The BAFTA Awards – Fave Frocks

I just love awards season, I never, ever get bored of seeing beautiful dresses on beautiful people, and last night, at the BAFTAS, there were some exquisite looks on display, with Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan showing off their best awards season looks so far.

The BAFTAs is a great mixture of Hollywood royalty, up and coming talent, and the cream of British film and television. It makes an eclectic mix and ensures that the fashion is fresh and interesting. So we get Hollywood stars like Cate, Julianne Moore and Dakota Johnson, Brit beauties like Gemma Chan and Laura Bailey, and rising stars like Bel Powley and Saoirse, which, in turn, gives us looks that are different and yet fabulous in their own way.

My personal favourites on the night were Cate Blanchett in a McQueen dress that was a true work of art, and Laura Bailey, who is a style crush who can be kooky and quirky, but, on this occasion, was channeling the style of a young Queen Elizabeth (if anyone can find out who designed that dress I would love to know.) I also love Bel Powley in disco style Gucci. I know some think this is not a dress for the BAFTAs, but Bel is young and pretty, she should look age appropriate and fun – I personally don’t want to see her dressed like Helen Mirren thanks all the same.

Kate Winslet was also looking pretty amazing. I loved this look, slinky black Berardi dress, vampish red lips and beachy waves in her hair. This is sexy Kate, oozing award winning confidence and looking totally in her prime. I absolutely approve.

Cate Blanchett in McQueen

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Isla Fisher in Stella McCartney

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Bel Powley in Gucci

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Julianne Moore in Armani

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Gemma Chan in Jenny Packham

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Emilia Clarke in Victoria Beckham

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Laura Bailey

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Saiorse Ronan in Burberry

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Kate Winslet in Antonio Berardi

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Dakota Johnson in Dior

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Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton

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Olga Kurylenko in Ralph and Russo

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Hannah Bagshawe in Emilia Wickstead

Actor Eddie Redmayne and his wife Hannah Bagshawe arrive at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards at the Royal Opera House in London, February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville@@2016-02-14T190643Z_586455528_GF10000308525_RTRMADP_3_AWARDS-BAFTAS.JPG

Who was your best dressed on the red carpet at the BAFTA Film Awards 2016?

Kate. Marilyn and Elizabeth and the Allure of Pearls.

Kate Winslet looks stunning on the cover of  V magazine this month.  A shot of her beautiful face and a string of pearls in all that is needed to create a wonderful image. But the pictures also evokes the movie  queens of days past, and speaks volumes about the eternal lure of pearls.

The Daily Telegraph says  that Winslet is paying some kind of tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, the last of the immortal  love goddesses, who  dies earlier this year. A famous still of Taylor from the film Ash Wednesday was used to illustrate the similarity of the pose. But the image of Kate reminds me of those Bert SternLast Sitting‘ poses by Marilyn Monroe, the ones where she was photographed with pearls and rhinestones just a month before her death. These were almost a last hurrah for Marilyn, and ensured she pushed Elizabeth  Taylor from all the world’s front pages. Marilyn had also posed with pearls in the publicity shots for ‘Some like it Hot’ in 1958.

So the picture of Kate celebrates screen goddesses of the past, but it is also as much a celebration of pearls as it is of  the females who wear them. I think pearls are the most mysterious of jewels…what do they actually symbolise? They are often seen as presenting a real lady, sometimes in the form of conservative dressing, the twinset and pearls brigade for instance. Debutantes and Duchesses wear pearls, old ladies wear pearls,  Ladies on the cover of ‘Country Life’ and ‘The Lady’ wore pearls. And yet…

One of the most famous courtesans of the 19th century, Cora Pearl, is said to have appeared before Edward VII wearing a long string of pearls…and nothing else. One of the  most notorious rock paramours of the 1960s, Marianne Faithfull, was photographed wearing a conservative pearl choker at the height of her heroin addiction,  subverting the image of the necklace as something for good girls. And Madonna added pearls to her Boytoy bride look in the 1980s.

 

So, what is the truth about pearls, good girl accessories, or ultimate bad girl attire? Maybe the truth is a little bit of both. Good girls love the prettiness and the glossy sheen or pearls, whilst bad girls like to subvert the jewel that is considered a sign of class, breeding and landed gentry. While all this is true, pearls will be continue to fascinate.

Venice Film Festival – an amazing array of fashion and beauty.

The Venice Film Festival has always been synonymous with beauty and style. From the days of Diana Dors in her mink bikini, to the present day array of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kiera Knightley and Madonna, you are always guaranteed a series of total show-stopping looks. Here are some of the fashion highlights from the  glossy, glitzy fashion parade.

Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Ward has sported a series of striking monochrome looks in Venice whilst promoting ‘The Ides of March‘. Both of these outfits are by Alessandro Rich. I’m loving the 1940s elegance of the black dress, and really like the crisp look of the white shirtwaister style dress, which reminds me of the sort of outfit worn by Tilda Swinton. I do think  that the white dress would make a perfect short day dress.

Kiera Knightley

I love that Kiera chose a beautiful dress from the collection of Mary Katrantzou for her appearance in Venice. These are exquisite designs, and Kiera looked so pretty in this teamed with nude platforms. This is a stylish way to do daytime dressing, elegant and not overly formal. I totally love it.

Jessica Chastain.

She’s the hottest new actress in Hollywood and has a killer wardrobe to boot –  Jessica Chastain has looked incredible in Venice. I particularly love the nude shade Elie Saab which she looks just adorable in due to her stunning red locks and just the right shade of coral lips.

Diane Kruger

If only I could spend one day in this woman’s wardrobe.  This dress, by Elie Saab is beautifully ornate, and Diane is careful not to add any further adornment. In keeping everything else simple she looks perfect, showing why she is considered such a modern-day style icon.

Kate Winslet

Opinions have been divided about this Victoria Beckham dress, but I much preferred this to the Stella McCartney bodycon number. This looks like Kate has been poured into it, and Victoria herself was well impressed, talking about Kate on Twitter. The only jarring point for me was the quiff, I would prefer a more elegant updo, but other than that, top marks.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth seems to be getting more and more stylish, as these outfits prove. I usually hate peachy tones and blondes, feeling they can wash a blonde out. But Gwyneth proves that with sun-kissed skin, this can be  the perfect shade. The Prada dress managed to show skin and still look classy – no mean feat!

Cindy Crawford

I’m beginning to  think that Cindy Crawford has a picture in her attic growing older. She is just AGELESS! In this beautiful, hot red dress by Roberto Cavalli, she proved that the only accessory any woman really needs is George Clooney.

Madonna

This covered-up, demure outfit from Gucci reminded me of Sharon Stone wearing a long skirt and a gap turtle neck on the red carpet. Madonna looks great, channelling the style of Wallis Simpson whilst promoting her film about the Duchess, W.E. The only thing Madonna should ditch is those glasses. Yes, Wallis used to wear them, but she never stood on a red carpet, did she?

Andrea Riseborough

Andrea Riseborough, the Wallis of W.E was a little overshadowed by the legendary singer, turned director of her movie. Which is a shame, because her style was glorious this festival. Her printed Dolce and Gabbana dress felt like the last burst of Summer, whilst she had a Princess red-carpet moment in Dior Couture.