Emmy Awards 2014: #WWTW (What Will They Wear)

We've only managed to take a few breaths and catch a few z's after last night's VMA extravaganza and already it's time for a major (and more serious, if I may add) awards ceremony - the Emmys. The best of what's able to be seen on TV will be honored tonight and the nominated ladies span from up-and-coming fashionistas (Lizzy Caplan and Lena Dunham) and TV royalty (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Julianna Margulies) to bonafied superstars (Julia Roberts) so anyone who's even a bit into fashion should be quite excited. Without further ado, let's start with my picks for what we'll maybe see in a few hours strutting down the Emmys red carpet.

Dockers has been a fashion darling ever since the first season of Downton Abbey and has worn basically every major designer to various red carpets which is why she is sort of difficult to predict for. This Oscar de la Renta number is regal and daring enough for this British actress. I'm sure Lady Mary would also approve.

Much like Dockery, Claire Danes has also collaborated with many established designers for the numerous awards shows she attended which is why she's a fashion wild card. Last year she stunned in Armani Privé in her own personal nod to old Hollywood glamour, so I think this year she may take a more contemporary approach, perhaps in this gorgeous deep green lace Lanvin gown.

Robin Wright's natural beauty doesn't need many sartorial additions to make her stand out on a red carpet...she just appears and shuts it down. Television's resident Lady MacBeth could wow the crowd in this gorgeous simple Altuzarra T-shirt dress and end up on pretty much every best dressed list out there.

The eyes of every fashion afficionado will be fixed on the young Lizzy Caplan as she steps on the red carpet. She has had a winning streak in terms of fashion choices in the past few months teaching every fellow actress a lesson or two in sartorial diversity and youthful edge. I believe that this Christopher Kane cut-out masterpiece would be considered a home run.

Kerry Washington has basically worn every possible type of dress on the red carpet (let's not forget the baby bump/crop top combo from this year's SAG Awards), so I see no reason why she couldn't rock the hell out of this Prabal Gurung orange masterpiece.

Julianna Margulies has a certain regal air around her and nothing screams "I'm the queen of television" more than this Andrew Gn gown.

I know I'm probably standing alone, but I for one saw more than a few references to Game of Thrones in the last Chanel Haute Couture collection, which is why this ivory ankle-length dress is an expected choice for Lena Headey.

The quirkiest of tonight's nominees is surely Lena Dunham. Usually causing polarizing comments from (self-proclaimed) fashion experts, she could shut everyone up if she appeared in this exquisite Erdem dress.

Taylor Schilling's model-like frame and fashion enthusiasm could definitely pull off this intricate quilted and color-blocked Roksanda piece with enviable ease.

Resident awards show funny gal Amy Poehler usually goes for simple monochromatic dresses and looks great every time. The sartorial equivalent of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" could very well be this Ralph Lauren lesson in ivory simplicity.

The actual power Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character in Veep lacks, she could make up for with this fierce razor-sharp structured Antonio Berardi gown.

Considering he used her voice as the soundtrack for his fall show, Marc Jacobs will probably have the honor of dressing Jessica Lange for tonight's festivities. This heavily embroidered, softly colored 60's inspired piece could put a spell on everyone present.

Having had a few positive experiences with Miuccia Prada, Sarah Paulson might go to her for help for tonight's red carpet look. This particular dress (knee-length or floor-length) would go very nicely with Sarah's sensibilites and the character she's nominated for.

America's sweetheart, Julia Roberts, never tries too hard on the red carpet, yet always manages to leave the best possible impression. It must be the smile. This simple Dior dress ensures ease and enables her infectiously happy personality to come out. 

I've been a fan of Kristen Wiig's style for a while now. The woman isn't afraid to take risks which is something I can truly appreciate. Her cool girl attitude could turn this softly colored Valentino into the fashion statement of the evening.

The same as last night, I'll be live-tweeting all through the red carpet and awards show so follow me on @papernotplain and let's hang out!


MTV VMAs 2014: #WWTW (What Will They Wear)

I've always thought of the MTV Video Music Awards as the naughty younger sister of awards shows. The performances (code: TWERKING) and fashion outings (Miley, again) seen only last year can attest to that. To put it shortly: you can wear whatever the hell you want and it almost certainly won't be deemed inappropriate because if there's one place to be racy and raucuous - it's the VMAs.

Although Miley isn't scheduled to perform, I recommend you tune in in a few hours because the VMAs are an awards show that rarely disappoints in terms of topics to go through the next day at the water cooler in your office or on social media. One of them, hopefully, will be a crazy red carpet look provided by some of the ladies in attendance tonight and I've taken it upon myself to make a few predictions on what they might wear. Right off the bat, I must warn you that I'm not very good at this, but I do have a lot of fun browsing collections and using my imagination so why not share it with you guys. Let's start, shall we?


Considering the last time Beyoncé performed at the VMAs, she ended her song unbuttoning her Dolce & Gabbana jacket and rubbing her pregnant belly therefore letting the whole world know the era of Blue Ivy was upon us, you can't blame folks for expecting greatness tonight...on stage AND on the red carpet (if she decides to walk it). Although for her last major appearances at The Grammys and Brit Awards she chose to work with fairly unknown designers, I'm hoping that tonight, as she receives her Video VanGuard award, she will do so in a show-stopping Atelier Versace number only a handful of women could pull off (and if Queen Bey isn't one of them, I don't know who is). The safer route, in the form of a simple black Gucci sheath with interesting detailing, will also be welcomed.

Taylor Swift

If you take a moment to think about it, every Taylor Swift album comes with a slight style change and tonight's performance is the world premiere of her new song Shake It Off (the first single off the new album 1989) so the question poses itself: can/should we expect a new T Swizzie on the red carpet? Don't you worry, because I've got options for both cases. The gunmetal Monique Lhuillier is sexy and edgy and right on the verge of unexpected, whereas the gorgeous J. Mendel mini with intricate and vivid orange detailing would be treading into new sartorial territory.

Nicki Minaj

In the past year we've seen a complete style 180 from Nicki Minaj. Rainbow colored wigs have been replaced by sleek black ones and Hello Kitty-like ensembles were, apparently, only a stepping stone to McQueen gowns. A body hugging asymmetric Hervé Legér by Max Azria dress would complement Nicki's well known curves, while this 60's inspired Versace mini with snakeskin details would be a nice change of pace (and not to mention appropriate considering the title of her latest single).

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea is the hottest thing to happen to hip-hop music since, well, Nicki Minaj, but this Aussie feels as comfortable in couture gowns as she does in crop tops and sneakers. The only question is: Will she go classy (in Elie Saab, for example) or cool (in it Fausto Puglisi's shirt and skirt pairing)?

Rita Ora

You can say a lot of things about Rita Ora, but one thing you absolutely cannot deny is that girl's love and passion for fashion. In the past year she's been experimenting with various styles and designers never managing to let go of that platinum blonde / red lip combo (tonight, perhaps?). She's probably tonight's biggest wild card, but her starring role in Roberto Cavalli's fall ad campaign makes this hot pink gown a very reasonable choice. Pairing things down would definitely be fresh for Rita, which is why I'd like to see her in this simple, yet smouldering Alexandre Vauthier dress (despite last year's debacle).

Nina Dobrev

Rarely one to get it wrong on the red carpet, Nina Dobrev can deliver tonight's role as presenter in a pretty Jenny Packham number or a more dramatic and chic couture piece by one of her favorites, Zuhair Murad. Whatever she chooses, there's no doubt she'll look stunning in it.

Lucy Hale

Tonight's pre-show host, Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale, is cute as a button and so are her fashion choices. A short dress is probably the safest bet possible, whether it's a color blocked Sachin + Babi number or a street-art inspired floral mini by one of her favorites - Dior.


The fashion world definitely loves Lorde and it seems the feeling is mutual. She brings her highly intelectual approach in songwriting to her personal style usually choosing smart and sombre pieces such as this embellished Lanvin dress, but it would be nice to see her break out of her comfort zone and there's no other designer a girl can do it with more comfortably than Karl Lagerfeld and this Chanel beauty from resort.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani is surely one of the best dressed and most stylish women of our time. Not only looking incredible on every red carpet she steps on, she actually uses them as vehicles to push the boundaries of what is cool and trendy. Her fun personality would be reflected in this Stella McCartney jumpsuit, as well as the graphic Balmain number. 

Taylor Schilling

Considering the Primetime Emmy Awards are being held tomorrow, Taylor Schilling definitely has bigger fish to fry, but why shouldn't this fashionista on-the-rise use this occasion to show us a more playful side before the ball gown I'm sure we'll be treated to in about 24 hours? This monochromatic Thakoon or intricately woven Roksanda dress could do the trick.

P.S. I'll be live-tweeting from @papernotplain and posting in real-time.


Runway Review: Lanvin Spring 2014

Everybody loves Lanvin! And why wouldn't you? Alber Elbaz's collections are stocked with little gems in stunning colors, flattering shapes and that unmistakable va va voom.

This season it was all about metallics. When the girls were strutting down the runway under the flourescent lighting, they shined like those previously mentioned gems. Elbaz opened his show with berry hued stunners such as pleated, knee-length dresses cinched at the waist with wide belts or, to the opposite end of the tailoring spectrum, drop-waisted flapper-like dresses.

