The Little Black List: Best of 2015

The last 365 days flew by, but the following ladies proved they knew how to rock a dress! Here are our editors’ favorite fashion looks of the past year:

1. Gone Girl Rosamund Pike is Glorious in Givenchy rosamund-pike-22. blake-lively-17Blake Lively Continues to Prove She’ll Never Need a Stylist

3. Lupita Nyong’o is Crowned Queen of Cannes & Master of the TwirlOpening Ceremony & "La Tete Haute" Premiere - The 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival

4. Reese reese-witherspoon-6Witherspoon is Anything but Basic in Black & White

5. Rihanna Demonstrates the “Art of Couture” in Guo Pei at the Met Galarihanna-1

6. Zendaya’s Unreal Cuteness Results in a Recreated Barbiezendaya-17. Sienna Miller Sports “Oscar” to the Oscarssienna-miller-2

8. Charlize Theron is Divine in Diorcharlize-theron-9

9. Kate Middleton Hints at Baby’s Gender in Last Outing before Charlotte’s Arrivalkate-middleton-47 10. Caitlyn Jenner Proves to be the Best Dressed Lady in the Kardashian Clancaitlyn-jenner-1

2014 Golden Globe Rundown

tina-fey-5-amy-poehler-3The 2014 Golden Globes began the real kickoff for winter award shows, and our favorite funny ladies, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (pictured, top), killed it – with humor and glamor.  This above photo was our favorite look the two best friends donned last night: Tina wore a red bustled Carolina Herrera gown (although it photographed pink here), while Amy, who not only picked up her first award for playing Leslie Knope on one of our favorite shows, Parks & Recreation, but she also looked better than she ever has in a Stella McCartney black column gown with subtle white edging, and diamond earrings.  And it seems the hostess wasn’t the only one donning black and white!  Zosia Mamet, Jenna Dewan, Laura Carmichael, Hayden Panettiere, Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Allison Williams, Heidi Klum, and Julia Roberts all sported the classic contrasting combo, as well.  Roberts’ Dolce & Gabbana gown was a Lupita-Nyong'o-1julia-roberts-28little unusual (pictured, above right) but we thought it was sophisticated.  It probably would have looked better on a more mature actress, but we still liked it.  It seems if you weren’t wearing the popular color combo, actresses were either wearing black, white or red – the two biggest trends at last year’s Golden Globe and SAG Awards.  Even though many attendees wore similar hues, we did like a lot of the gowns at the Globes, but no one did the color red like newcomer and first time nominee Lupita Nyong’o (pictured, above left), who looked absolutely lovely in a caped, scarlet Ralph Lauren gown.  It reminded us of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Tom Ford gown at the 2012 Oscars.  She made wearing red on the red carpet look easy, when it most definitely is not!  Another newcomer, Margot Robbie (pictured, below left) turned everyone’s heads in a jewel-encrusted white Gucci gown, and emerald Christian Louboutin “Volpi 150” heels, which theSkinnyStiletto featured as a 2012 “Wednesday’s Shoe,” during “Irish Week!”  The hostesses with the “mostess,” Tina & Amy, stayed with the same designers all night, and wore the exact same hues last year when they hosted the 2013 Golden Globes, but this year, the funny girls switched colors (pictured, below right).  Both sported form-fitting gowns: Fey wore a burgundy Carolina Herrera silk, beaded V-neck, and Poehler chose a deep teal gown by McCartney, which featured lace margot-robbie-1tina-fey-6-amy-poehler-4panels down the side.  Poehler’s political competition, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (pictured, bottom right), looked fabulous in a bright red Narciso Rodriguez halter gown (it’s unbelievable that she turned 53 today)!  Our final favorite was Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad.  While we’re not big on mermaid gowns or metallic, the beautiful Brit pulled off both while donning this sexy silver creation, Chopard jewels, and showing off that creamy complexion of hers.  It’s hard to believe she’s 40!  (Remember girls, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!)  The only two dresses our editors really didn’t like were Julie Bowen’s odd red/purple velvet creation, and Olivia Wilde’s skintight green gown by Gucci.  The always gorgeous Bowen looked like she was wearing a little girl’s Christmas dress from 1994, while we were stunned by how many fashion editors liked Wilde’s hideous dress.  She looked like the pregnant alien Sofia Vergara dressed up as for Halloween on Modern Family.  You want answers on how to flatter the pregnant form?  Justkate-beckinsale-5 ask Kate Middleton and Kerry Washington.Julia-Louis-Dreyfus-2 Onto the SAG Awards!

The Little Black List: Best of 2013

Since 2014 is upon us, it’s time for theSkinnyStiletto‘s “Best of 2013” list, where we name our ten favorite looks of the past year.  2013 included two lovely pregnant ladies, lots of white, and even Taylor Swift (she can’t take a joke, but she can certainly wear a dress.)

1. Diane Kruger is Graphically Glamorousdiane-kruger-9

2. Taylor Swift’s Clothes Grow Up (Now it’s her Turn)taylor-swift-1

3. The Pregnant Princess & the Polka DotsKate-Middleton-424. Georgina Chapman Redefines Ethereal in her Own LabelGeorgina-Chapman-15. Marion Cotillard is Beautiful in French Bluemarion-cotillard-66. Michelle Dockery is a Real Life Ladymichelle-dockery-47. Our First Lady Michelle Obama in Real Life

8. Shenae Grimes is a Bridal “Black Beauty”Shenae-grimes-29. Tina Fey & Amy Poehler are Fashion-Forward and Funnytina-fey-4-amy-poehler-2 10. Blake Lively Could Double as a “Black Swan”blake-lively-11

2013 Oscar Rundown

The 85th Academy Award Show was probably the first red carpet event in a while where no particular gown was extremely exciting to our editors on any of the main starlets.  We’ve mentioned in the past that we don’t really like featuring outfits of people at award shows who aren’t really affiliated with the industry (like actors at the Grammy’s, or Heidi Klum at the Oscars, or Kim Kardashian at anything…)  But this year our two favorite gowns were on guests of attendees!  The first was Harvey Weinstein’s young wife, Marchesa founder Georgina Chapman (pictured, top left), who looked ethereal in a flowing white gown with a jewel-encrusted top by, who else, Marchesa.  She’s expecting their second child in a month, and you could barely tell she’s pregnant!  Absolutely stunning.  It’s no wonder all of her brand’s gowns are incredible.  The second was Jamie Foxx’s beautiful teenaged daughter, Corinne Bishop (pictured, top right).  Since Foxx is kind of ageless, we thought she was a date at first, but we were stunned to learn that Bishop is only 19-years-old, and Jamie’s child!  She wore a gorgeous blue chiffon gown with a crisscross bodice and loose waves.  Future supermodel, perhaps?  We thought Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck looked divine together (as they always do) in Gucci (pictured, above left).  The couple that dresses together, stays together!  (Not really, but we hope these two will go the distance.)  Ben is sporting a Gucci tuxedo, while Jennifer wore a plum-colored gown with a ruffled train by the same designer.  She is a girl whose complexion looks great in any hue.  Her husband, Ben, was snubbed for a Best Director nomination, but did get to collect the Best Picture Award for his film, Argo.  Les Miserables newcomer Samantha Barks looked both lovely and sexy at the same time in a V-cut black gown by Valentino (pictured, above right).  The Irish beauty finished off her look with smoky eyes, swept-back hair, and a Waris for Forevermark diamond pendant.  She was our favorite soloist of the film, and we were surprised she didn’t get more credit for her powerful performance of “On My Own.”  Especially considering it was her first film!  Zoe Saldana looked lovely in her Alexis Mabille Couture choice (pictured, below left).  She wore this editor’s three favorite shades – black, white and gray, but did so in an unusual way.  Her multicolored train was definitely our favorite of the night.  The lace bodice was truly beautiful, upon closer inspection, but the ruffled trim, belt and ribbon were all a little much – a simple ribbon around the waist, or nothing at all, would have been more than sufficient.  Her stunning waves, and Neil Lane pearl earrings were perfect – Zoe just needed a little darker lipstick.  Our favorite “F.R.I.E.N.D.” Jennifer Aniston (pictured, above right) wore something a little out of her comfort zone in this bright red Valentino ballgown.  We thought it looked nice on her, and while her hair and make-up look pretty, we’d like to see her California waves in a pretty updo one day…  And now for the worst (although this year’s red carpet was mostly just boring, not particularly bad) – Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman did not glitter in gold, although Catherine Zeta-Jones did in Zuhair Murad.  Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams and Amanda Seyfried were all washed out in their pale frocks.  Cutie-pie, and new mom, Reese Witherspoon did not flatter her shape in a bright blue Louis Vuitton dress, which somehow made her bust seem low and her hips seem huge, which is not the case.  But the worst-dressed of the night had to be anyone with a breast issue – Brandi Glanville (a Housewife of sorts apparently) nearly fell out of her ill-fitting beige gown, while Anne Hathaway’s nips were front and center in her Prada dress.  Not cute.  Our final favorite of the night was the Belle of the Ball, (and our current girl crush of the past year) Jennifer Lawrence.  The 22-year-old (pictured, bottom) won her first Oscar for Best Actress wearing (and falling in) this blush Dior ballgown.  It’s young and pretty, just like she is, but it actually wasn’t our absolute favorite (even though she is).  We loved her smokey eye make-up and long pearl necklace draped across her back. <3  Even though the 85th Oscar ceremony, and the dresses, were just okay, we’re already excited for next year!

