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

Look-of-the-Day

Since theSkinnyStiletto was an a bit of a hiatus last year, we missed one of our favorite events – the Met Costume Gala!  The theme last year was “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.”  He was considered America’s first couturier, so many attendees showed up in, what else, couture!  One of our favorite girls, the legendary Sarah Jessica Parker, showed up in a show-stopping black and white ballgown.  Created by Oscar de la Renta (check out his signature in red on the back), the gown features a fitted black bodice adorned with white buttons, a full gleaming skirt and a geometric black and white windowpane train.  SJP accessorized the look with white evening gloves, and a big, glamorous up-do filled with flowers!  Sadly, the 1st anniversary Mr. de la Rena’s death passed earlier this week, and we found a touching tribute Sarah wrote about her dear friend.  Fun Fact: It was Sarah’s idea to put Oscar’s signature on the back of the dress!  She improves everything!

2012 Oscar Rundown

It’s the biggest red carpet event of the year… the Oscars!  Honestly, after seeing some great gowns at the SAG Awards and Golden Globes this year, we were a little disappointed with a lot of the fashion at the Academy Awards.  We’ll start with our favorites (as always!)  Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured, top left) was bringing it like she did back in the day in this caped Tom Ford creation.  Newcomer and first-time nominee Jessica Chastain (pictured, top right) looked glorious in a gold-embroidered black gown by Alexander McQueen with $2 million worth of Harry Winston yellow diamonds to go with it!  Chastain looked just lovely with her red locks half-up, half-down, which perfectly complemented her strapless dress (just like Blair’s prom gown!)  Penelope Cruz (pictured, below left) looked like she was straight out of 1950s Hollywood in a custom lavender Giorgio Armani gown, perfectly coiffed curls and 114 carats of Chopard diamonds!  E! anchor (and star of one of our own guilty pleasures Giuliana & Bill) Giuliana Rancic (pictured, below right) looked better than most of the people she interviewed in her stunning Tony Ward Spring 2012 couture gown!  She looked phenomenal, especially considering she just recovered from a double mastectomy.  New mom Natalie Portman (pictured, bottom right) looked adorable in her polka-dotted Dior Haute Couture dress (she is the face of Miss Dior), and one large diamond necklace from Harry Winston.  Octavia Spencer (pictured, bottom left) stayed faithful to Tadashi Shoji, wearing a beautifully-embroidered gown and 50-carat Neil Lane diamond earrings that looked like mini chandeliers!  While these girls looked just great, lots of our other favorites disappointed us.  We were bummed Viola Davis didn’t win Best Actress (although Meryl does get robbed nearly every year…), but we were equally disappointed with her ill-fitting Vera Wang gown, after looking gorgeous all season.  Kristen Wiig looks awesome as a brunette, but not in nude; Rooney Mara’s bangs and bondage dresses have got to go; and Emma Stone, take a cue from fellow gorgeous ginger-haired girl, like Jessica Chastain: avoid colors from the red family!  The color of her hair and gown was too close.  We would have preferred black, hunter green or navy on the funny lady.  And from our not-so-favorites?  Angelina Jolie… wow, you picked black again?  Shocking!  While we love the color black probably more than most things on Earth, we get it… so do you.  We did not like the thigh-high slit, red lips and constant posing.  We get it.  You love yourself more than life itself.  Stop shaking your hair like there’s a fan blowing it back.  Jennifer Lopez looked ridiculous with the skin-tight dress, slicked backed hair with a bouffant, and a nip slip to boot.  Otherwise, not much excited us fashion-wise last night other than these fashion stunners.  Better luck next year!  At least the show was entertaining!

Tom Binns: Jewel of the Emerald Isle

Tom Binns is the famous designer behind many of the beautiful baubles First Lady Michelle Obama dons on a regular basis.  Our editors thought it made sense to feature this Irish designer in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.  Binns was born in Belfast, Ireland (the ancestral hometown of our editors, which only endears him to them further), and has been living in Venice Beach, CA for the past few years.  He graduated from Middlesex Polytechnic in 1981 with a degree in jewelry design, and got his start during the “Punk Era” in London.  Binns was influenced by the Dada Movement, and is now considered the pioneer of the “junk-jewelry.”  Aka, he’s an alchemist – he makes garbage into gems.  The low-key designer seems to be making fun of high-priced accessories as often as he… well, makes high-priced accessories.  In his early days, Binns made pirate jewelry for Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s “new romantic” clothing lines, and his love of skulls stayed with him, as he’s made the unusual shape pretty popular with his famous rings.  In 1981, he created his first collection, made entirely of rubber – and his rubber fish bracelets became quite a hit.  He eventually went on to work with other offbeat materials, such as safety pins and nails, as well as beach glass and driftwood for his collaboration with Calvin Klein.  Binns won the Council of Fashion Designers of America Accessory Designer of the Year Award in 2006.  Binns’ most notable fan is the current First Lady.  Michelle Obama has been seen wearing his creations at a party thrown for her by notorious Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, and above at a White House gala.  Binns went on to open his first store in New York in 2009.  Last year, Binns collaborated with Disney Couture for the release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland to make Lewis Carroll-esque pieces.  (One of theSkinnyStiletto‘s favorite style inspirations).  Prices ranged from $100 to $1,500.  The resulting mismatched hearts, teapots, rabbits, and keyholes cemented the idea that the quirky tale was a perfect match for the quirky designer.  Tom Binns is something quite rare in the jewelry industry – original.  It’s no wonder other designers copy his work.  Binns’ pieces are creative, glamorous and fun, and we’re looking forward to his career in the fashion world.  That’s why theSkinnyStiletto crowns him the jewel of the Emerald Isle.

Tom Binns for Disney Couture Alice in Wonderland Necklaces

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.