Red Carpet Style Report
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The Grammy Awards may be music's biggest night, but all eyes in the fashion world were on the red carpet at this year's 54th annual awards. While there were plenty of touching tributes to the great Whitney Houston, who passed away just the day before the ceremony, and the addition of a host for the first time (LL Cool J!), there were plenty of WOW! moments (Rihanna! Fergie!) and a few HUH? moments as well when it came to what the stars were wearing. Most notably, Nicki Minaj dressed as little red riding hood in Versace with a Pope look-a-like on her arm, and Katy Perry's all-blue Elie Saab ensemble (right down to her hair!). Through the maze of hits and misses, we managed to find a few favorites!
As a stylist myself, I definitely have my opinions on who got it right. I also went to two of my fellow celebrity stylists Sophia Banks-Coloma and Anya Sarre to get their take. Read on for our top 10 favorite looks.
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Red Carpet: The"WOW" moment of the night definitely goes to Rihanna. She turned heads in a plunging-down-to-there Scarface-inspired Armani gown she helped design that was reminiscent of J-Lo's iconic Versace at the 2000 Grammy's. Take that, Chris Brown."It is so simple and chic and just shows off her natural beauty. Her body looks awesome and fit" says celebrity stylist Sophia Banks-Coloma, who has worked with Kirstie Alley and Kristen Chenoweth.
Reality: Typically, if you go with a plunging neckline, you want to avoid the slit up the front, and vice versa. But, we can take a lesson in the basics. "Every girl needs a slinky black dress in her closet that you can throw on at any minute," says celebrity stylist Anya Sarre. However, when it comes to that deep neckline, don't try this at home, kids. Such an extreme front-plunge is a wardrobe-malfunction waiting to happen. My recommendation is to add a strip of sheer fabric, so you don't feel so bare. "No one should attempt this dress unless they have a toned upper body and a smaller chest," Banks-Coloma says. And lots and lots of double-stick tape.
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Red Carpet: Carrie Underwood was white hot in this sequined Gomez-Gracia gown, no cleavage needed! "Carrie sizzled by rocking the sparkles but not showing too much skin," Sarre says. The silhouette is also super-flattering on her slim frame, and we loved the sexy back cut-outs.
Reality: Long-sleeves seemed to reign supreme for stars like Underwood and Adele, and they're great for camouflaging upper arms. "Keep it classy—you don't have to show skin to achieve a sexy look!" Sarre says.
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Red Carpet: Pretty and demure, I loved Kelly Rowland's sheer Alberta Ferretti number with beaded details. It was stunning without being over-the-top. "She looked classic and sweet with her beaded bodice," Sarre says. "It also shows off her figure, her toned arms, her small waist, and it draped well around her hips," Banks-Coloma adds. She accessorized perfectly with Lorraine Schwartz jewels.
Reality: The color really complemented her skin tone and this dress is proof that for a slimming look, you don't always have to go for a dark color. "Don't be afraid to wear nudes and neutrals for a classic winning look," Sarre says. Plus, sheer is totally on trend, all over the runways for spring/summer 2012.
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Red Carpet: Taylor Swift almost always gets it right, and this awards show was no exception. Country's Golden Girl dazzled in a high-collared, hand-beaded golden confection by Zuhair Murad. "Taylor's gown was a work of art that everyone took notice of," Sarre says. "I love how she kept her hair and makeup simple and did not over accessorize."
Banks-Coloma agrees."This was another elegant choice. I love her style. I call it the ‘Cate factor'- Cate Blanchett's style of showing less is more, but adding beautiful detailing with the gold beading."
Reality: Unless you have a fashion model-frame, you might not be able to pull off this dress. "Her slim figure and flawless complexion are really needed to make this look good," Banks-Coloma says. However, you can opt for something with lots of embellishments. "When you have a dress like this, it counts as an accessory so be careful not to over accessorize. Keep your hair and makeup simple and your accessories to a minimum for a styled look," Sarre says. The cap-sleeves are flattering for many body shapes and the high-collar is an unexpected touch. Plus, I love that the beading in the middle creates a belt-like effect, helping to form that hourglass shape.
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Red Carpet: While color and nudes seemed to rule, Gwyneth Paltrow showed basic black was anything but boring. The actress was perfection in a black cut-out gown by her friend Stella McCartney that showed off her flawless figure. "Gwyneth was sleek and chic. Her gold belt was the perfect rock and roll touch to this ensemble," Sarre says.