Top 10 Vintage Wedding Gowns

In honor of Valentine’s Day this Thursday, we’ve created lists of our favorite, and least favorite, bridal wear on film!  And what’s more romantic than a wedding?!  (Probably a lifetime of commitment, but you usually have to get married first to do so!)  Our first list is our Top 10 favorite vintage gowns on film.

1. Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright), The Princess Bride Technically, this is a made-up era (since it’s just a storybook), but it’s our absolute favorite old-fashioned wedding gown on film!  Robin Wright played the title character of a fantasy novel being read to a tiny Fred Savage by his grandpa.  Even if her dress is imaginary, it’s stunning nonetheless.  Legendary costume designer Phyllis Dalton, who won Oscars for Henry V and Doctor Zhivago, created the medieval wardrobe for this 1987 film.  Princess Buttercup is about to be married off to an evil prince, but her peasant-turned-pirate lover, Westley, interrupts to save the day!  Her bridal gown is simply gorgeous.  It’s an empire-waist gown of intricate pearl work and soft white flocked velvet with just a hint of blue.  Accented by Wright’s flowing waves and probably the prettiest tiara of all-time, it’s no wonder two men are fighting over Buttercup!  Plus, Andre the Giant gets to be her Maid of Honor!  :)  “As you wish…” <32. Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams), The Notebook Rachel McAdams looks good in anything you put her in, so it’s no surprise she looked impeccable as a 1940s lovelorn woman in this 2004 romance with former boyfriend, Ryan Gosling.  (Watching this movie now breaks our hearts, because we just want them to reunite!)  The clothing in this film was designed by Karyn Wagner.  In this scene, Rachel’s character, Allie, is getting fitted for her wedding gown for her upcoming society nuptials and sees something in the newspaper that stuns her – the love of her life has completed his wish by refurbishing his formerly beat-up dream home.  She’s the only part that’s missing is his soul mate, Allie Hamilton.  This editor’s dream wedding gown is Pierce Brosnan’s wife Keely’s stunning lace gown from their 2001 Irish wedding, so I obviously loved the old-fashioned lace McAdams’ sports here.  She may be getting fitted as a bride to another man, but she still looks gorgeous and straight out of the post-WWII era.  Ugh, we don’t want to hear about another celebrity wedding unless it’s McAdams and Gosling eloping in the Carolina setting where they met.

3. Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn), Funny FaceThis is probably the most recognizable bridal look on our list.  Here’s our icon, Audrey Hepburn, in the film Funny Face.  She’s actually not getting married in this scene, but modeling a wedding dress in her new-found career.  The tea length gown, delicate lace gloves, and tiny veil epitomize high-end bridal fashion of the 1950s.  Legendary costume designer Edith Head, and longtime outfitter of the starlet Hubert de Givenchy created the clothing in this famous fashion film.  (Fun Fact: Givenchy didn’t receive his due credit – or the Oscar that came with it – for his stunning work on Hepburn’s earlier film Sabrina, so for this 1957 movie, Hepburn personally made sure that Givenchy would receive a film credit.  No wonder she remained one of his most loyal friends for the rest of their lives!)

4. Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt), The Young VictoriaThis movie is a dramatized version of the early years of the United Kingdom’s Queen Victoria, and while not all the facts are correct, it’s still a great movie with a powerful performance by Emily Blunt as the title character.  Costume designer Sandy Powell won her third Academy Award for her amazing work on this film, and based the the gown on the real queen’s dress.  It’s described as, “An ivory duchess silk satin dress with antique lace detail as well as an ivory silk satin train with silk flowers sewn on. Finished with an antique cream silk lace veil.”  With a flowered wreath upon her head, and adorned with royal jewels, it’s hard to believe these photos of Emily Blunt are from this decade!  She and co-star Rupert Friend look right at home in their 19th century roles (pictured, below) as one of the most famous couples in history, Victoria and Albert, who are easy to root for.5. Maria Von Trapp (Julie Andrews), The Sound of Music The plot of this 1965 film sounds so ridiculous, it has to be true: an adventurous, freethinking and musically-inclined nun becomes a live-in tutor and nanny to a military captain’s seven unruly children, eventually breaking the rug-rats and bonds with them, decides to leave the church to become their full-time mother, after falling in love for their rigid father, and creates a family singing group.  Oh!  And they escape the Nazis!  Sounds made-up, but it’s actually the incredibly true story of the Von Trapp Family, and it’s one of the greatest movies ever made.  Julie Andrews plays the lead character, Maria, and when she marries Captain Von Trapp (played by the dashing Christopher Plummer), she doesn’t look so bad herself!  Here, Maria is getting married on the cusp of World War II, but in reality, the couple was already married and on baby #3 by the time Hitler took power.  This gown has a very 1930s/40s feel with the high collar and long sleeves, and the veil was an astounding fourteen feet long!  Andrews makes one heck of a glamorous nun!

6. Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestOne of Johnny Depp’s pirate movies certainly doesn’t seem like a likely candidate where a vintage wedding gown would be found, but Keira Knightley gets to sport a gorgeous gold ballgown in this Disney sequel!  Costume designer Penny Rose created this stunning bridal outfit of golden silk taffeta and tons of beaded pearl work.  Accented by a long white veil, a bouquet of calla lilies, and lots of raindrops, she makes one magical, and tragic, bride.  The editors of The Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes wrote a lovely analysis of this memorable gown.7. Margaret “Clover” Russell (Angelina Jolie), The Good ShepherdThis film is about the birth of the Office of Strategic Services and its segue into becoming the CIA – not exactly a romance.  Unfortunately, this wedding scene is also a bit of a sham.  Without revealing too much, Matt Damon’s character is trapped into marriage by a classmate’s wild sister named Clover, played by Angelina Jolie.  Interestingly enough, we’ve seen another beautiful costume Jolie wears in the 2006 film mentioned in top wedding dress lists, but it’s not her bridal gown.  It’s the outfit she’s wearing when she meets Damon’s character for the first time.  Here, she’s wearing a classic 1930s cream-colored gown with a slightly poofed shoulder and lovely satin buttons at the wrist.  Costume designer Ann Roth commented, “I knew a lot of Clovers in my life.  They went to finishing school; there was a glamor about them, but it was very homegrown.”  Clover looks like a movie star, but in reality ends up having the personality of a hag!  Poor Matt!

