Fashion at The 2014 Grammy Awards

Although the Grammys are best known for Music’s A-Listers taking huge fashion risks on the red carpet, this year, the fashion seemed streamlined, calculated and polished.

Taylor Swift always knocks it out of the park on the red carpet as she looked statuesque wearing a stunning chain link Gucci gown paired with Jimmy Choo shoes. Her stylist, Joseph Cassell has been flawless with carefully selecting statement pieces for Taylor, from designers like Carolina Herrera, Elie Saab and Donna Karan Atelier.

TaylorSwiftxAnother fashion high note was John Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen in a gold hand beaded Johanna Johnson couture gown. Fit to perfection, this look on Chrissy was breathtaking. Designer Johanna Johnson, best known for dressing stars like Minnie Driver, Julie Bowen and Christina Hendricks also dressed one of music’s elite, P!nk in a gorgeous red charmeuse paneled gown.

JohannaJohnsonxR&B Superstar Ciara went through multiple fittings in Milan and Los Angeles to get her long sleeved beaded Emilio Pucci just right; and it paid off. The newly pregnant star looked gorgeous with her soft up-do pulled back and minimal makeup.

CiaraxBeyonce Knowles was a knockout in her Michael Costello Couture gown. Some compared this look to Jennifer Lopez wearing Zuhair Murad at a prior red carpet event, but we think Beyonce looked incredible with this white lace and nude patterned ensemble.

BeyoncexWe rarely see Madonna on the red carpet and always have high hopes for her,  but this was a fashion miss with this Ralph Lauren suit.  It came off costumey and the cane didn’t help her major fashion faux-pas.

Madonnax We’ll be curious to know what the Giuliana Rancic, Joan Rivers, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos on E!’s Fashion Police say tonight, and if they agree with us on our pics for Best Dressed at The Grammys!  At Bridal Expo Chicago Luxury, we’re always inspired by fashion as trends always have influence in the world of bridal.     -Jim Verraros for Bridal Expo Chicago Luxury Shows

{Photos courtesy Huffington Post}

Does Music Influence Fashion – You Bet!

Thinking back to my youth, I remember watching Elton John and Kiki Dee performing on a variety show, probably the Hudson Brothers (Kate Hudson’s dad and his brothers had a one hour weekly show with musical guests and comedy sketches). Kiki Dee was wearing light blue overalls and had her hair super straight. I wanted straight hair and light blue overalls so bad that I convinced my mother to let me learn how to sew so I could make a pair just like them…. and I did. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that I was able to achieve the straight hair.  Several  years after the blue overall experience,  I saw Madonna in a bustier and fluffy skirt and that became my next must-have. I wore crazy skirts like Cyndi Luper, crimped my hair like Whitney Houston and would have tried to copy every one of Cher’s Bob Mackie gowns if I thought for a second I could get away with it. In case you can’t tell, I think music is a huge influence on fashion.

Oddly enough, the effect music has on fashion is a trickle up theory, of sorts. An artist wears something in concert or video, their fans go wild, begin to copy it, and then works it’s way up the generational ladder until it is mainstream fashion.  Gwen Stefani was a huge influence on fashion in the 1990’s bringing some glam to the grunge look. She was so successful that she even started her own clothing line, which is now the norm for many female artists. The grunge look was not my favorite but, looking back it had to be cost effective since cleanliness was definitely optional.

Yesterday, I returned home form the market to learn the sad news that Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48. Whitney Houston was one of the greatest vocal talents of my lifetime,  a powerhouse, a woman of heart and soul who shared her talent with the world and her style greatly influenced fashion.  Her inimitable style and talent will be missed as she enters the ranks of one more soul who left this world way too young.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Tan for a Day – Which method works best for you?

Tanning is one of the most controversial topics related to skin care and beauty. Most people believe that they look ‘healthier’ with  sun-kissed skin, and in most cases it is true. However, you will always encounter the types who go a bit far and all you can see is the whites of their eyes.  They are missing a key point here: sun-kissed, not baked to a crisp. That means a light glow on light skin…. even the Bain de Soleil lady is a few shades lighter than she used to be.

There are so many more options now than there used to be. Whether you choose a self tanner, spray tan or a tanning bed is up to you; there are pros and cons to each option. It is best to be forewarned.

Tanning Beds-Tanning beds use UV rays that are up to 100 times stronger than direct sunlight. This is important to remember since some people think that this is ‘safe’ tanning when it is not. If used in moderation and for the right reasons, tanning beds can be safe and effective. Most tanning salons have limits to how long and how often you can tan, you need to follow their rules and do not try to get all your tan in one day, this is dangerous and stupid. Make sure the salon is clean and the beds are completely  cleaned after each use. There is some speculation about how the UV rays affect your vision a nd eye health so you should always, ALWAYS wear goggles.  If you are still not sure about tanning beds, try another option.

Self – Tanner – Everyone I know has at least one really funny self-tanner story and it seems that for every story, there is a new ‘streakless’ product on the market. I have my own self tanner story and it ends with me having to wear gloves on my son’s first day of Kindergarten….. in August. Experts recommend practicing on your legs and also starting out with a light shade and layering it. DO NOT try to self tan for the first time the night before your wedding. This is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately many of the products now come in a mist form which is much easier to apply than the lotions. In my opinion they are still kind of messy and unreliable.

Spray or Airbrush Tan –Probably the fastest and easiest  method of darkening your skin. The spray tan lasts about five days and is basically safe. I only say ‘basically’ because there are 40+ chemicals used in these sprays and only about 11% of them have ever been tested and/or approved by the FDA. Of course there are dozens of products available so you can find one you are comfortable using. The difference between spray and airbrush is that the airbrush tan is applied by hand by a professional and the spray tan is usually done in a booth with nozzles turned on and off in intermittent cycles. 

 ALWAYS exfoliate before any type of tanning treatment.

ALWAYS protect your eyes.

ALWAYS ask questions if you are unsure.

 NEVER use any lotions or perfumes or other products on your skin unless they are recommended by the salon for the type of tanning you are using.

NEVER attempt any new skin procedures less than two weeks  before an event.

AVOID obvious tan lines by keeping your neckline in mind. 
AVOID any type of artificial tanning if you are pregnant.

If you decide you are fine with pale skin, you are not alone, Nicole Kidman and Madonna both  speak out strongly against tanning and many more celebrities are opting for less color. There also is the hope that the lack of pigment in Robert Pattinson’sskin in all of the famous Twilight movies might just prove a new trend… unless I’m wrong – which happens a lot. One fact is true – tanning ages your skin and makes you appear older than you are. Moderation is the key, use it wisely.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago