything about the Russian Costumes--in terms of Figure Skating--seem to be about two steps beyond what they should be--but part of that is why I like them so much--as long as it works. And here, it worked.
Above is what they wore--for the same Free Skate Program--at the 2011-2012 Cup of China earlier . This is what I said about there previous costumes. What do you all think of these Russian Nationals Costumes and well, the changes? Good, Bad or...?? I can't wait for next month's US Nationals in San Jose California???!!! Let me know.
Royal Fashion Highness:
Sheikha Mozah of Qatar: Where Does This Turban-ed Diva Belong On my "Best Dressed Royal of 2011" List? Keep Reading...As you know, I love discussing the royals here on my blog--especially the FASHIONABLE ones. So therefore for the end of this year, here's my List of the Best Dressed Royal Ladies of 2011 as well as an "Honorable Mention Royal Diva" at the end. Let's begin with... Catherine Duchess of Cambridge: On Friday April 29th of this past year, Kate Middleton became Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and of course, the wife of Prince William in a fairy tale wedding. The gown was a gorgeous sight to behold; the most anticipated wedding dress since Princess Diana's grandiose David and Elizabeth Emanuel creation. Designed by Sarah Burton for the House of Alexander McQueen, it was magical and Disney Princess-like. And very Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. Catherine is a Fashion Muse, Icon and Fashionista. Every garment she puts on is dissected like a Chemistry Class experiment. She rarely gets it wrong. Catherine wore lots of fabulous ensembles in 2011 and for me, this Alexander McQueen lilac chiffon, crystal-waist cinched and gathered gown really stood out as one of the best. The Duchess wore it in Los Angeles to attend the BAFTA Brits To Watch Gala in the Belasco Theater. There were many many stars that night but they all were shadowed completely by Catherine. Princess Charlene of Monaco: Another royal who makes my "Best Dressed List of 2011" was of course, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)-born Princess Charlene Grimaldi of Monaco nee Charlene Wittstock. On July 1st, she wed the almost-confirmed bachelor-of-a-lifetime Prince Albert of Monaco. The Princess wore a custom-made Armani Prive Haute Couture off-the-shoulder gown estimated at over $100,000. The column gown really highlighted her statuesque figure and especially those amazing broad "swimmer's shoulders" of hers. Even though New York Times Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn has called her style "flat pancake" , she has been "stepping it up" as of late. One of my favorite looks on her was this strapless fuchsia gown from the Swiss clothing brand of Akris (one of her favorites) which she wore in August to the 63rd Annual Red Cross Ball in Monte Carlo. It goes without saying that it helps that A) she's gorgeous and B) she accessorized the gown with a custom-made Van Cleef & Arpels necklace made from 88 round diamonds, 10 pear-shaped diamonds and 359 sapphires meant to look like the ocean. A gift from little ol' Albert. Must be nice to have married one of the richest royals in the WORLD! Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar: Sheikha Mozah is the second of three wives of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, but obviously she's the "Number One" in Fabulousness! I am obsessed with her, her style, her elegance, her turbans...all of it! As a result, she ranks as one of my Top, if not MY TOP Best Dressed Royal of 2011. Seriously, take a look at that I-just-got-off-my-First Class Flight from Qatar to Madrid GOWN she wore, as she makes an official State Visit to Spain and the Spanish Royals. It's a creme Stephane Rolland Haute Couture and the jacket is ATTACHED to the gown at the hips. Poor Queen Sofia of Spain (far right) looks like the Mother-in-Law at an afternoon wedding in Bakersfield California, compared to her! And above (during the same State Visit to Spain in April of this past year), the Sheikha wore a Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2011 completely hand beaded tunic-cape gown with arm slits. This gown probably cost her about $100,000 if not more, which for her, was a "a drop in the (fashion) bucket". Again, she looked radiantly elegant. This woman should give a master class in how to dress. I'd attend it! Princess Letizia of Asturias: The Crown Princess of Spain, Letizia, is one of the most-watched female young royals. The European press are constantly following her every appearance the way we follow Angelina Jolie or Kim Kardashian (sorry Letizia). If the press isn't talking about her supposed anorexia and saying "mira que flaca esta!" (look how thin she is!), they're discussing her fashion. She has classic yet modern taste in terms of her clothes and usually favors Spanish fashion designers (she kinda has to). Never too edgy, but just the right amount of style to keep us fashion watchers happy. She is the Catherine Duchess of Windsor...for Spain. Above is an example of her Classy, Lady-Like looks, which she incidentally wore to the William & Kate Royal Wedding: head-to-toe blush color, matching hat, veil, gloves, shoes, pumps and delicately embroidered dress. Fashion "hermanas": Princess Letizia of Asturias with Queen Rania of Jordan. Above is another of my favorite Princess Letizia looks from 2011--a light plum side pleated dress with three-quarter sleeves which she wore to a State Visit to Amman Jordan with the King and Queen of Jordan. Queen Rania, also makes my list here as one of the Best Dressed Royal Women for 2011. Because 2011 was well, how shall we say, not a good year for that area of the world--and especially for the ruling class and they're showing of conspicuous consumption--Rania has tended to scale down her FABULOUS Fashion Appearances. But she did give you FASHION with a Capital "F"--on that Spanish Royal State Visit. She was very "Business Attire" but with a definite nod to being a fashionista with that front attached "scarf"/shawl collar. