Awards Season Heats Up – 2012 SAG Awards

It’s January and you know what that means: the Hollywood Awards Season is in full swing! Aside from the occasional censored part of an acceptance speech or a wardrobe malfunction, my favorite part is the red carpet arrivals. Many years ago you used to have to watch the entire show to see what everyone was wearing. Now (like magic) there are half a dozen entertainment reporters stationed outside the venue, stopping every entertainer,  giving us a play by play of who is wearing what.  Sunday evening’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards was a  star-studded evening filled with surprises, disappointments and more of the same.

Surprise: Michelle Williams redeemed herself from her last awards show appearance in a gorgeous red asymmetrical Valentino gown. Everything about this dress is right; the fit, the color and the design. Although demure , this look is also completely glamorous and stunning on her.

 

 

More of the same – Remember how great Meryl Streep looked in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’? She needs to put the costumer from that movie on speed dial because this Vivienne Westwood gown was completely unflattering in every single way possible. Sorry, I can’t find one good thing to say about this…. the worst part:  that gigantic leather (?) belt that looks like it belongs to a construction worker.

 

 

Even more of the same -Lea Michele showed up in her signature color (grey-ish) wearing an uber-sexy Versace gown.  The gown was beautiful but I would loved to have seen it in a more exciting color.

Disappointing  – Funny lady Jane Krakowski in a gown by Antonio Berardi that flops. If the center portion was beaded on sheer black instead of nude, it would make more sense.  It is a nice fit, though.

 

The Worst gown of the night belonged to Busy Phillips. I can’t even begin to imagine why she thought a boho-caftan was worthy of the red carpet. This belongs at a backyard barbeque. Busy? You bet!

 

The Best – Emily Blunt’s choice of  a jade-hued Oscar de La Renta gown was a refreshing change. Everything about this gown reeked class from the  slit (which was just the right height) to  the fit of the asymmetrical bodice. This gown was spectacular and the color really brought out the vibrant green in her eyes.

Of course this is just a sampling of the 70+ red carpet arrivals, the ones that really stuck out in my mind.  What were your favorites?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Bridesmaids: Hot Looks for Spring 2011

 Long gone are the days that bridesmaid gowns are  frothy, tacky or downright drab. It used to be impossible to find anything fashionable and that whole “You can  wear it again” was unimaginable. The worst part was that  trying to find something that looked good on everyone, almost assured  that it looked good on not one of them!

The designers and trendsetters heard the cries of the collective masses and as a result, attendants today have many choices. Wait until you see what they have in store for Spring 2011. Lets take a look at whats hot in bridesmaid attire!

Halter  Necklines – A Halter top is defined by a single strap that goes around the neck and offers support. Some Halter styles can be worn with a bra so you have added comfort. When fitting halter top, the strap should be just snug enough to hold the gown top properly in place but not so tight as to leave a mark on the skin. They can tie, hook or be one solid piece of fabric, it doesn’t matter. There are a lot of different halter necklines – pick the one you are the most comfortable with.

Tea Length Dresses – This style took over in the late 1980’s when bridesmaid gowns began to be more fashionable and wearable. The key word is began, it took well into the 90’s to perfect the tea length look. Tea length is defined as any hemline below the knee and above the ankle. Preferably lower calf,  10-14″ from the floor. This is the perfect look for an afternoon wedding.  

One  Shoulder – A very dramatic effect that looked so great on Princes Diana  she wore this style often. Most notably wearing Versace on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1997. Draped, tied or embellished with a brooch or flower, a one-shouldered gown is sure to turn heads. This style will look good on more figure types than any other neckline style and in floor length is an excellent choice for a formal wedding.

Fabric that moves, that flows and almost has its own personality. Fabric can make or break the style of a gown, using the wrong fabric can be a cardinal sin. Fabric, when chosen carefully, is it’s own distinct style element. This year’s biggest, hottest trend is beautifully draped or flowing chiffon, smooth charmeuse as soft as butter, anything that moves or flows. The most figure flattering fabrics, there is a reason why they are so popular right now. Short or long; any time of day or night –  a flowing chiffon, jersey or charmeuse gown will be flattering to most figures a pleasure for the bridesmaid’s to wear.