8. Cinzia Zaccardi (Sophia Loren), Houseboat In this 1958 film, Sophia Loren plays an Italian girl named Cinzia looking to get away from her overbearing father, and ends up living on a houseboat as a housekeeper, or a nanny, or whatever to widower Cary Grant and his three children.  It’s actually pretty hilarious, despite being nearly 60 years old, and definitely worth renting.  We’re pretty much ruining the ending by showing you this scene, but it seems Cary Grant’s character likes having an Italian sexpot with a smart mouth live on his houseboat, and they marry.  Cinzia sports a beautiful, long-sleeved white lace gown, fitted at her tiny waist and adorned with satin white buttons down the front, accompanied by an elaborate head piece and a short veil.  It’s very traditional-looking, and perfect for an Italian-American wedding during the 1950s.  No surprise here, the stunning clothing Cinzia brings with her from Italy were designed by the legendary costume designer Edith Head.  Fun Fact: During the filming of this comedy, Carlo Ponti obtained a divorce in Mexico from his first wife, and married Sophia Loren by proxy while she made the movie in Hollywood, even though Loren was actually dating co-star Cary Grant at the time!  That must have made things awkward onset…9. Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire (Keira Knightley), The DuchessOne of our dedicated readers told us we should just feature Keira Knightley in period clothing, and for real – this girl can wear a dress.  Any dress!  Be it her stunning gown in Atonement, or costumes from the 19th century, this Brit looks drop dead gorgeous in anything.  In this film, she plays Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, who is married young, and finds she’s much spunkier than her very cold husband.  In reality, the Duchess was nicknamed the “Empress of Fashion,” in her day.  Costume designer Michael O’Connor says of the 1700s dress, “It’s the second costume you see in the film – a creamy silk with lots of decoration. It’s a way of being flamboyant, but not as ostentatious as if she were married in the presence of the king and queen. It’s a grown-up dress; it says she’s apprehensive about her future.”  Unfortunately the marriage seems to cause nothing but heartbreak for the rest of her life, but at least she has several beautiful daughters, and her vast interest in politics to keep her busy – as well as a steamy affair with future prime minister Charles Grey!  Guess she really did have a passion for politics! 😉

10. Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), Marie AntoinetteThis is another historical film about a European queen during her youth – although it doesn’t end as happily for Marie Antoinette as it does for Queen Victoria (the beheading puts a damper on things).  The Austrian princess, played by Kirsten Dunst, is married off to the heir of the French monarchy, and lives a life of extreme luxury at her peasants’ expense.  Her wedding was no exception.  She dons this intricate 18th century gown, trimmed with gold, lace and bows – perfect, considering the bride was only fourteen-years-old in real life!  The aesthetics of this Sofia Coppola movie are so beautiful, we’ll eventually write an article on all of the costumes featured in the 2006 film, but for right now we’re just showing her bridal wear.  Italian costume designer Milena Canonero won her third Oscar for her historical and elaborate work on the movie.

2011 Oscar Rundown

This year’s Oscar ceremony was hosted by two of Hollywood’s hottest young stars and we must admit – the youth of this show were definitely dominating our “Best Dressed” list.  Our two favorite gowns were Reese Witherspoon in Armani Privé (pictured, top left) and Mila Kunis in Elie Saab Haute Couture, (pictured, top right).  Witherspoon looked very sophisticated in black and white, with a 1960s up-do and Neil Lane diamond and emerald drop earrings.  Kunis was just stunning in lavender lace and Neil Lane diamonds, as well.  Twenty-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (pictured, left) was red-hot in Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo shoes.  Very simple accessories, yet exquisite hair and makeup.  Cate Blanchett was daring, as always, but looked absolutely fantastic in lilac Givenchy Haute Couture (pictured, right).  Celine Dion (pictured, bottom center) was unbelievably pretty in Armani Privé, considering she just had twin boys… And the hostess with the most-ess, Anne Hathaway, looked beautiful in white and crystal-embroidered Couture Givenchy (pictured, bottom right), a scarlet Atelier Vesace gown (pictured, bottom left), and easily the best pumps of the night – Brian Atwood Swarovski-crystal stilettos during her musical number.  Overall, theSkinnyStiletto was kind of bored with the other bright colors, sparkly nudes and mermaid style dresses.  These gals did it best – and their famous counterparts should mimic their commitment to being adventurous and glamorous, without sacrificing true style – or at least drop the trends everyone else is wearing.