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden Duchess of Västergötland: Victoria joins my list here because she has really "blossomed", fashion-wise. Not really known for her fashion sense but that has changed in the last few years, especially in the run-up to her wedding and even now through her pregnancy. She used 2011 as a "Banner Year" to show all "royal watchers" that she also, could be as stylish as those "other princesses". Above is one of her best looks from 2011: a red side draped, asymmetrical sleeved gown which she wore to the William & Kate Pre-Royal Wedding Dinner. Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba: The Most Titled Woman on Earth, the much-beloved 85-year-old Duquesa de Alba, is a DIVA. She is one of my favorite royals! She's always loved fashion and throughout her entire life, has been a Muse for many Couturiers--from Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga to Emanuel Ungaro. Her style is very eclectic, fun and yes, sometimes verging on a "kooky" Tarot Card Reader from Venice California, but always FABULOUS! This year, she got married for the third time--to "commoner" (and much younger "boy-toy") Alfonso Diez. She wore a custom-made light pink applique Sevillana-inspired dress from her favorite Spanish fashion designers, Victorio & Lucchino. You gotta give it to her. I hope that by 85 (hopefully I get to live that long), I still have the chutzpah to dress like this! Oh, and did I mention, she broke into a flamenco dance after the wedding and it was all caught on video? LOVE HER! Charlotte Casiraghi, fourth in line for the throne of Monaco: the second child of Caroline Princess of Hanover and Prince Albert of Monaco's niece. The 25-year-old beauty looks like a Hollywood Star (Hello! Her late grandmother was Grace Kelly!) and looks EXACTLY like her mother did in her younger years. She is also following in her mother's footsteps as a Fashion Mini-Diva (it helps that she can get 5-to-6 figure costing Haute Couture dresses from her "Best Gay Uncle" Karl Lagerfeld any time she wants!) This year, she ascended into "Fashion Heaven" during the nuptials of her uncle, Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock, where she wore this Chanel Haute Couture pink off-the-shoulder dress to the actual wedding above... And for at the After Wedding Party, she decided to almost upstage the bride, when she appeared in this stunningly elegant Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2011-2012 silk cape-gown looking like the ghost of Princess Grace. Her Grandma would be proud! Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan: In 2011, a new royal fashion diva emerged, Jetsun Pema, the Queen of Bhutan. After her October 2011 wedding, the Hollywood Gorgeous Queen has been making several State Visits in Asia, including Japan and India with her husband, and at every stop, the fashion paparazzi has taken note of her style, grace and elegance. She has become a "Fashion Ambassador" for the tiny Himalayan kingdom, always wearing Bhutanese clothing, textiles and prints. She could easily look like a "Miss Universe Pageant Parade of Nations Costume" contestant but somehow, she doesn't; making her traditional garments look effortlessly chic. She is "one to watch" for 2012! And Finally, My "Nick V. Royal Fashion Diva of the the Year Honorable Mention" Goes To: Princess Beatrice of York: Princess Beatrice arguably stole the show, when she arrived in what has now become "The Most Famous Hat in The World" at William & Kate's Royal Wedding this year. When I first saw her on my TV screen in this pale pink Valentino Haute Couture coat-dress and THAT Philip Treacy chapeau, I literally yelled "You Go Girl!" I also think many, many, many other Gays around the World did the same thing--in different languages of course! This hat is as controversial as her famous Mother but there is no denying it made an impact and for that, she gets my "Honorable Mention Royal Fashion Diva of 2011". Keep it up Beatrice!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
. Yes, that's my doggie--and Head Mascot of this BLOG--"Miss Benny" (he's a boy, but I put a "Miss" in front of EVERYTHING!)--and yes, he was miserable standing there with those antlers and neckband accessory (I think it was too tight). But he still looks sooooo CUTE! Wishing Many Joyous and Fashionable Blessings, Good Health and A Fabulous 2012---and Looking Forward to new NIKOLAKI Collections, More Red Carpet Award Show Reviews, Haute Couture Collection Recaps, Royal Fashion Minutes...and yes, MUCH MORE Figure Skating Costumes!!! Happy Holidays Everyone!