Reality: Paltrow admits she works really hard for her body. But Banks-Coloma warns, "Don't try this one unless you are super fit with a toned tummy." What we can take away from this look? "When wearing all black, try adding a metallic belt or accessory to spice up your look," Sarre says
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Red Carpet: Head-to-toe bling, would we expect anything else from singer Jessie J? Her disco-ball like Julien MacDonald dress could have easily been a miss but just like her music, this one's definitely a hit. "This is the perfect amount of wildness for the Grammy awards," Banks-Coloma says. The way the light reflected the dress in all the right places helped the singer truly shine.
Reality: This dress fit her perfectly and she smartly kept the rest of the look minimal. "You can absolutely wear head to toe sparkle, just keep your hair and makeup simple so your outfit can shine," Sarre says. Also, a dress that's heavy on the shine can emphasize curves (in a bad way) so only rock a dress like this if you're on the slimmer side.
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Red Carpet: We'd be remiss if we didn't include Fergie in our roundup in a ‘love-it-or-hate it' John Paul Gaultier gown fresh off the Paris runway. Fergie set the blogosphere and Twitterverse abuzz as soon as she stepped out in the see-through confection. While I loved the bright pop of orange and the gorgeous silhouette that highlighted her incredible figure, what I didn't love was the peep-show black push-up bra and granny panties that completely upstaged the dress. But, we'll stick to the positives. "She has a more athletic figure and she just works it," Banks-Coloma says. "I love the detailing on the dress, and I think the color is going to be trending on the red carpets."
Reality: Let's be honest. Unless you're, well, Fergie, you can't get away with a get-up like this. However, you can go sans the see-through undergarments and rock a beautiful mermaid-style gown in a beautiful citrus hue."Try this style if you are more curvy and athletic to really flaunt your shape," Banks-Coloma says
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Red Carpet: With Katy Perry, more is more and we'd expect nothing less. So it wasn't too shocking when she showed up in a beautiful pale-blue Elie Saab gown complete with matching Marge-Simpson hair. But we love Perry so much, and since this is a fashion piece after all, we'll look past the hair and just focus on the dress. "She was the Blue Belle of the Ball," Sarre says."Although she could have done without the matching blue hair, she looked regal and confident in her couture sparkling number." Banks-Coloma agrees. "I love the color, which is super on trend, and the beautiful details. It also makes her look super slim and accentuates her figure."
Reality: While, overall, it may have been a little too blue with her matchy-matchy hair, when it comes to dress selection, she got it right on tone. "Consider your hair and skin tone when choosing a color that is right for you. There is a shade of every color that works for everyone," Sarre says. The cut of the dress was also key, emphasizing an hourglass shape. Choose this style if you want to mask heavier upper arms, hips, or thighs, and accentuate a small waist.
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Red Carpet: What's not to love about Adele? She wrote the album of the year, and after undergoing surgery on her vocal chords, showed up for her comeback performance looking slimmer and sultrier than ever. Plus, the singer who recently said "I don't want to be some skinny mini with my tits hanging out," shows you don't have to be super-skinny or show skin to be super-sexy. "Adele has never looked better than she did tonight in her Armani gown. She got the sparkle right by keeping her gown monochromatic with a subtle sequin," Sarre says.
Reality: What we love about this dress is it can be worn on all body types and for almost any special occasion. It's a classic. Plus, Adele really highlighted her best assets. "Show off your smallest feature," Sarre says. "Even if you are wearing a loose dress, you can cinch in your waist with a belt or ribbon."
"I love a sheer sleeve on a fuller figure," Banks-Coloma says. "It is the perfect amount of coverage while adding some sexy-ness." While I love that the sleeves hit ¾ lengths, showing off slim wrists (a definite do), I think they could have fit her a little more snugly.
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Red Carpet: Alicia Keys hit all the right notes in this understated yet elegant LBD. Going against the longer trend of the evening and rocking a cocktail length-frock, she managed to make it look fashion-forward with pumped up shoulders, a gold statement necklace, and futuristic style ‘do. "She showed that you don't need a lot of fuss to make a statement," Sarre says. Her hubby Swizz Beatz in a purple velvet blazer was the perfect accessory.
Reality: You don't need us to preach the benefits of having a basic black LBD in your wardrobe. But, to punch up the look, "every girl should have one statement piece of jewelry on hand that can instantly transform a simple look into a ‘wow,'" Sarre says. This dress hugs her curves in all the right places and is flattering for every figure. My only caution? The ankle straps on her shoes can tend to stump the leg line so she would have been better off going with a peep-toe pump.