Click on the link below to see our couture runway fashion show where we feature the hottest styles in bridal and bridesmaids gowns. Then, call 847-428-3320 to get tickets to a show in your area so  you can experience the fashion firsthand.

http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/fos_video_bride.html?PHPSESSID=839398b20e94b837f10134e3b6e71bd9

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

The Oscars 2011 – Best Dressed

No, it wasn’t just you, the Oscars were little odd this year. It was as if there was a huge inside joke that everyone knew and as everyone waited for the punch line with great anticipation ……. it never came. However, this years fashions did not disappoint. 

 I loved seeing Tim Gunn on the red carpet. This is exactly where he belongs. He asks all the right questions  and he saves the acting talk for the interviewers with bigger chops.  I have been tuning in since I was a small girl merely to see what the stars will be wearing so,  the red carpet is my favorite part of the show!

Penny’s Picks for  best dressed:

Mila Kunis – The biggest shocker of the night for me was how much I loved this Elie Saab couture gown. The only reason so many design elements (lace, ruffles, draped chiffon, blouson top) work on this gown is because it was constructed impeccably, like a work of art. Every fold, every drape, every small lace ruffle is sewn to perfection.  Mila made every one’s top ten list in this designer gown, and the top of my top ten list. Surprised? Me, too!

Natalie Portman – Although I feel she lost it in the accessory department (hello, beaded tassels?), the purple Rodarte gown looked magnificent and comfortable enough for the mom-to-be to carry home a  small statuette and a  bun in the oven. 

Anne Hathaway – Most critics were all over her red Valentino gown, accusing the star of wearing her window treatments, etc. I disagree for two reasons – the fit was perfect and it was pure Valentino couture.  In addition, each and every gown that she wore during her multiple costume changes was A+ with the exception of the midnight blue Versace. I thought it fell flat.

Gyyneth Paltrow – Again, I disagree with most critics. Her gown was sleek, cool and totally retro. She was not nominated and was there to look good. She did!

Sharon Stone – Carried off  the Black Swan theme to perfection in this one-shouldered Christian Dior gown, regardless off how the critics slammed her smoky eyes. I thought she looked magnificent for a woman of any age.

Jennifer Hudson -Was a vision in Versace. The tangerine color looked marvelous with her skintone and the fit was unbelievable. The side drape and fitted bodice showed off her stunning slim physique.  In all fairness, she was stunning when she won her own Oscar and was much heavier. *Memo to her stylist – “make sure the cleavage is the same color as the chest.”

Mandy Moore – Her Monique Lhullier gown was breathtaking. The fit and the detail  of this champagne/nude gown reminds us that this little girl is all grown up and also that Monique Lhullier can do no wrong. Her bridal gowns are equally as impressive.

Hailee Stanfield – Also wow’d the crowd in her champagne/ nude creation by Marchesa. She opted for a fuller, ballerina-length skirt which is extremely flattering and appropriate for a young woman at the age of 14.

Sandra Bullock – America’s sweetheart proves once again that she can  look red hot on the red carpet with this  amazing red Vera Wang gown. But, we already knew that. Her makeup and accessories were  toned down leading me to believe that she and her stylist agreed -when you look this good in this gown, you don’t need any extra help.

 Hilary Swank – This Gucci Premiere couture gown is pure Hollywood glamour. Hand sewn crystals,  ostrich feathers – who knew this much detail could be so sexy?  Grey is not an easy color to wear but,  Ms. Swank pulls it off effortlessly.

Celine Dion – She had twins? In this simple, fitted Armani Prive gown it is hard to imagine she has given birth to one child, much less three.  The slim fitting gown had an absolutely perfect fit for her, the horizontal darts accentuated her toned physique and the only detail on the gown (other than the silk shantung fabric) was a small band that seemed to help the gown curve perfectly over her bust-line.  Was it just me or did this necklace remind anyone else of the gargantuan blue diamond stunner she wore when she sang the theme from Titanic?

Tune in tomorrow for my picks for the Worst Dressed at the 2011 Oscars. In the mean time, you can click  on this link  to view Bridal Expo’s very own red carpet couture runway show!  http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/fos_video_bride.html?PHPSESSID=c2893cac5707631701337f218a200fd2

 – Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago