Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oscars 2013 Part Two: Heavy Metal

It was impossible not to notice the most persistent trend of Oscars 2013 fashion: dark metallic gowns! It seems many of the actresses and plus-ones were on the same page when it came to which trend to rock on Sunday. And rock it they did!  The embellishments and patterns came in a range of styles and the variety of hair and makeup choices were all pretty on-point for their respective dresses, making for just enough variety on the red carpet.

Naomi Watts was arguably the best dressed of the night with her look topping many best-dressed lists.  Her silver Armani gown featured a futuristic shoulder cutout and one cap sleeve.  Her soft updo really allowed the dresses best angles to be shown.  Halle Berry looked every bit the Bond Girl in her glittering Versace number.  What made this look stand out was the long sleeves with sheer paneling, which is a nice departure from the countless strapless awards-show gowns.  Nicole Kidman glistened in a L'Wren Scott black & gold sequins.  The small train and her touseled hair balanced the look.  Salma Hayek chose a velvet Alexander McQueen column in a departure from her usual bombshell look.  It boasted a high-neck with intricate baroque gold detailing which really brought the attention to her flawless face and regal updo.

The true best-dressed winner of the night for me was Stacy Keibler who showed up all of the actresses in an exquisite Naeem Khan gown.  George Clooney's date has consistently nailed it when it comes to the red carpet, but for this year's Oscars, she really hit it out of the park!  I may be biased with my art-deco obsession, but the pattern of the belted gown along with the racerback neck, mesh back panel and gunmetal studs highlighted her statuesque form perfectly.  She styled it with a Lorraine Schwartz tassel bracelet and a Gatsby-inspired hairstyle of cropped curls as an A+ finishing touch. 

Did you love the metallic trend at this year's Oscars?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oscars 2013 Part One: On the Lighter Side

What a fabulous turnout! This year's Academy Awards did not disappoint, fashion-wise! We saw lots of glamour and some great new trends.  While the scene was dominated by darker metallic ensembles (and I'll get to those stunners!), let's take a look at the lighter side with the spring tones that brought levity to the red carpet.

Kerry Washington stayed true to MiuMiu in her fresh coral column gown.  The jeweled embellishments at the top added the perfect amount of sparkle.  Jessica Chastain looked every bit the bombshell in an impeccably tailored Armani dress.  Her choice of red lipstick was key to pulling together the rose gold hue with her skin tone. Charlize Theron made a dramatic entrance in winter-white Dior.  The peplum waist and her new pixie cut enhanced the modern silhouette.

Finally, Jennifer Lawrence, arguably the woman of the night, commanded the red carpet expertly in a Dior gown from the Spring/Summer collection. It was the perfect choice for a once-in-a-lifetime moment (and who else could make falling up stairs look so glam?).  When it comes to the Oscars, it's go big or go home, and Jennifer Lawrence's risk paid off with the simple texture of the dress and exaggerated full drop-waist skirt.  Her backwards Chopard necklace highlighted the dramatic train and is a trend worth trying if you have a special occasion coming up!  The competition was fierce, but I chose Jennifer as my best-dressed Oscar nominee.  Stay tuned to see who I chose for my best-dressed Oscar guest.

Speaking of Oscar guests, I was pleased to see that one of my Oscar gown predictions showed up at the awards!  Samantha Barks, a gorgeous and talented actress who I fell in love with when I saw the film Les Miserables, wore the teal Jenny Packham during one of the most highly-anticipated performances of the night: the Les Miserables musical medley.  She added a sparkling brooch to the high slit and she looked simply stunning!

What were your favorite looks from Oscars night?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar Gown Contenders from NYFW

It would be an understatement to say that I'm extremely excited about the upcoming Oscars.  Ever since I can remember, my mom and I have watched the red carpet styles intently, comparing our favorite looks. If you love fashion and entertainment, this is a day to look forward to all year: a time when the most gorgeous custom couture gowns and sparkling jewels adorn the brightest stars of the silver screen.  It may sound like all fantasy, but the truth is that these actors work hard on their craft, and I also make it a point to see most of the nominated films in the weeks leading up to the event so that I can make informed decisions on that oh-so-important play at home Oscar ballot!  Also, to know the drama and politics that go on with stylist angling for the best designers and some dress choices being made at the very last minute, it's as fun to predict the acting winners as it is the style winners!

Traditionally, you can predict which designer certain actresses will wear on the red carpet based on past choices or associations with specific houses.  For example, Natalie Portman in Rodarte or more currently, nominee Jennifer Lawrence in Dior.  Also, it's likely that many of the gowns we'll see will be from the Spring/Summer collections.  However since the Fall/Winter shows are happening now, I chose some Oscar-worthy designs from New York Fashion Week that I think would look great on the red carpet!