Fashion Divas of 2011: It's the end of the year kids and well, that means time to recap my Top Fashion Moments of this last year, a "Nick Best Dressed List" of 2011, if you like. Now, naturally there were A LOT of well-dressed celebs but here are some that really stood out for me. I'm sure I've left out some of your favorites (or not?). Let me know which ones you would have also added to this list--if let's say, I had lots and lots more room on this little ol' blog of mine... Let's begin with my Favorite "Red Carpet Diva" for 2011: Cate Blanchett in a lilac silk Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Spring 2011 Haute Couture-- Blanchett wore this gown--with incredible Swarovski lilac and yellow crystal applique torso "body armor"-- to the 2011 Academy Awards. I was covering the Countdown to the Academy Awards Red Carpet as well as the Live Red Carpet for TV Guide Network, and when I saw her walk onto the Kodak Theater red carpet in this, I was like "done and done" ladies...you can all go home now!" My Second Choice: Mila Kunis in a deep lilac silk and lace draped Elie Saab Spring 2011 Haute Couture gown, also from the 2011 Academy Awards: Now, here's one actress I'm happy didn't leave after seeing Blanchett: Mila Kunis. Once again, I recognized this gown immediately from the Paris Spring/Summer Haute Couture Runway Shows. It was from Elie Saab and his "Miss Havisham"-dubbed collection. Kunis looked nothing like a "Miss Havisham" on Oscar night, that's for sure. Simply Stunning. The young actress Ashley Greene makes my list in this sparklingly, beautiful Donna Karan strapless gown, which she wore to the 2011 Met Ball. This gown is so un-Donna Karan (Miss Donna is more known for her liquid jersey dresses and Zen-like "Intellectual Fashionista" looks that she sends down her NY Fashion Week runways). I love that Ashley went there and glam-ed it up and in the end, looked like an ethereal princess. The Top Ladies In Red: Since we're on Donna Karan lovefest, let's add actress Nina Dobrev, who showed up to the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards in this structured red "mermaid"-style strapless gown, from Donna Karan. It was gorgeous, entrance-making and was very "Miss Universe Pageant Evening Gown Competition", which as you know, I LUV. Giselle Bundchen in Alexander McQueen, 2011 Met Ball: strapless, silk taffeta, GISELLE GORGEOUS! Julianna Marguiles in Yves Saint Laurent strapless gown with draped-and-gathered detail, 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards: she looked so elegant, and perfect--from her center-front parted chignon, simple diamond oval earrings to the delicate intricacy of her gown. Jennifer Lopez in Gucci by Frida Giannini Fall/Winter 2011, 2011 Met Ball--Yes, it's fuschia-esque, but I'll include her anyhow. This was A DRESS kids!!! And only Miss Lopez could work it like the Rent was Due! My last "Lady In Red" is the US First Lady Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen Resort 2011. She wore this red-and-black printed asymmetrically draped silk duchesse satin gown at the White House State Dinner Honoring the Chinese President. One word: AMAZING. Best In White 2011: Pippa Middleton in Alexander McQueen, William and Kate Royal Wedding: the Maid-of-Honor Who Stole The Wedding Show. Simple silhouette, bias-cut cowl-draped front gown with dropped shoulder cap sleeves. Yes, Miss Catherine looked like a Disney Princess in her Wedding Gown, but Pippa...Oh Pippa...You were the Runner Up Star (if not the unofficial Star!). Fan Bingbing in Elie Saab Fall/Winter 2009 Haute Couture, 2011 Cannes Film Festival: how do you say "You Go Girl" in Chinese? Yes, that necklace might have been a bit too much, but that silk crepe Haute Couture Gown with attached lace "shawl"? Let me remind you kids, a gown like this, from Elie Saab Haute Couture --if you were to order it--can set you back about $100,000. Recession Who? Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, in YSL by Stefano Pilati, 2011 Met Ball: a Gay Man's Best Friend. She is vibing Studio 54, Bianca Jagger and a 1930's Hollywood Starlet...all at once. Welch is also a Designer's Muse For the Millennium. Sequined Starlets 2011: Another favorite of the year for me which makes my Top List is Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab Fall 2011, at the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards. She was probably--hands-down--the Best Dressed of that night in this all-over sequined black gown featuring capped sleeves and a fabulously exaggerated train. People overuse the "Old Hollywood Glamour" description but on Evan Rachel Wood, it fits to a "T". Annette Bening in a sparkling Tony Ward Couture gown, 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Bening looked so modern and stylish in this golden metallic, all-over paillette gown from Rome, Italy-based Tony Ward Couture. She sure showed a lot of her younger--and less stylish--counterparts--how Red Carpet Dressing Should Be Done. Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace, 2011 Golden Globe Awards: one of the best for 2011, Jolie looked unbearably stunning in this emerald green all-over sequin Atelier Versace blouson gown. It was very 1940's, very chic, and still oh-so-directional. Covered: yes. Sexy: totally!!! Angelina + Donatella + her stylist Jen Rade = Magic. Finally, Since It Is MY Blog...A Minute of Self-Indulgence: Katy Perry wearing NIKOLAKI Spring 2011 hand-beaded sequin one-shoulder dress. This dress--designed by my NIKOLAKI design partner David Paul and I--featured hand-beaded lilac-colored sequins on top of silk chiffon, a front cowl-draped design, and a built-in silk duchesse satin inner bustier. Katy wore it to launch her PURR Perfume in Mexico City this past year. And yes, I LOVED it and at least here on my blog, she deserves a Best Dressed of 2011!!! xoxo