I believe that one of the reasons women are so infatuated with Lanvin is that season after season they're offered total looks that they can incorporate in their respective closets. Some of the pieces that'll be flying off the shelves include gorgeously draped tulip skirts and easy to wear metallic jumpsuits.

For the tamer of Elbaz fans, there was an incredible offering of signature monochromatic looks such as impeccably tailored LBDs each woman should add to their collection.

If you're more of a pants gal, you will be wearing metallic slacks come next spring. Slimmer cuts (a la Hedi) came in mesmerizing textured fabrics that will take you from coorporate meetings to cocktail hour with basically no effort necessary.

Red carpet dresses were also quite diverse. From a pink ruffled piece (with a metallic sheen, obviously) worn by Edie Campbell to the ultra tight and sexy bronze dress seen on Soo Joo Park, they covered the entire spectrum of a woman's sartorial personality.

To make a long story short, Alber Elbaz proved to us yet again that the Lanvin woman - is every woman.

Red Carpet Wishlist

Photos from Style.com


Runway Review: Balmain Spring 2014

The 80s seem to be a creatively lucrative era for Balmain's designer Olivier Rousteing. After last season's Dynasty inspired collection, this time around he decided to mix 90s Chanel with signature 80s shapes to great effect, I might add.

Although I (perhaps foolishly) considered houndstooth a very wintery print, Rousteing opened his spring show with a kimono-like houndstooth leather jacket and a swingin' skirt in the same fabric.

Adored by many fashionistas for his ultra-cool streetwear, Olivier delivered in that manner as well. The one word I'd use to describe it would be Rihanna. Literally, the woman could get (and by get I really do mean get, not buy) every single piece and rock it as only she can. For example, leather baseball jackets, dungarees and gingham slacks are begging to take the streets by storm.

The aforementioned 90s Chanel influence was visible in pieces such as a blush pink skirt suit and a leather quilted jacket with large golden buttons. Rousteing gave them a personal touch by accessorizing with huge chain chokers and cuffs (Rih, take note).

Nothing says streetwear more than denim and there was plenty of it on show at Balmain. From an off-the-shoulder top with multiple chains applied to the street style magnet that are dungarees. Just take your pick.

Although every single look that we've seen on the runway is more than appropriate for a red carpet outing, the ones that will surely attract the spotlight most had feathers. Because nothing says party time like marabou, right?

This may not have been the most cutting edge fashion we've seen (or will see) this month, but it definitely represented Rousteing's vision for Balmain pretty well. Hopefully, it will move on to another decade soon.

Red Carpet Wishlist

Photos from Style.com

Runway Review: Balenciaga Spring 2014

Rarely has there been more controversy over a designer taking over a major fashion house than Alexander Wang becoming fashion director of Balenciaga. Last season every editor and buyer was sitting at the edge of their seat at Wang's debut show and left with a smile on their face because the collection was a great success, both creatively and commercially. After an equally acclaimed resort show, those same editors and buyers could approach this show with a certain amount of confidence knowing that Wang wouldn't let them down. And he surely didn't

After the strict fall/winter collection, Wang loosened things up a bit when it comes to the color palette, not so much the tailoring. I really admire his dedication to the architectural aspect Cristobal Balenciaga is most known for. Even flirty pieces that opened the show such as pastel hued crop tops and shorty shorts had this great volume to them that is unlike anything we've seen this season.

Crisp white, the dominating non-color of the season, ruled at Balenciaga too and so did Wang's fabric of choice - leather. Not so long ago, at his New York Fashion Week presentation, Alexander sent out laser-cut leather shirts and gloves. He continued his fascination with this fabric at Balenciaga, in a more demure and chic way. T-shirt dresses with micro laser-ations (get what I did there?) seemed kind of conservative in the front, but the slits in the back made them interesting and, obviously, sexy.

Alexander Wang also decided to resurrect a trend I hoped was finally gone - the peplum. High waisted cropped pants in an interesting black and white print were adorned with a peplum that was a product of intricate folding (a recurring motif of the collection).

I would never describe any of Wang's collections as romantic, but this one came pretty close. Not only did the pastels throw me off (in good, surprising way), but some of the girls had bows in their hair and not to mention the triplet of corset dresses (satin was also involved).

On the completely opposite side of the spectrum, Wang also showed ultra-chic and, dare I say, perfect tuxedo dresses in black and white. As far as minimalism goes, those were the best specimens of the season.

Alexander ended the show on quite a high note. Short white dresses that resembled architectural masterpieces with transparent white overlays to add a dose of lightness. When Daria Werbowy closed the show in a stunning pale blue, off-the-shoulder dress it was one of those awe-worthy moments I so desperately desired. Thank you, Mr. Wang!

Red Carpet Wishlist

Photos from Style.com