Cocochic Oscar Gown Contenders Fashion

First up, my favorite designer, Christian Siriano: his tulle and sequin frock is youthful and on trend with the shorter hemline and mesh paneling, yet dramatic enough for the Oscars.  Zac Posen's off-the shoulder satin gown boasts a dramatic neckline and a scarlet hue that is always an awards-season hit.  Badgley Mischka's all over sequin dress is a universally flattering shape in the color of the year: emerald.  Jenny Packham's navy gown has a high slit, and if this year's previous awards shows are any indication, showing a lot of leg is the way to go!  Naeem Khan's intricate beading paired with the long flowing cream skirt is a romantic look looks very Oscar-worthy. Finally, Oscar de la Renta, a red carpet go-to designer, has created a stately and modern silhouette with his purple peplum gown.  As soon as I saw this, I immediately imagined it on nominee Jessica Chastain - it isn't a color we've seen her in before and this would really pop with her gorgeous red locks!  With the right hair, makeup and jewelry, I could see many of the dresses in recent collections glittering on Oscar night!

What do you think your favorite stars will wear to the Academy Awards?  Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at AngelHowlett where I will be live documenting my favorite looks and moments as they happen on Sunday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NYFW Trend Report: Part Three, Pop of Neon

One of my favorite elements I noticed as I was New York Fashion Week trend-spotting was the way a little pop of neon turned up in many ensembles going down the runways.  The unexpected shot of bright color against otherwise muted Fall/Winter color schemes was exciting!

J. Mendel added character to an otherwise muted palette with striking cobalt pumps.  Louise Goldin's flash of lime took her modern skirt to a new level.  The orange piping on Altuzarra's collared sweater shows that even the smallest bit of neon can upgrade a look. At Rag & Bone, each look had stellar color combinations that turned up jewel tones with complementary neon hues.

What I truly love about this trend is how easy it is to incorporate into your own personal style in the coming seasons.  I am all about lengthening the wearability of the clothing I invest in, and when a typically Summer-season neon piece can be carried over into Fall and Winter - it's a win-win!  Try it yourself by layering a bright pink collared top under a beige sweater or take that yellow belt and cinch a gray jacket with it!  Not only will the look be modern and chic, but you'll find the bright color can even lighten your mood in the Fall and Winter months!

How will you incorporate a pop of neon into your wardrobe?

NYFW Trend Report: Part Two: Straight to the Point

I don't usually post on hair trends, however the way that designers choose to style the models' hair, makeup and nails for fashion shows is a key element that can make or break a collection!

I couldn't ignore the pattern that was developing as I watched the various New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter shows: sleek, straight hair (often parted down the middle) was a constant!  Often achieved with a flat iron and pomade or hair spray to tame any flyaways, this simple hair style allows the clothes to speak for themselves.

At Yigal Azrouel and Tracy Reese, models' hair was allowed to have some unfinished and multilayered ends, to enhance the laid-back cool of the designs.  Perennial American sportswear fashion houses DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger chose to keep the straight, center-parted hair off of the model's faces to complement the fresh and polished looks of their collections.

How do you switch up your hairstyle to accompany your personal style?

NYFW Trend Report: Part One, Thanks for Mutton!

It's the best time of the year: Awards Season and the debut of the Fall/Winter Ready to Wear collections!  I haven't posted in a while, but be sure I've been focused on New York, London & Milan Fashion Weeks and will of course be posting about Oscars style in the coming weeks.

One of my many favorite things to do while reviewing the latest Fashion Week shows is to find a correlation between the collections- as these are key indicators of the upcoming style trends.

A major structural element that I noticed for Fall/Winter 2013 is the dolman/mutton sleeve.  This exaggerated silhouette creates a roomier yet architectural arm which results in a very modern look.  Some varying ways that designers styled this trend are highlighted below.

At Rebecca Minkoff, the style is parlayed into a more wearable option, even suitable for the office.  At Lacoste, their traditionally sporty styles got an update featuring the dolman/mutton look with colorblocking.  Alexander Wang displayed his avant garde origami-like sleeves with matching headwear and fur boxing gloves.  At Carmen Marc Valvo, this trend is complemented with a high-waisted sequin skirt for an elegant take on the silhouette.

Will you be working this trend into your wardrobe?  I'll leave you with this quote by the amazing Zac Posen: "This season, there's a leaner line- more emphasis on the shoulders, less on the cinched waist."